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Shoulder & Wheelchair

The upper extremities are highly sensitive to overload, due to its anatomical structure and the characteristics of the load on the anatomy in work and everyday life. Especially persons in a wheelchair are vulnerable to upper extremity overload injuries caused by wheelchair propulsion and wheelchair tasks.

The ‘Shoulder and Wheelchair’ group’s goal is to understand the underlying mechanisms of the development of overload injuries in the musculoskeletal system of upper extremities in subjects with a spinal cord injury. Further goals of this program are to develop and test prevention strategies and optimal upper body training programs to prevent overuse injuries and pain. The group has the availability of a well equipped laboratory where muscle activity, movement patterns and force application during wheelchair propulsion can be studied. Due to the close collaboration with the clinic of the Swiss Paraplegic Center these data can be combined with data from advanced imaging techniques (MRI, US).

The unit works closely together with ‘SwiSCI’, a clinical and community-based spinal cord injury cohort study. International partners like the Center for Human Movement Sciences and Rehabilitation in Groningen and the Faculty of Human Movement Sciences in Amsterdam form a stable foundation which provides the basis for PhD students to be part of in a challenging international research environment.

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