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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The effect of rigid tape on wrist postures during tree planting tasks Mojaeva, Elizaveta


Rigid taping, intending to minimize the occurrence of awkward wrist postures, has been suggested to reduce the incidence of de Quervain’s tendinopathy in tree planters. However, the ability of rigid taping to reduce wrist postures during planting has not yet been formally evaluated. Furthermore, published observations of tree wrist postures during planting are scarce. Objectives: The primary aim was to test the effect of wrist rigid taping on wrist postures during tree planting tasks. Secondary aims were to: evaluate the effect of rigid taping of the wrist on static measures of active and passive range of motion (AROM and PROM) and on maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) grip force exertion; and conduct exploratory analyses of the wrist rigid taping injury intervention acceptability and of tree wrist postures throughout the planting cycle. Methods: A randomized cross-over, withinparticipant, repeated-measures design in an outdoor environment was used. With online posts, eleven tree planters were recruited to plant 50 trees in three conditions: no-tape (NT), tape-on-the-dorsum-of-the-hand (T1) and tape-on-the-thumb (T2). Electrogoniometers (EG) recorded continuous wrist postures (flexion, extension, radial deviation, ulnar deviation) and a camera video-recorded planting trials. Video observations were used to segment EG traces of each planting cycle (one planted tree) into 4 kinematically distinct Phases. The tree and shovel wrist were analyzed separately. Before and after planting trials, static AROM and PROM, MVC, and intervention acceptability were recorded with EGs, a hand dynamometer, and an acceptability questionnaire, respectively. Results: Two-factor (2x4) repeated-measures analysis-of-variance found that T1 did not significantly reduce peak flexion of the tree wrist (F(1,7)=2.336,p=0.17) or shovel wrist (F(1,5)=1.741,p=0.244). T2 significantly reduced peak ulnar deviation of the tree wrist (F(1,7)=9.101,p=0.019) but not the shovel wrist (F(1,6)=1.002,p=0.356). One-tailed Wilcoxon signed-rank tests found that the frequency of shovel-wrist awkward frontal plane postures (>10° ulnar/radial deviation) was significantly reduced in the T2 condition (p<0.05). One-tailed paired t-tests found taped conditions significantly reduced AROM (t(4.03)=5,p=0.00502), PROM (z(4)=-2.02,p<0.05) and MVC (z(10)=-2.7562,p=0.00289). Rigid taping was found to be an acceptable injury intervention by tree planters (median score 6/7). The tree wrist experienced high peak postures at the start and end of the planting cycle.

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