Efficacy of upper limb rehabilitation protocols
AdvisorYihun, Yimesker S.
MetadataShow full item record
Neuromuscular and sensorimotor degeneration can negatively impact and reduce the physical, cognitive, and social well-being of an individual across their lifespan. Therapeutics interventions are vital to restore the lost degrees-of-freedom (DOF). However, the performance and the outcome of each intervention are highly dependent on several factors including the task, the frequency, and the mindset that the patient has towards the training. This thesis is focused on studying the efficacy of two of the commonly used upper limb rehabilitation techniques. The two therapeutic tasks selected are object manipulation which is similar to a pick-and place task and elbow flexion-extension which is similar to a bicep curls task. These tasks were performed with 1kg and 2kg weights. The same tasks were also designed and performed in a virtual reality environment for comparative analysis. Twelve subjects were recruited for this study. The electromyography signals from the muscles during these tasks were collected along with the trajectory of the hand with an inertial measurement unit (IMU). The EMG data was analyzed for the three-way analysis of variance test and also calculated for the root mean square. It was found from the ANOVA test that the ‘tasks’ were statistically significant with F(1.214, 13.358) = 10.073, p = 0.005 and the groups ‘VR and without VR’ were significant with F(1, 11) = 5.467, p = 0.039. The obtained results pointed out that there exists an effect of certain tasks on the muscles and this effect is comparatively more when the tasks are performed using virtual reality environment. This study was successful in understanding the efficacy of the two upper limb rehabilitation tasks which concluded that the object manipulation task had more positive effects on the muscles than the elbow flexion-extension task especially when implemented in a virtual reality environment. This finding contributes towards having a better rehabilitation method in the future when similar scenario is considered.
Thesis (M.S.)-- Wichita State University, College of Engineering, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering