Content » Vol 49, Issue 2

Original report

Effects of wheelchair propulsion on neuropathic pain and resting electroencephalography after spinal cord injury

Gosuke Sato, Michihiro Osumi, Shu Morioka
Graduate School of Health Sciences, Kio University, 635-0832 Kitakatsuragi-gun, Japan. E-mail:
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-2185


Objectives: To investigate the effects of wheelchair propulsion on neuropathic pain and to examine resting electroencephalography pre- and post-wheelchair propulsion after spinal cord injury.
Design: Cross-sectional study.
Participants: Eleven individuals with spinal cord injury and pain and 10 healthy controls.
Methods: Single-session 15-min wheelchair propulsion and measurement of resting electroence-phalography. Effects of wheelchair propulsion were investigated using numerical rating scale (NRS) for neuropathic pain and short-form Profile of Mood States-Brief for mood. Peak alpha frequency on electroencephalography was calculated in 4 regions of interest; frontal, central, parietal and occipital areas. These outcomes were compared between pre- and post-wheelchair propulsion.
Results: Ten participants with spinal cord injury and all healthy controls completed the wheelchair propulsion exercise. NRS scores and negative mood were significantly improved following the wheelchair propulsion exercise. Pre-wheelchair propulsion, parietal and occipital peak alpha frequencies were significantly lower in the spinal cord injury
group compared with the healthy controls group. Post-wheelchair propulsion, central peak alpha frequency increased in the spinal cord injury group.
Conclusion: Wheelchair propulsion exercise temporarily decreased neuropathic pain intensity, improved negative mood, and modified alpha activity in spinal cord injury.

Lay Abstract


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