Title:
MITTEN FOR PHYSICAL THERAPY PATIENTS
United States Patent 3774242


Abstract:
A mitten for physical therapy patients is disclosed which comprises a tubular body of woven material closed at one end and open at the other end for receiving the first four fingers of the patient and having a slit-like opening on one side for the thumb. The mitten includes means for removably securing the open end of the tubular body about the wrist of the patient. The mitten further includes means for removably securing the closed end of the tubular body of the mitten back onto the wrist of the patient adjacent the open end thereof in a manner retaining the first four fingers in a folded or clenched-fist position. In this manner, the mitten may be used to help a physical therapy patient grip a mechanical exercising bar or the like, or to maintain the hand of the patient in the position for function during physical therapy treatments involving manual manipulation of the arm of the patient.



Inventors:
OWEN V
Application Number:
05/291996
Publication Date:
11/27/1973
Filing Date:
09/25/1972
Assignee:
OWEN V,US
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
2/16, 2/901, 2/910, 2/917, 128/879, 602/21
International Classes:
A61F13/10; (IPC1-7): A41D19/00
Field of Search:
2/16,158,161,20,159 128
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3605120N/A1971-09-20Hobbs
3476108HAND RESTRAINT1969-11-04Matukas
3411159Golfer's grip-aid1968-11-19Berkhemer
3369258Glove with wrap-around fastening means1968-02-20Smith
3182657Hand restraining device1965-05-11Zarbucken
3152337Bowler's glove1964-10-13Barry
3063057Reversible work glove1962-11-13Forman
2083604Golf glove1937-06-15Hay



Primary Examiner:
Larkin, George V.
Claims:
I claim as my invention

1. A mitten for a physical therapy patient comprising:

2. The mitten of claim 1 wherein the means for removably securing the open end of said tubular body includes at least a pair of complemental selectively releasable interlocking strips of material, one of said strips being disposed on the outside of said generally tubular body portion adjacent the open end thereof and the other of said strips being disposed on the inside of said generally tubular body portion adjacent the open end thereof.

3. The mitten of claim 1 wherein the means associated with said mitten for removably securing the closed end of said mitten includes an elongated strip portion having a length greater than the width of said body portion, said strip portion having at least a pair of complemental selectively releasable interlocking strips of material, one of said strips being disposed at one end of said elongated strip portion and the other of said strips being disposed at the opposite end of said strip portion on the side of said mitten opposite the side thereof on which said first-mentioned strip is disposed.

4. The mitten of claim 1 wherein said mitten is comprised of a stretchable material.

5. The mitten of claim 4 wherein said stretchable material is a yarn material.

6. The mitten of claim 5 wherein said yarn material is orlon.

7. The mitten of claim 5 wherein said yarn material is wool.

8. The mitten of claim 5 wherein said yarn material is a woven material.

9. The mitten of claim 1 wherein said generally tubular body portion is an integral piece of yarn material having front and back sections, said front section being secured along its top and one side thereof to the respective top and one side of said back section, and said slit being comprised of said front section having its other side secured to the other side of said back section along only a portion thereof adjacent the tops thereof.

10. The mitten of claim 9 wherein said means associated with said mitten for removably securing the closed end of said body portion includes an elongated strip portion of yarn material having a length greater than the width of said generally tubular body portion.

Description:
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The invention relates to physical therapy devices; and, more particularly, to a mitten or the like for use by physical therapy patients.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Exercise is very important in securing the full recovery of patients from most illnesses. Thus, the treatment of patients in hospitals and convalescent facilities often includes physical therapy. However, in certain types of illnesses, it is difficult for such patients to grip the various devices, such as bars, pulleys, or the like, necessary to carry out the desired physical activity.

Conventional-type hand restraints, as, for example, the hand restraint disclosed in U. S. Pat. No. 3,476,108 to Matukas, cannot be used in all cases since these require the patient's hand to be in a relatively straightened position. In some instances, as in the case of patients recovering from strokes or the like, muscle spasms cause their fingers to tighten into a clenched-fist position. It is thus impossible to get these patients' hands into such mittens without causing a great deal of pain to the patient. Thus, such conventional mittens are uncomfortable and difficult to put on. Further, once on the patient, such mittens are difficult to keep the hand of the patient using them on the particular exercising device involved. Finally, conventional mittens are generally not flexible enough for therapy use and provide no opening for the patient's thumb.

There is thus a need for a mitten or the like which can be used for exercising physical therapy patients. Such a mitten should be flexible enough to fit over the curled hand of a physical therapy patient, yet enough enough give to allow a nurse or the like to insert her hand therein and straighten out the patient's fingers. The mitten should also leave the patient's thumb free for curling onto the particular exercising device. The mitten should then permit the user to grasp the particular exercising device without slippage and should be easily and quickly removed or placed on the patient. However, it should also be comfortable when on the patient. Such a mitten should preferably be inexpensive and withstand numerous stretchings and washings that would take place in hospital use.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of this invention to provide a mitten for physical therapy patients.

It is a further object of this invention to provide such a mitten which is inexpensive and easy to remove and place on such patients.

It is a still further object of this invention to provide a mitten which can be placed on the hand of a patient, whether the fingers are straight or not, with the hand subsequently straightened, if necessary, within the mitten without discomfort to the patient.

It is an even further object of this invention to provide such a mitten which can assist a physical therapy patient in grasping an exercising device, such as a bar or the like.

These and other objects are preferably accomplished by providing a mitten comprising a tubular body of woven material closed at one end and open at the other end for receiving the first four fingers of the patient and an opening for the thumb. The mitten includes means for removably securing the open end of the tubular body about the wrist of the patient. The mitten further includes means for removably securing the closed end of the mitten back onto the wrist of the patient adjacent the open end thereof in a manner retaining the first four fingers in a folded or clenched-fist position. In this manner, the mitten may be used by a physical therapy patient to grip an exercising bar or the like without slippage.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

FIG. 1 is a front plan view of the mitten of my invention;

FIG. 2 is a rear plan view of the mitten of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 1 showing a patient's fingers (the first four thereof in dotted lines) in position within the mitten of my invention;

FIG. 4 is a view of the mitten of FIGS. 1 and 2 in place on a patient showing the mitten secured to the wrist of the patient with the forward end thereof being in a folded position prior to securing the folded portion adjacent the wrist of the patient; and

FIG. 5 is a view showing the use of the mitten of my invention by a patient in physical therapy.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring to FIG. 1 of the drawing, a mitten 10 is shown having a tubular body portion 11. Body portion 11 includes a front (visible in FIG. 1) and a back (visible in FIG. 2) which is preferably of one integral piece preferably formed by interconnecting the front and back portions along sides 12 and 13, respectively. As can be seen in FIGS. 1 and 2, one of these sides, such as 13, is not secured along the lower portion thereof for reasons to be discussed further hereinbelow.

The main body portion 11 may be further formed by securing the front and back thereof along line 14, as by stitching or the like. Finally, the end of body portion 11 opposite stich line 14 is open so that an internal pocket 15 is formed inside the body portion 11. Although a "stitch" line is referred to, of course line 14 may be formed in any suitable manner.

Mitten 10 is preferably generally T-shaped as shown with the body portion 11 forming the lower part of the T and an elongated strip portion 16 forming the upper part thereof. Strip portion 16 may be formed separately from body portion 11 and subsequently connected thereto by any suitable means, as for example, by stitching along stitch line 14. The free ends of strip portion 16 may include suitable means for securing ends 17 and 18 together. Although any suitable means may be used to accomplish this, I prefer to use means which is relatively inexpensive and can take numerous washings without damage. Further, such means should preferably be not only easy to use but quickly removable and not require precise alignment for engagement. I have found that the synthetic material sold under the trade name Velcro is quite suitable for my purposes. Velcro is a synthetic material having complemental parts which adhere to each other when pressed together and is used as a closure, fastener, or button for closing garments or the like. Such material is manufactured by Velcro S. A., Lenzerheide, of Grisons, Switzerland.

Thus, strips of such material may be secured to various parts of my mitten 10. For example, strips 19 and 20 may be secured to ends 17 and 18, respectively, of strip portion 16. Strip 21 may be secured to the lower inside of the front portion of body portion 11 (FIG. 1). Preferably strip 21 extends generally horizontally along the bottom of the inside of the front portion of body portion 11 (shown as extending vertically in FIG. 1 by folding back portion 22 of the front of body portion 11 along fold line 23 -- fold line 23 extends from the unsecured side 13 to the bottom of secured side 12).

Strip 24 may be secured to the lower outside of the back portion of body portion 11 (shown only in dotted lines in FIGS. 1 and 2). Preferably, strip 24 extends generally horizontally along the bottom of the outside of the rear portion of body portion 11 (dotted lines in FIG. 1) and generally vertically when portion 25 of the back portion of body portion 11 is folded along line 26 -- which line also extends from unsecured side 13 to the bottom of secured side 12.

The strips 20 and 21 are similar, that is, these strips interlock with strips 19 and 24, respectively. Thus, strips 20 and 21 may form the "male" portion which interlocks with the "female" portion of strips 19 and 24. Of course, strips 20 and 21 may form the "female" portion which would then interlock with the "male" portion of strips 19 and 24. Also, as discussed above, any suitable complementary "locking" or engaging means may be used.

The exact dimensions of my mitten 10 are of course arbitrary. For example, strip portion ourse may be about 11 inches or so in overall length and 1 inch or so in overall width. Body portion 11 may be 8-1/2 inches or so in overall length and 4-1/2 inches or so in overall width. The length of side 13, up to its junction with portions 22 and 24, may be about 5 inches or so. The strips 19, 20, 21 and 24 may be about 1 × 2-1/2 inches or so in length and width respectively. The thickness of mitten 10 would of course depend on the material used. In any event, these dimensions permit my mitten 10 to be used on the normal sized hand of most patients, as will be discussed shortly.

Although any suitable material can be used to make the mitten of my invention, such material should preferably permit the first four fingers of a hand to be inserted into pocket 15 with the thumb extending out of side 13 as shown in FIG. 3. Thus, fingers 27 through 30 (the first or index finger 27, the second or middle finger 28, the third or ring finger 29 and the fourth or little finger 30) are shown in dotted lines within pocket 15, while the fifth finger or thumb 31 extends out of mitten 10. Further, the material of mitten 10 should permit sufficient stretching so that if fingers 27 through 30 were curved into a clenched-fist position, a nurse or the like could insert her hand into pocket 15 to stretch them out. Further, if mitten 10 is made of a woven material, the additional advantage of ventilation and flexibility is obtained. Finally, as shown in FIG. 4, mitten 10 is secured about wrist 32 by tightening the opening leading into pocket 15 and securing strip 21 to strip 24. Next, mitten 10 is folded about the knuckles of the patient's hand and strips 20 and 19 are extended over the top of mitten 10 adjacent wrist 32 and secured together (at approximately the junction of the hand and wrist 32). The final position of mitten 10 on the hand of the patient is shown in FIG. 5.

Of course, mitten 10, due to the placement of strips 19, 20, 21 and 24, may be secured to either the left or right hand of a patient. FIG. 5 shows one use of my mitten 10 in physical therapy where the patient is grasping a bar 33. The mitten 10 thus "locks" the patient's hand to the bar in a manner preventing slippage therebetween. Thus, a physical therapy patient, who could not normally make a fist and grasp a bar or the like without extreme pain and difficulty, may be readily enabled to do so by the use of my mitten 10. As can also be seen, thumb 31 curls under bar 33 and is freed from the restraint of mitten 10.

I have found that yarn is a suitable material for my mitten 10 since it provides the necessary give to accomplish the foregoing, yet still holds its shape while preventing the patient's hand from slipping off bar 33. A wool and orlon yarn, which is washable, is a preferred material. The elimination of buckles and ties makes mitten 10 easy and quick to apply. Also, the yarn material is comfortable to the patient. Finally, the Velcro material enables mitten 10 to accommodate hands of varying sizes (due to the multiple points of engagement of the complemental strips).

Although mitten 10 has been described with reference to an exercising bar, obviously it can be used with other exercising devices. Further, it can be used in manual exercising alone as, for example, when it is desired merely to hold a patient's hand in a fist position. Pressure may then be placed on the patient's doubled fist and wrist and shoulder without too much discomfort.

Although any suitable type of stitching of the yarn to form mitten 10 may be used, I prefer the single crochet type of stitch. This type of stitch results in a tighter mitten, yet still having the stretching ability or give required. Of course, a knit stitch may also be used. Either type of stitching may be carried out either manually or by machine with varying degrees of tightness resulting.

It can be seen from the foregoing that I have described a unique type of mitten which can be used for exercising physical therapy patients. My mitten is quick and easy to apply and durable enough for the normal use it would receive in a hospital or the like. Finally, my mitten has both the rigidity necessary to carry out my invention while retaining the flexibility necessary therefor.