Title:
EXERCISE APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR PARALYTIC PATIENTS
United States Patent 3693614


Abstract:
A therapeutic exercising device of the circular or rotary motion type particularly adapted for exercising the arms and legs of a paralytic patient. A method of operating the device is provided for paralytic patients subject to muscle spasms.



Inventors:
SCHON KENNETH A
Application Number:
05/147953
Publication Date:
09/26/1972
Filing Date:
05/28/1971
Assignee:
KENNETH A. SCHON
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A61H1/02; (IPC1-7): A61H1/02
Field of Search:
128/25,2,2S 272
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3395698Physiologically paced ergomeric system1968-08-06Morehouse
3212776Exercising device1965-10-19Bassler
2648330Exercising device1953-08-11Clark



Primary Examiner:
Trapp, Lawrence W.
Claims:
What is claimed is

1. Therapeutic exercising apparatus for paralytic patients, comprising in combination: a support beam; means for attaching said support beam to the frame of a patient's supporting bed; a motor driven pedal device having a pair of crank arms extending from opposite sides thereof at an angle of approximately 180° to each other; means for adjustably affixing said device to said beam; outwardly extending pedal rods affixed to the free end of each crank arm; means for engaging the patient's limbs and drivingly attaching them to said pedal rods, said means comprising:

2. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the means for securing the patient's limbs comprises a pair of shoe engaging members affixed to said support plates to permit exercising of a patient's legs.

3. Apparatus according to claim 2 additionally having leg stabilizing means comprising a pair of vertically extending springs; means for connecting said springs to said support beam in a manner that said springs extend downwardly from substantially a common point; and leg straps attached to the free ends of said spring members for engaging the patient's legs intermediate his ankle and knee to provide restraint and lateral movement of the legs during operation of said apparatus.

4. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the means for securing the patient's limbs comprises strap means securing support plates to the patient's hands to permit exercising of the patient's arms.

5. Apparatus according to claim 4 wherein the strap means comprises a pair of glove members, each glove member securing a plate to one of the patient's hands.

6. Therapeutic exercising apparatus for exercising the limbs of a paralytic patient, comprising in combination: a support beam; means for attaching said support beam to the frame of a patient supporting bed; a motor driven pedal device having a pair of crank arms extending from opposite sides thereof at an angle of approximately 180° to each other; means for adjustably affixing said device to said beam; outwardly extending pedal members affixed to the free end of each crank arm, each pedal member having means for engaging and retaining one of the patient's limbs thereon; a pair of vertically extending springs; means for connecting said springs to said support beam in such a manner that said springs extend downwardly from substantially a common point; and straps attached to the free ends of said spring members for engaging the patient's limbs to provide restraint from lateral movement of the limbs during operation of said apparatus.

7. Apparatus according to claim 6 wherein said support beam is a cantilever beam and said means for connecting said springs to said cantilever support beam comprises an upwardly extending strut member attached at its lower end to said support beam, said springs being affixed at a common point to the upper end of said strut member.

8. Apparatus according to claim 7 wherein said strut member is detachably attached to the free end of said cantilever support beam.

9. Apparatus according to claim 8 wherein said cantilever support beam is adjustably affixed to a vertical support member and said vertical support member is attached to a moveable base member, said means for attaching said support beam to the frame of a patient supporting bed comprising a clamping device adjustably affixed to said vertical support member.

10. The method of operating a therapeutic, circular motion type exercising machine for exercising the limbs of a paralytic patient subject to muscle spasms, the steps comprising:

11. The method of operating a therapeutic, circular motion type exercising machine for exercising the limbs of a paralytic patient subject to muscle spasms, the steps comprising:

Description:
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

A kinesitherapy apparatus and method as presented particularly adapted for rendering physiotherapy to a paralytic patient. The patient's arms or legs are driven in a circular path in vertical planes by a motor driven pedal device to which the patient's pedal extremities, i.e. the patient's hands or feet, are attached. The patient's paralysis may be the result of brain damage or other immobilizing injuries, diseases or illnesses, but special utility in the treatment of a paraplegic patient who has paralytic involvement of both legs or both arms will be apparent from the summary below.

2. Description of the Prior Art

In the exercise device field, the early art tended to deal primarily with the therapeutic treatment of bedridden or paralytic patients; such a device of the pedal driven type is shown in U.S. Pat. No. 2,202,187 to J. J. Chalette. With the more recent trend towards emphasizing physical fitness, a number of devices have been developed both of the exerciser driven type as typically shown in U.S. Pat. No. 3,360,263 to T. Tsuru and the motor driven type as typically shown in U.S. Pat No. 3,213,852 to L. J. Sent. It is therefore an object of this invention to provide an improved therapeutic exercising device for paralytic patients.

It is a principal object of this invention to provide an improved therapeutic exercising device of the motor driven pedal type which is particularly adapted to move the legs or arms of a paraplegic patient in a circular path.

It is a further object of this invention to provide a method of operating a motor driven, pedal type exercising device when the paralytic patient is subject to muscle spasms.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The therapeutic exercising device of the present invention is particularly adapted for the treatment of bedridden paralytic patients. A support beam is attached to the frame of the patient's supporting bed as by affixing a horizontal support beam to a vertical post. The post may be connected to the bed frame at the headboard end or at the footboard end. In the preferred embodiment illustrated, the support beam is a cantilever beam affixed to a vertically adjustable post clamped to the bed frame with the lower end of the post affixed to a moveable base. A motor driven pedal device is adjustably affixed to the support beam as by a conventional elongate screw, non-rotating nut actuator. The motor driven pedal device has a pair of crank arms attached to the opposite ends of a drive spindle and extending in the opposite direction to each other. Outwardly extending pedal rods are attached to the free end of each crank arm. A pair of support plates are designed to be affixed to the patient's shoes and another pair of support plates are designed to be affixed to gloves for the patient's hands. Each of the support plates has a tubular portion extending transversely to the axis of a plate aligned with a patient's foot or hand member. The patient's hands or feet can thus be attached to the pedal device by slipping the tubular portion of the support plates over the pedal rods.

When the legs of a paralytic patient are being exercised, a novel leg stabilizer is utilized to restrain lateral movement of the legs. This leg stabilizer employs a pair of substantially vertical springs extending downwardly from a common point and affixed to the support beam. The free ends of the springs have straps or slings which engage the patient's legs intermediate his ankle and knee.

When the paralytic patient's legs are subject to spasms, a novel method of operating the exercise device is employed to eliminate the spasm so continuous exercising may be resumed for the desired period of time. After the patient's feet have been attached to the exercising device, and the motor is energized, the motor is automatically de-energized in response to the sensing of a leg spasm. After a delay of two to ten seconds, the motor is energized and the pedals are allowed to move approximately one-half turn after which the motor is again de-energized. The foregoing delay period of two to ten seconds and the one-half turn rotation is again repeated, and the motor is de-energized for a third delay period of 2 to 10 seconds. Upon re-energization, the device is allowed to run continuously unless a further spasm is detected. This intermittent operation usually eliminates the spasm. This method of operation may be exercised under the manual control of the patient or an attendant. A vibration sensor can be used to detect the presence of spasms, and this vibration detector can be tied into an automatic control for automatically proceeding to the foregoing steps.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an elevational view, partially in cross section, showing the exercising machine mounted on a portable base with leg straps attached;

FIG. 2 is a plan view, partially in cross section, taken along line 2--2 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a transverse view, partially in cross section, showing the motor driven pedal mechanism and taken along line 3--3 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary view showing the details of the shoe attaching means;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary elevational view showing the patient's feet and legs operatively associated with the exercising machine utilizing the attaching means of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a detailed view of the glove-like hand attaching means; and

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary elevational view showing the patient's hands operatively associated with the exercising machine utilizing the attaching means of FIG. 6.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring to the drawing, and more specifically FIG. 1, the exercising machine depicted thereby can be seen to comprise three major components, namely a supporting structure 10, a motor driven pedal unit 11, and a leg stabilizing means 12. Support structure 10 has as a main component thereof, a cantilever support beam 13 to which the motor driven pedal unit 11 is adjustably attached by a conventional screw, non-rotating nut actuator 14. An elongate screw 15 of the actuator 14 is rotatably journaled at its unthreaded ends in bearing members 16 and 17. Beam 13 is shown in FIG. 3 as having a square tubular configuration with an elongate slot 18 in one face thereof. Screw 15 is centrally located within beam 13. Square nuts 19 and 21 (FIG. 1) are threadably received on screw 15 and are restrained against rotation during rotation of the screw by the conforming interior of the tubular support beam 13. A motor supporting sleeve 22 which is of square tubular construction, slidably engages the exterior surface of beam 13, and has a slotted portion aligned with beam slot 18. Nut extensions 23 extend through beam slot 18 and the aligned sleeve slot to a mounting block 24 which is welded to a motor support plate 25. Plate 25 is welded to the bottom face of sleeve 22 for supporting strength. As shown in FIG. 1, a turning crank 26 is pivotally mounted at 27 to the free end of screw 15 so that rotation of crank 26 in one direction will cause the motor driven pedal unit to be advanced upwardly along support beam 13, and rotation in the other direction will cause the pedal unit to be advanced downwardly along beam 13.

Cantilever beam 13 is adjustably affixed to a vertical support member 28. Vertical support 28 comprises a tubular square post 29 slidably received in a tubular square post 31. The vertical height of support beam 13 can be adjusted by turning a crank 32 which is connected to a nut and screw actuator, not shown, but similar to actuator 14. The bottom end of the post 31 is affixed to a base structure 33 which as shown comprises rigidly joined cross beams 34 and 35. A gusset 36 strengthens the juncture of post 31 and beams 34 and 35. Casters 37 are located at the free ends of beams 34 and 35 in the usual manner to render the exercise device readily moveable. A vertically adjustable clamping device 38 slidably engages the post 31 and is affixed thereto in selected position by screw 39. The clamp 38 is affixed to the patient's bed frame by means of a clamp screw 41.

The base of a motor 42 of the motor driven pedal unit 11 is suitably secured to the motor support plate 25 by bolts 43 and nuts 44. A gear reducer 45 is integrally affixed to motor 42, and a pedal device 46 is integrally connected to reducer 45 through a drive spindle 47. The motor 42 can be of one-eighth horsepower with the gear reducer 45 reducing the spindle speed to approximately 7 1/2 rpm. Crank arms 48 and 49 are connected to opposite ends of spindle 47 and extend in opposite directions to each other in a vertical plane. Outwardly extending pedal rods 51 and 52 are attached to the free ends of crank arms 48 and 49, respectively, to provide for each attachment of support plates which secure the patient's hands or feet to the exercising apparatus as more fully set forth below.

When the exercising device is to be used to exercise the legs of a paralytic patient, a leg stabilizing means 12 is employed. An upwardly extending strut or leg member 53 is attached to the free end of cantilever beam 13 by a collar 54. A hook element 55 is attached to the upper end of strut 53. A pair of downwardly extending springs 56 and 57 are attached to a common point by means of the hook 55. Straps or slings 58 and 59 are attached to the lower ends of the springs 56 and 57, respectively. These straps can be provided with snaps at their upper ends, not shown, to facilitate placing them around the patient's legs, just below the patient's knees.

A simple shoe engaging means 61 is shown in FIG. 4 for operatively attaching the patient's feet to the exercise device in a manner similar to a roller skate attachment means. A support plate 62 has a bracket 63 attached thereto to hold a screw member 64 at its center portion. The screw member 64 is threaded with the opposite hand threads 65 and 66 on each half, which threads engage clamping elements 67 and 68, respectively. Screw member 64 can be rotated by engagement of a conventional skate key with squared screw end 69 to move clamps 67 and 68 into and out of clamping engagement with the sole of a shoe 70. A tubular member 71 is located transversely to the longitudinal axis of the shoe 70 and is affixed to or is formed integral with support plate 62. Tubular member 71 is slid over pedal rods 51 or 52 for attachment to the motor driven pedal unit 11. FIG. 5 shows the patient's legs operatively associated with the pedal unit 11 using the shoe engaging means 61 of FIG. 4 and the leg stabilizing means 57.

Means for attaching the patient's hands to the exercising device is shown in FIG. 6. Glove member 72 has hand support plate 73 integrally affects thereto by rivets 74. The finger end 75 of plate 73 extends outside of glove 72 and has affixed thereto tubular member 76 transverse to the finger portions of the glove. Strap buckle means 77 is used in a conventional manner to tighten the glove around the patient's wrists. While glove member 72 is shown in FIG. 6 as a left hand glove, it is readily apparent that a right hand glove may be similarly constructed. Tubular member 76 is slid over pedal rods 51 and 52 for attachment to the motor driven pedal unit 11 in the same fashion as tubular member 71 of the foot attachment means. FIG. 7 shows the patient's arms associated with the pedal 11 using the glove members 72 of FIG. 6.

FIG. 5 shows a vibration sensing transducer 78 of a readily and commercially available type attached to one of the patient's shoes 70 or support plate 62. A similar transducer 78, not shown, can be attached to the patient's other shoe 70 or support plate 62. Transducer 78 is shown schematically to be attached by wires 79 and 81 to a motor control unit 82 in order to automatically perform the method of operating the exercising machine when the patient is subject to spasms as previously set forth.

While a preferred embodiment of the invention has been illustrated and described, it will be understood that various changes and modifications may be made without departing from the spirit of the invention.