Inertial Measurement Unit-Derived Ergonomic Metrics for Assessing Arm Use in Manual Wheelchair Users With Spinal Cord Injury: A Preliminary Report

Omid Jahanian, Meegan G. Van Straaten, Brianna M. Goodwin, Stephen M. Cain, Ryan J. Lennon, Jonathan D. Barlow, Naveen S. Murthy, Melissa M.B. Morrow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) who use manual wheelchairs (MWCs) have a higher rate of rotator cuff pathology progression than able-bodied individuals. Objectives: This study aimed to test the ability of risk and recovery metrics of arm use to differentiate between (1) MWC users with SCI and matched able-bodied participants (cross-sectional matched-sample study) and (2) MWC users with rotator cuff pathology progression over 1 year from those without pathology progression (longitudinal study). Methods: Thirty-four MWC users and 34 age- and sex-matched able-bodied individuals were recruited. Upper arm risk (humeral elevation >60°) and recovery (static ≥5 seconds and humeral elevation <40°) metrics were calculated from wireless inertial measurement units (IMUs) worn on the upper arms and torso in the free-living environment. Two separate magnetic resonance imaging studies were completed and assessed for a subset of 16 MWC users approximately 1 year apart. Results: The frequency of risk events (p = .019), summated duration of recovery events (p = .025), and duration of each recovery event (p = .003) were higher for MWC users than able-bodied participants. The summated duration of risk events (p = .047), frequency of risk events (p = .027), and risk to recovery ratio (p = .02) were higher and the summated duration of recovery events (p = .036) and frequency of recovery events (p = .047) were lower for MWC users with rotator cuff pathology progression (n = 5) compared to those without progression (n = 11). Conclusion: IMU-derived metrics quantifying arm use at postures >60° and risk to recovery ratios may provide insights of potential risk factors for rotator cuff pathology progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12-25
Number of pages14
JournalTopics in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation
Volume27
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2021

Keywords

  • free-living data collections
  • humeral elevation
  • manual wheelchair use
  • rotator cuff pathology
  • upper arm posture
  • wearable sensors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Neurology

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