Title:
Therapy puzzle
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A rehabilitation device for exercising and rehabilitating a hand after an injury is disclosed, wherein the rehabilitation device includes a main body, a plurality of puzzle pieces, and a plurality of removal devices having different shaped handles adapted to be held using different types of grips.



Inventors:
Hoffman, Thomas Carl (Fremont, OH, US)
Application Number:
11/519262
Publication Date:
03/15/2007
Filing Date:
09/12/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F9/08
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WONG, STEVEN B
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP (1000 Jackson Street, Toledo, OH, 43604-5573, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A rehabilitation device comprising: a main body having a plurality of cavities formed therein; a plurality of pieces adapted to be received in the cavities of said main body; and a removal device having a handle and a means for coupling, wherein said device is adapted to couple said removal device to said pieces for removal from the cavities of said main body.

2. The rehabilitation device of claim 1, wherein said main body is formed from one of a wood, a plastic, and a composite.

3. The rehabilitation device of claim 1, wherein said pieces are formed from a metal.

4. The rehabilitation device of claim 3, wherein the means for coupling is a magnet.

5. The rehabilitation device of claim 4, wherein the magnet has a rubber surface on an outer layer thereof to maintain a magnetic field within a desired range.

6. The rehabilitation device of claim 1, wherein said pieces have a fabric surface.

7. The rehabilitation device of claim 6, wherein the means for coupling is hook tape.

8. The rehabilitation device of claim 1, wherein the handle of said removal device has one of a sphere shape, a stylus shape, a vertical cylinder shape, a horizontal cylinder shape, and a pear shape.

9. The rehabilitation device of claim 1, said removal device further comprising a stem, wherein said removal device is adapted to allow movement of the handle independent of the means for coupling.

10. The rehabilitation device of claim 1, further comprising a plurality of removal devices.

11. A puzzle device comprising: a main body having a plurality of cavities formed therein; and a plurality of puzzle pieces adapted to be received in the cavities of said main body; a plurality of removal devices, said devices each having a handle and a means for coupling, wherein said devices are adapted to couple said removal device to said puzzle pieces for removal from the cavities of said main body.

12. The puzzle of claim 11, wherein said main body is formed from one of a wood, a plastic, and a composite.

13. The puzzle of claim 11, wherein said puzzle pieces are formed from a metal.

14. The puzzle of claim 13, wherein the means for coupling is a magnet.

15. The puzzle of claim 14, wherein the magnet has a rubber surface on an outer layer thereof to maintain a magnetic field within a desired range.

16. The puzzle of claim 11, wherein said puzzle pieces have a fabric surface.

17. The puzzle of claim 16, wherein the means for coupling is hook tape.

18. The puzzle of claim 11, wherein the handle of said removal devices have one of a sphere shape, a stylus shape, a vertical cylinder shape, a horizontal cylinder shape, and a pear shape.

19. The puzzle of claim 1, said removal devices further include a stem formed from a spring, wherein the spring is adapted to allow movement of the handle of said removal device independent of the means for coupling.

20. A rehabilitation device comprising: a main body having a plurality of cavities formed therein; and a plurality of puzzle pieces formed from a metal and adapted to be received in the cavities of said main body; a plurality of removal devices, said devices each having a handle and a magnet, wherein the magnets of said devices are adapted to couple said removal device to said puzzle pieces for removal from the cavities of said main body.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/716,054 filed on Sep. 13, 2005.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to a rehabilitation device, and more particularly to a hand rehabilitation device including a main body, a plurality of puzzle pieces, and a plurality of removal devices having different shaped handles adapted to be held using different grips.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Hand injuries and other hand problems are very common for people of all ages. Most problems are treated with different forms of therapeutic exercise. Therapeutic exercise is a form of care that attempts to correct and alleviate problems associated with most hand injuries through various forms of hand movements. These exercises are designed to increase the flexibility, strength, and endurance of the injured hand.

Many conventional therapeutic exercises involve the use of hand-held devices designed to be squeezed, grasped, or manipulated by the user. However, prior known devices for the development of manipulative skills fail to provide a full range of exercises and hand movements required to train, exercise, and redevelop a full range of hand motion. Furthermore, prior known devices have not generally addressed the need for development of muscle tone in the rehabilitation from hand injuries.

Additionally, prior known hand rehabilitation devices have not provided therapeutic exercises while also providing cognitive exercises in instances of strokes or the diagnosis and treatment of unilateral neglect, for example. Information retention, problem solving, visual closure, hand-eye coordination, spatial relation, visual perception skills, and multi-step task perception are all cognitive skills often associated with rehabilitation of motor skills.

It would be desirable to provide a rehabilitation device that develops and rehabilitates cognitive skills while also exercising and rehabilitating motor skills and hand function.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Congruous and concordant with the present invention, a rehabilitation device that develops and rehabilitates cognitive skills while also exercising and rehabilitating motor skills and functions, has surprisingly been discovered.

In one embodiment, the rehabilitation device comprises a main body having a plurality of cavities formed therein; a plurality of pieces adapted to be received in the cavities of said main body; and a removal device having a handle and a means for coupling, wherein said device is adapted to couple said removal device to said pieces for removal from the cavities of said main body.

In one embodiment, the puzzle device comprises a main body having a plurality of cavities formed therein; and a plurality of puzzle pieces adapted to be received in the cavities of said main body; a plurality of removal devices, said devices each having a handle and a means for coupling, wherein said devices are adapted to couple said removal device to said puzzle pieces for removal from the cavities of said main body.

In one embodiment, the rehabilitation device comprises a main body having a plurality of cavities formed therein; and a plurality of puzzle pieces formed from a metal and adapted to be received in the cavities of said main body; a plurality of removal devices, said devices each having a handle and a magnet, wherein the magnets of said devices are adapted to couple said removal device to said puzzle pieces for removal from the cavities of said main body.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The above object and advantages of the invention will become readily apparent to those skilled in the art from reading the attendant description of an embodiment of the invention when considered in the light of the attached drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a main body and a plurality of puzzle pieces of a rehabilitation device according to an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view of the main body and the plurality of puzzle pieces of the rehabilitation device shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3a is a perspective view of a removal device having a sphere-shaped handle according to an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 3b is a perspective view of another removal device having an inverted pear-shaped handle according to an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 3c is an elevational view of another removal device having a vertical cylinder-shaped handle according to an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 3d is a perspective view of another removal device having a bottle-shaped handle according to an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 3e is an elevational view of another removal device having a stylus-shaped handle according to an embodiment of the invention; and

FIG. 3f is a perspective view of another removal device having a horizontal cylinder-shaped handle according to an embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF AN EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION

The following detailed description and appended drawings describe and illustrate exemplary embodiments of the invention. The description and drawings serve to enable one skilled in the art to make and use the invention, and are not intended to limit the scope of the invention in any manner.

FIGS. 1 and 2 show a rehabilitation device 10 according to an embodiment of the invention. In the embodiment shown, the rehabilitation device 10 is a puzzle. The rehabilitation device 10 includes a main body 12, a plurality of puzzle pieces 14, and a plurality of removal devices 16 (shown in FIGS. 3a, 3b, 3c, 3d, 3e, and 3f).

The main body 12 of the rehabilitation device 10 includes a plurality of cavities 18 adapted to receive at least a portion of the puzzle pieces 14. As illustrated in FIG. 2, each cavity 18 forms the shape of a corresponding puzzle piece 14. Each of the cavities 18 has a unique shape with respect to each of the other cavities 18 and only one corresponding puzzle piece 14 will fit properly in the cavity 18. It is understood that the cavities 18 may have any shape as desired. Any conventional material can be used to produce the main body 12 such as a metal, a plastic, or a wood, as desired. It is understood that the cavities 18 may have a fabric layer or a metal layer, as desired. It is further understood that the cavities 18 may include a protuberance (not shown), a channel (not shown), a groove (not shown), or a magnet (not shown) adapted to releasably attach the puzzle pieces 14 to the main body 12 in the cavity 18, as desired.

Each of the plurality of puzzle pieces 14 has a shape corresponding to the shape of one of the cavities 18. Additionally, each of the puzzle pieces 14 has a unique shape with respect to each of the other puzzle pieces 14. In the embodiment shown the puzzle pieces 14 are formed from a metal material. It is understood that the puzzle pieces 14 may be produced from any conventional material such as a composite, a plastic, or a wood, for example, as desired. It is also understood that the puzzle pieces 14 may have a fabric surface (not shown), a plastic surface (not shown), or other material coated surface, as desired. It is further understood that the puzzle pieces 14 may include a protuberance (not shown), a channel (not shown), a groove (not shown), or a magnet (not shown) adapted to releasably attach the puzzles pieces 14 to the main body 12 in the cavity 18, as desired.

As illustrated in FIGS. 3a through 3f, each of the plurality of removal devices 16 includes a handle 20 and a means for coupling 22. The removal devices 16 of FIGS. 3a, 3b, and, 3f include a stem 24. The removal devices 16 illustrated in FIGS. 3a through 3f are illustrative of alternate configurations of handles 20 adapted to be held or grasped. However, it is understood that the handles 20 may have any shape and configuration as desired.

FIG. 3a illustrates a removal device 16 having a sphere-shaped handle 20 adapted to be grasped using a spherical grip of a user's hand. It is understood that the handle 20 shown in FIG. 3a may have the shape of any recognizable object such as a baseball (not shown), a softball (not shown), and a golf ball (not shown), for example, to gain and keep the interest of a young user. FIG. 3b illustrates a removal device 16 having an inverted pear-shaped handle 20 adapted to be grasped using a spherical grip or a grip for grasping a complex shaped contoured handle 20. It is understood that the handle 20 of FIG. 3b may have an upright pear-shape, as desired. FIG. 3c illustrates a removal device 16 having a vertical cylinder-shaped handle 20 adapted to be grasped using a cylindrical grip or a fist type grip with the palm of the hand substantially perpendicular to a support surface (not shown). It is understood that the handle 20 of FIG. 3c may be contoured, as desired. FIG. 3d illustrates a removal device 16 having a bottle-shaped handle 20 adapted to be grasped using a spherical grip, a cylindrical grip, or a fist type grip with the palm of the hand substantially perpendicular to a support surface (not shown). FIG. 3e illustrates a removal device 16 having a stylus-shaped handle 20 adapted to be grasped using a pencil grip, a cylindrical grip, or a fist type grip with the palm of the hand substantially perpendicular to a support surface (not shown). FIG. 3f illustrates a removal device 16 having a horizontal cylinder-shaped handle 20 adapted to be grasped using a hook grip with the palm of the hand substantially parallel to a support surface (not shown). It is understood that the handles 20 of the respective removal devices 16 shown in FIGS. 3a through 3f may have any shape or configuration as desired, and a desired grip used to grasp the handle 20 depending on the size of hand of a user (not shown).

In the embodiments shown, the means for coupling 22 is a magnet. It is understood that the magnets may have a rubber layer 26 adapted to maintain a magnetic field produced within a desired range. It is also understood that the means for coupling 22 may be hook tape adapted to couple with a fabric having loops, a reusable adhesive (not shown), or a mechanical means for coupling such as a protuberance and groove configuration (not shown), as desired.

In the embodiment shown, the stems 24 of the removal devices 16 of FIGS. 3a, 3b, and, 3f are formed by springs adapted to flex. It is understood that the stems 24 may be formed from any conventional flexible material such as a plastic, rubber, or a metal, or any conventional rigid material, as desired.

In use, the puzzle pieces 14 are disposed in the corresponding shaped cavities 18 in the main body 12 of the rehabilitation device 10. The user then grips the handle 20 of one of the removal devices 16. The user positions the means for coupling 22 of the removal device 16 substantially adjacent or abutting a puzzle piece 14. The means for coupling 22 then couples the puzzle piece 14 to the removal device 16, and the user removes the puzzle piece 14 from the cavity 18 of the main body 12 of the rehabilitation device 10. The user next removes the puzzle piece 14 from the removal device 16, sets the puzzle piece 14 aside, and continues removing puzzle pieces 14 until all of the puzzle pieces 14 are removed from the main body 12. After all of the puzzle pieces 14 are removed from the main body 12 of the rehabilitation device 10, each puzzle piece 14 is repositioned in the respective cavity 18 in the main body 12 using one of the removal devices 16. Once the puzzle piece 14 is disposed in its cavity 18, the user may twist, torque, or bend the removal device 16 to uncouple the means from coupling 22 from the puzzle piece 14. The removal and replacement of the puzzle pieces 14 from the rehabilitation device 10 may be repeated with a different removal device 16 requiring a different hand grip, as desired. The order or performing these steps can also be reversed if desired without departing from the scope or purpose of the invention.

The user may use different types of grips to hold and manipulate the handles 20 of the removal devices 16. By requiring different types of grips, the hands, wrists, and fingers of the user are strengthened and endurance is improved.

The invention has been found to be particularly beneficial to young children and users recovering from hand injuries or orthopedic injuries. Additionally, because the puzzle pieces 14 each form a unique shape with respect to one another and because each puzzle piece 14 fits into only one cavity 18, problem solving and cognitive skills are tested by use of the rehabilitation device 10. This aspect of use of the rehabilitation device 10 is particularly beneficial to young children and users recovering from neurological disorders such as a stroke or unilateral neglect. Additional benefits to the user and skills tested by using the rehabilitation device 10 include bilateral hand coordination, hand-eye coordination, manual dexterity, sequencing skills, and size identification.

From the foregoing description, one ordinarily skilled in the art can easily ascertain the essential characteristics of this invention and, without departing from the spirit and scope thereof, can make various changes and modifications to the invention to adapt it to various usages and conditions.





 
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