This invention relates to a mechanical therapeutic device in the form of a vibratory stool.
It is an object of the present invention to provide a vibratory exercising device which may be sufficiently flexible in adjustment to meet the various and exacting demands of skilled surgeons and doctors in their treatment of the numerous illnesses which respond to such treatment.
The structures of the invention include a novel split seat portion which is given a controlled type and rate of vibration through a novel mounting means and directly associated dual motive elements. The range of -adjustments includes the choice of operation of either or both sides of the seat, a control of the phasing of the relative operation of both sides, and a pneumatic adjustment by means of which the severity of the vibrations may be dampened.
Other features of the invention are more fully set forth in the accompanying specification and drawings, wherein: Fig. 1 is a perspective view of the device; Fig. 2 is a section on the line 2-2 of Fig. 1; Fig. 3 is a section on the line 3-3 of Pig. 2; Fig. 4 is a side view of one of the motor shafts showing the adjustable centrifugal clutch; Fig. 5 is an end view of the shaft of Mg. 4; and Fig. 6 is a fragmentary perspective view of the stool body showing one of the pneumatic supports positioned thereon.
The stool comprises a base II which serves to support a pair of vibratory platforms or seats II, Ila. The base is preferably formed of separable sections 1.2 and 13, the uppermost section 12 having a shouldered extremity 14 which fits in interlocking relation with the top of the section 13. This structure permits the device to be used as illustrated, for treatments where the patient is seated, or for standing or other treatments, where the lower section 13 is removed to reduce the elevation of the platforms I1, I la.
The platforms 1:, l ia, except for being of opposite hands, are of similar structure, having top portions 15, Ila and integral depending portions II, 16a. The portions It, I#a are slotted, as indicated by the numeral 17, to receive foot rests 18 for sliding movement. .Straps It affxed 'to the lower extremities of the depending portions serve as stops which are engaged by lugs 21 on the upper ends of the footrests (Pig. 3). When the device is used as a standing platform, the foot rests may be telescoped within the slots 17 to an unobstruotive position, as shown in dotted lines in Fig. 3.
The platforms are resiliently supported on a pair of rubber tubes 22 which are carried in transverse sockets 23 in the underlying base section 12 (Figs. 3 and 6). The platforms are also formed with shallow tube-receiving sockets 23a. Common extremities of the tubes 22 are fitted with Inflation valves 25, and, to provide access thereto, the side of the platform Il is notched, as Indicated by the numerals 26 (Fig. 1).
Each platform is firmly pressed down upon s the supporting tubes 22 by four tension springs 27, the upper ends of such springs being carried in fittings 21 secured to the lower side of the platforms. Spaced beams 29 are mounted transversely in the lower portions of the base section 12, and they carry eyebolts 31, to which the lower extremities of the springs 27 are secured.
The platforms II, i la are supplied with similar individual motive units 30, 30a, consisting of transversely positioned electric motors 33 secured to the lower side of the platforms. The motors are of the double end shaft type. The shafts carry flywheels 34, 34a, each fitted with a counterweight 35. It will be observed that the counterweights on each pair of flywheels are disposed in aligned relation to provide reaction devices for causing the transmittal of vibratory forces to the mass of the motor and accompanying platform.
The motors 33 are controlled by a switch 36 (Fig. 1) which may be of a four-position type to pro-25 vide for selective operation of either motor or of both motors.
It is desired when both motors are in operation that they be forced to run in synchronism, in order that the reaction of the counterweights may occur in perfect phase. To accomplish this object, a centrifugal coupling is provided to connect the units for synchronous operation. As shown in Fig. 3, the inner flywheel of the unit 30 carries an arm 38 which is mounted for swinging movement on a stud 39. The arm is formed with a lug 46 which engages a stop pin 41 when the arm is thrown to a radial position by centrifugal force. A light leaf spring 42 is secured to a boss 43 on the flywheel 34, and such spring 40 engages a cam surface 40a on the lug and tends to retain the arm in either its radial or angular position. The end of the arm 13 is formed with an angular extension 44.
The motive unit 30a is supplied with a similar clutch element, which element however is radially adjustable. The motor shaft 30b of this unit (Figs. 4 and 5) is hollow, and it carries a rod 41 having a bracket 46 secured to its left hand extremity. The bracket is formed with a boss 47 which carries a pin 48 having projecting portions 49 and 50. An arm 38a is pivotally carried on the pin portion 49 and it is retained thereon by a collar II. The bracket is also formed with a stop lug 52 and a spring lug 53, the latter carrying an attached leaf spring 42. The right hand end of the rod 45 projects from the shaft 30b, and it is fitted with an adjusting knob 55. The adjacent end of the shaft carries a holding knob 56 which is formed with a spring seat 57. A compression e0 spring 58 is interposed between the knobs 55 and 56, and it continually urges the rod and accompanying paraphernalia to the right.
The inner flywheel 34a is formed with a plurality of holes 50a wherein the pin portion 50 may be selectively engaged by depressing the knob 55 and turning the knob until the proper hole is entered. It will now be understood that the centrifugal arm 38a of the unit 30a may be adjusted to several angular positions relative to the flyWheel counterweights of that unit.
In operation, when both units are started the centrifugal arms 38, 38a rapidly assume a radial position where their extensions 44, 44a may engage, and thus enforce synchronous rotation of the motors. Assuming that the clutch element is adjusted, as shown in Fig. 5, then it will be ap-, parent that the counterweights of both units will be aligned during rotation, and, as a result, the platforms II, Ila will be actuated in perfect unison.
The switch 36 may be turned while both units are in' operation to stop one of the units. During this change the deenergized motor immediately starts to decelerate, and thus to throw a greater load on its centrifugal arm than it is capable of withstanding. This arm therefore is forced inward by the contacting arm of the remaining unit, and the units are accordingly disengaged.
It will be understood that the exceedingly light 3load of the centrifugally held arms is sufficient to retain the engaged motors in coupled relation, since their natural tendency is to operate in such manner, but any greater load is sufficient to break the coupling.
35 When it is desired to operate the platforms in an out-of-phase relation, the adjustable centrifugal element of the unit 30a is simply turned to 'the desired position. For example, if the element is turned 180 degrees from the position of Fig. 5, then when the clutch engages in dual operation, the counterweights of one unit will be spaced 180 degrees from those of the remaining unit. The result will be a staggered operation of the platforms II, Il a, wherein one will be rising while the other will be depressed.
It will be observed that the pneumatic supports 22 of the platforms II, I la are suitably positioned to afford relatively free movement in vertical and horizontal directions, but to resist or to prevent lateral or angular movement. The reaction of the motive force thus will result in a high speed uniform harmonic movement of the platform in small circles having approximately a horizontal axis. This type of movement has been found to produce the best results in the treatment of ailments which respond to vibratory treatment, since the gentle but rapid action in vertical circles reproduces in some phases the stimulation of a natural exercise, such as walking, without the 6viclent reaction on specialized groups of muscles.
The adjustment of the machine, as afforded by the control switch 36, permits the treatment of either side of the body, while the phase adjustment permits the choice of uniform body motion 65 or various degrees of staggered movement which are beneficial in specialized cases. It will be noted also that the severity of the vibrations may be considerably modified by varying the air pressure in the pneumatic supports 22.
70 It will be understood that various changes and modifications may be made in the structure herein disclosed without departing from the inventive concept.
I claim: 1. A therapeutic vibrator comprising a base, a pair of adjacent seats resiliently carried by the base, an electric motor mounted under each seat, each motor having an eccentrically located weight carried by its shaft, and a coupling for said motor shafts comprising a centrifugally operated clutch element on each shaft, said elements being movable into engagement with each other upon operation of said motors.
2. A therapeutic vibrator comprising a base, a pair of adjacent seats resiliently carried by the base, an electric motor mounted under each seat, 1. each motor having an eccentrically located weight carried by its shaft, and a coupling for said motor shafts comprising a centrifugally operated clutch on each shaft, said elements being movable into engagement with each other upon operation of said motors, and means for adjusting one of said elements radially with respect to its associated counterweight.
3. A therapeutic vibrator comprising a base, a pair of adjacent seats resiliently carried by the base, an electric motor mounted under each seat, said motors being of the double end shaft type and each motor shaft carrying a pair of flywheels, an eccentrically located counterweight carried by each flywheel, and centrifugal means for coupling said shafts upon rotation thereof.
4. A therapeutic vibrator comprising a base, a pair of adjacent seats resiliently carried by the base, an electric motor mounted under each seat, said motors being disposed in axial alignment, an eccentrically loaded flywheel carried by each motor shaft, and centrifugal means on the flywheels for coupling said shafts upon rotation thereof.
5. A therapeutic vibrator comprising a base, a pair of adjacent seats resiliently carried by the base, one end of each seat having an integral de- 40 pending extension, a foot rest on the extremity of each extension, an electric motor mounted under each seat, each motor having an eccentrically loaded flywheel carried by its shaft, and means for coupling said shafts for synchronous rotation. 45 6. A therapeutic vibrator- comprising a base having upper portions thereof formed with a pair of spaced parallel socket portions, an elongated cylindrical rubber tube mounted in each socket portion of the base, a seat having similarly spaced 50 socket portions formed in its lower surface, said seat being positioned with the seat socket portions engaging the tubes, means for holding the seat against upward displacement from the tubes including a resilient connection between the seat 55 and base, and a motor-driven vibratory element carried by said seat.
7. A therapeutic vibrator comprising a base having upper portions thereof formed with a pair of spaced parallel socket portions, an elongated 60 cylindrical closed tube mounted in each socket portion of the base, inflation valve means on each tube, a seat having similarly spaced socket portions formed in its lower surface, said seat beingpositioned with the seat socket portions engaging 65 the tubes, means for holding the seat against upward displacement from the tubes including a resilient connection between the seat and base, and a motor-driven vibratory element carried by said seat. 70 WILLIAM L. WETTLAUFER.
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