Title:
FOOT AND LEG EXERCISER
United States Patent 3625203


Abstract:
A foot and leg exerciser for paraplegics and other inactive patients supplying passive exercise by elevating and lowering the patient's feet while tilting them. The patient's feet rest on individual plates which move substantially 180° C. out of phase and are each controlled by a pair of scissors-connected levers joined substantially at their midpoints with the lower end of one lever pivotally mounted to a fixed point, the upper end of that lever being pivotally connected to a traveling bearing sleeve at the forward end of the footplate the lower end of the other lever being pivotally connected to a motor-driven crank, and the upper end of the other lever being pivotally connected to the back end of the footplate. The driving cranks are mounted displaced 180° C., and the resulting operation raises and lowers and tips the footplates to provide passive exercise for the feet and legs of the patient.



Inventors:
WADELTON DONALD P
Application Number:
05/023896
Publication Date:
12/07/1971
Filing Date:
03/30/1970
Assignee:
DONALD P. WADELTON
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A61H1/02; (IPC1-7): A61H1/02
Field of Search:
128/24,24.2,25,25B,33,7
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3316898Rehabilitation and exercise apparatus1967-05-02Brown
2081365Foot vibrator1937-05-25Mueller et al.



Primary Examiner:
Trapp L. W.
Claims:
I claim

1. A foot and leg exerciser comprising:

2. The exerciser defined in claim 1 including:

3. The exerciser defined in claim 2 including:

4. The exerciser defined in claim 2, including:

5. The exerciser defined in claim 4 in which said cranks are angularly displaced substantially 180° so that said footplates move substantially 180° out of phase.

6. The exerciser defined in claim 1 including means by which the operation of said scissors-connected levers both elevates and lowers the footplates and tilts them fore and aft to vary their angular relation to the horizontal.

7. The exerciser defined in claim 1 in which said paired scissors-connected levers are pivotally connected together substantially adjacent their midpoints.

8. The exerciser defined in claim 1 in which

9. The exerciser defined in claim 1 including:

10. The exerciser defined in claim 9 in which said crank means is a pair of cranks spaced at the opposite ends of the shaft and displaced angularly through substantially 180° and each having the lower end of one of said driven levers pivoted thereto.

11. A foot and leg exerciser comprising:

12. The exerciser defined in claim 11 including:

13. The exerciser defined in claim 12 including:

14. The exerciser defined in claim 12 including;

15. The exerciser defined in claim 11 including means by which the operation of said scissors-connected levers both elevates and lowers said footplate and tilts it fore and aft to vary its angular relation to the horizontal.

16. The exerciser defined in claim 11 in which said scissors-connected levers are pivotally connected together substantially adjacent their midpoints.

17. The exerciser defined in claim 11 in which

18. The exerciser defined in claim 11 including:

Description:
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. This invention relates to apparatus for applying passive exercise to the feet and legs of a patient.

2. Passive exercise devices for the feet and legs of patients are known in the art, but these have been particularly adapted for bedridden patients, for standing exercise, or for vibration, and have involved complex structures and movements. Such exercisers are represented by the U.S. Pats. to Nelson et al., No. 1,948,534, dated Feb. 27, 1937; Mueller et al., No. 2,081,365, dated May 25, 1937; Kost, No. 2,206,902, dated July 9, 1940; and Girten No. 3,370,584, dated Feb. 27, 1968.

The foot and leg exerciser of the present invention is a lightweight, readily portable one of simple mechanical construction, particularly adapted for the use of patients in wheelchairs and like sitting positions. It provides a simple, inexpensive, portable device for providing passive exercise to the feet and legs of a patient by raising and lowering and tilting the feet to exercise the muscles, to strengthen and rejuvenate them, and to stimulate circulation in the afflicted parts.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to a passive exercise device for the feet and legs of a paraplegic or other inactive patient, providing a footplate driven to raise and lower and tilt the patient's feet. The footplate is supported on and moved by a pair of scissors-connected levers operated by a motor-driven crank, and a pair of such plates so supported and moved may be provided with their cranks being preferably mounted angularly 180° apart to drive the plates 180° out of phase. Each pair of levers is pivotally joined substantially at their midpoints and the lower end of one lever of each pair is pivotally connected to and driven by one of the cranks. The lower end of the other lever of each pair is pivotally mounted to a fixed point. The upper ends of one of levers, for example the upper end of the crank-driven lever, is pivotally connected to the back end of the footplate, and the upper end of the fixedly pivoted lever is pivotally connected to a sliding bearing mounted adjacent the forward end of the footplate and movable rectilinearly substantially parallel to the plane of the footplate.

As each crank rotates, it moves its associated pair of scissors-connected levers to extended and collapsed positions to raise and lower the associated footplate and, at the same time, give to the footplate limited tilting movements fore and aft, thus effecting tilting exercise of the feet, as well as exercise incident to the raising and lowering of the feet. This gives passive exercise to the feet and legs of the patient to rejuvenate and strengthen muscles, stimulate circulation, and in some cases, relieve abnormal pressure on nerves and blood vessels. The device is simple, inexpensive and lightweight, and readily portable for movement to a seated patient, and may readily be controlled by the patient himself so that close attention during the exercise period is not required.

Other objects and features of the invention will be apparent from the detailed description and claims and the appended drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an exerciser according to the present invention in use by a patient;

FIG. 2 is a view, partly in section on the line 2--2 of FIG. 1, and partly in elevation, showing the footplates and the mechanism for operating them;

FIG. 3 is a transverse sectional view on the line 3--3 of FIG. 2, with parts broken away; and

FIG. 4 is a perspective view showing the lever-operating mechanism for a footplate.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

FIG. 1 shows a foot and leg exerciser 11 according to the present invention in use by a patient seated in an armchair. The exerciser comprises a base plate 12 having mounted centrally thereof, in attached relation, a rigid casing 13 having a carrying handle 14 secured thereto. On opposite sides of the central casing 13 are mounted footplates 15 and 16 by the mechanisms shown in the other figures which are surrounded by corrugated, bellows-type enclosures 17 and 18 extending between the footplates 15 and 16 and the base plate 12. An electrical energizing cord 19 with a standard end plug leads into the casing 13, as does a control wire 21 leading to a switchplate 22 which may be carried on the lap of the patient for control of the exerciser.

Referring to FIGS. 2 and 3, within the casing 13 is disposed an electric motor 23 which, through reduction gearing 24, drives a cross-shaft 25 extending at opposite ends into the chambers formed within the corrugated enclosures 17 and 18. Rigidly mounted on the opposite ends of the shaft 25 are cranks 26 and 27 displaced relative to each other through an angle of substantially 180°. These cranks are located on the outside of shaft-supporting posts 28 and 29, respectively.

Footplate 16 is supported on a pair of scissors-connected levers 31 and 32 pivotally connected together adjacent their midpoints at 33. Footplate 15 is supported on a pair of scissors-connected levers 34 and 35 pivotally connected together adjacent their midpoints at 36. The lower end of the lever 31 is pivotally connected at 37 to a post 38 adjacent the back of the base plate 12. The lower end of the lever 32 is pivotally connected to the end of the crank 27 at 39. The upper end of the lever 32 is pivotally connected at 41 to a lug 42 which depends from adjacent the back end of the foot plate 16. The upper end of the lever 31 is pivotally connected at 43 to a traveling bushing 44 slidably mounted on a rod 45 which is rigidly mounted with its axis parallel to the plane of the footplate 16 upon a pair of depending lugs 46 and 47.

The mounting for the footplate 15 is substantially the same as that for the footplate 16, with the lower end of the lever 34 pivoted at 48 on a post 49 adjacent the back end of the mounting plate 12 (FIG. 4). The lower end of the lever 35 is pivotally mounted at 51 to the end of crank 26. The upper end of the lever 35 is pivotally mounted at 52 to a lug 53 depending from adjacent the back end of the footplate 15. The upper end of the lever 34 is pivotally connected at 54 to a traveling bushing 55 slidably mounted on a rod 56 rigidly mounted with its axis parallel to footplate 15 by a pair of depending lugs 57 and 58.

The operation of the foot and leg exerciser according to this invention is as follows: with the motor 23 energized, it rotates to rotate shaft 25 through the reduction gearing 24. As viewed in FIG. 2, it is assumed that the shaft 25 is rotating in a counterclockwise direction. The description hereinafter of the movement of either of the footplates 15 and 16 is duplicated by the other, but substantially 180° out of phase, because of the location of the cranks 26 and 27 displaced 180° on the shaft 25. Taking now the footplate 16, it is shown in FIG. 2 at the plane A--A corresponding to a position of the axis of the crank 27 intersecting the point A at the lower left-hand corner of FIG. 2. As the shaft 25 and crank 27 rotate counterclockwise to the position B where the axis of the crank is substantially vertical, the footplate 16 moves into the position represented by the plane B--B, where the plate 16 has not only been raised but has had its forward end, in effect, tilted downwardly because its rear end has moved upwardly through a greater distance. As the shaft 25 and crank 27 continue to rotate through the points C and D, the footplate 16 assumes the positions of the planes C--C and D--D, the latter representing the extreme upward movement of the footplate. It will be seen in this movement that not only has the plate 16 been raised from the plane A--A to the plane D--D, but also the plane of the foot plate has been tilted with its forward end downwardly at B--B and back upwardly at C--C and D--D. Thus, the upward movement of the footplate is accompanied by tilting movements thereof to not only elevate the foot of the patient, but also to tilt it fore and aft relative to its ankle.

As the shaft 25 and crank 27 continue to rotate counterclockwise, the axis of the crank moves from position D to position E and the footplate moves downwardly from the plane D--D to the plane E--E and continues its movement back to its position A--A. It can be seen that this downward movement not only lowers the foot, but also changes its angular relation from that of D--D through E--E back to A--A, effecting a fore and aft tilting movement of the foot by lessening the plate angle.

The above-described movements in elevating, lowering and tilting explained for the footplate 16 are duplicated for the footplate 15, but 180° out of phase, so that the plate 15 is up when the plate 16 is down, and vice versa.

The above-described movements of the footplates 15 and 16 are effected by expansion and contraction of the scissors-connected levers as the cranks 26 and 27 rotate the ends of the levers 35 and 32, respectively, the pivot points for the levers 31 and 34 remaining stationary at 37 and 48, respectively. The upper ends of the levers 32 and 35 pivot but do not otherwise move with respect to the back ends of the footplates and the upper ends of the levers 31 and 34, which are connected to the traveling bushings 44 and 45, not only pivot at 43 and 54, respectively, but move longitudinally of the footplates on their respective rods 45 and 46 from the forward end occupied by the bushing 44 to the rear end occupied by the bushing 55 in FIG. 2.

While a certain preferred embodiment of the invention has been specifically illustrated and described, it will be understood that the invention is not limited thereto, as many variations will be apparent to those skilled in the art, and the invention is to be given its broadest interpretation within the terms of the following claims.