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The use of upper-body intermittent, sequential pneumatic compression arm-sleeves on recovery from exercise in wheelchair athletes

Wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby are two of the most popular sports for athletes with a disability. Despite this, recovery-based research is sparse in the disability sport sector, as most studies have concentrated on the recovery needs of able-bodied athletes. Existing research has investigated several recovery methods, which the first part of this thesis discusses in a literature review. One of the recovery methods included in this review is a relatively new recovery tool known as intermittent sequential pneumatic compression (ISPC). Initially developed for use in medical settings, ISPC is believed to increase blood flow, therefore limiting inflammation/swelling and enhancing the removal of metabolic by-products associated with exercise. The second part of this thesis includes an original study investigating the influence of ISPC on recovery in wheelchair team sport athletes. Eleven wheelchair basketball and rugby players volunteered to participate in this study and were required to take part in two trials (either passive control or ISPC recovery) separated by one week. During ISPC recovery, participants wore the sleeves on both arms for 20 minutes. Grip strength, pressureto-pain threshold (PPT), medicine ball throw, wheelchair sprints, repeated sprints and blood lactate (BLa) were measured pre-exercise, post-exercise, and post-recovery. Subjective muscle soreness and fatigue were also assessed at these time points, as well as 24 hours post-exercise. The exercise session consisted of 20 minutes of high intensity drills, designed to simulate the physiological demands of wheelchair team sport. Analysis revealed ISPC to positively influence subjective measures of muscle soreness and fatigue, with negligible effects on performance recovery and physiological measures when compared to a control trial. The final section of this thesis summarises the overall findings of the thesis, as well as providing practical applications and future research.
Type of thesis
Oliver, A. E. (2020). The use of upper-body intermittent, sequential pneumatic compression arm-sleeves on recovery from exercise in wheelchair athletes (Thesis, Master of Health, Sport and Human Performance (MHSHP)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/13673
The University of Waikato
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