Evaluation of Overhead Throwing Angular Kinematics in Able-Bodied and Wheelchair Lacrosse Players

Peyton Bendis, “Evaluation of Overhead Throwing Angular Kinematics in Able-Bodied and Wheelchair Lacrosse Players”
Mentors: Brooke Slavens & Matthew Hanks, Occupational Science & Technology

Wheelchair lacrosse is an increasingly popular adaptive sport with little research investigating upper extremity biomechanics. Previous research has examined upper extremity angular velocities in able-bodied lacrosse players and potential implications for upper extremity overuse injury; however, no research has assessed these metrics in wheelchair lacrosse players. The purpose of this study was to characterize differences in angular kinematics between able-bodied and wheelchair lacrosse players with spinal cord injury (SCI). Three able-bodied (23.7 ± 3.8 years) and three wheelchair (55.3 ± 14.01 years) lacrosse players with SCI performed three maximal effort overhead throws using a standardized lacrosse stick. A 15-camera Vicon T-Series motion capture system collected kinematic data at 240 Hz. Able-bodied players performed the throws standing and sitting in a standardized wheelchair while the wheelchair players with SCI performed the throws sitting in their personal sport wheelchair. Angular velocity was assessed in bilateral wrist, elbow, and glenohumeral joints and thorax in the frontal, transverse, and sagittal planes. Group mean joint angular velocities were greater in able-bodied players than in wheelchair players in most joints. Dominant elbow angular velocity in the sagittal plane was greater in wheelchair players with SCI than in able-bodied players in both standing and sitting conditions. We hypothesize the angular velocity of the dominant arm elbow may be greater in wheelchair players as their elbow compensates for lack of trunk rotation that typically drives an able-bodied overhead throw. The able-bodied standing players had greater angular velocities in most joints than the able-bodied sitting players who had greater angular velocities than the wheelchair players with SCI, which indicates that the presence of the wheelchair and SCI each affect angular velocity. The results of this study may help identify potential mechanisms of overuse injury and enhance safety in wheelchair lacrosse.

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  1. Peyton did an excellent job of setting up the foundation of this project by identifying the importance of this research question, as well as the intersection of lacrosse-related injuries and the growing popularity in wheelchair lacrosse. Furthermore, the methods and results/discussion sections (as well as the presented graphs) were clear, easy to understand, and visually appealing. Lastly, Peyton was able to deliver a concise conclusion and information on additional research that is currently in process. Overall, this was an excellent poster that was clear, interesting, and was able to captivate the reader. Nice work!

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