Title:
Apparatus for the Separating and Stretching of Toes and Fingers
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A toe and finger stretching device comprising a separator for receiving at least two toes there within, the separator including a duality of shaped openings, each shaped opening adapted for receiving an individual digit of the human foot and the shaped openings being from 0.25 to 2.0″ in length, the separator further comprising a stretch width section, said stretch width section interposed between the shaped openings, the separator spreading the toes between 0.25 to 2.0″ in width; such that when the toes are inserted into the shaped openings the toes are contactless.



Inventors:
Findeisen, Kurt (Los Angeles, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/246504
Publication Date:
04/09/2009
Filing Date:
10/07/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
482/44, 482/79, 482/148
International Classes:
A63B23/16; A63B23/00; A63B23/10
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LONG, ROBERT FRANKLIN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Law Office of J Curtis Edmondson (Venture Commerce Center 3699 NE John Olsen Avenue, Hillsboro, OR, 97124, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A toe stretching device comprising: a separator for receiving at least two toes there within, the separator including a duality of shaped openings, each shaped opening adapted for receiving an individual digit of the human foot and the shaped openings being from 0.25 to 2.0″ in length; the separator further comprising a stretch width section, said stretch width section interposed between the shaped openings, the separator spreading the toes between 0.25 to 2.0″ in width; such that when the toes are inserted into the shaped openings the toes are contactless.

2. The toe stretching device as described in claim 1 where said separator is fabricated from foam.

3. The toe stretching device as described in claim 2 wherein said foam is selected from a group comprising polystyrene, polyurethane, extruded polyurethane foam, and copolymers.

4. The toe stretching device as described in claim 2 wherein said foam is hydrophilic polyurethane

5. The toe stretching device as described in claim 2 wherein said foam is a non-irritant to the skin.

6. The toe stretching device of claim 1, wherein the plurality of holes are two holes.

7. The toe stretching device of claim 1, wherein the plurality of holes are semicircularly shaped.

8. The toe stretching device of claim 1, wherein the plurality of holes are rectangularly shaped.

9. The toe stretching device of claim 1 wherein the internal width of the plurality of holes is adjustable with a multiplicity of inserts.

10. The toe stretching device of claim 9 wherein the inside of a hole further comprises an adhesive strip.

11. A finger stretching device comprising: a separator for receiving at least two fingers there within, the separator including a duality of shaped openings, each shaped opening adapted for receiving an individual digit of the human hand and the shaped openings being from 0.25 to 4.0″ in length; the separator further comprising a stretch width section, said stretch width section interposed between the shaped openings, the separator spreading the fingers between 0.25 to 2.0″ in width; such that when the fingers are inserted into the shaped openings the fingers are contactless.

12. The finger stretching device as described in claim 11 where said separator is fabricated from foam.

13. The finger stretching device as described in claim 12 wherein said foam is selected from a group comprising polystyrene, polyurethane, extruded polyurethane foam, and copolymers.

14. The finger stretching device as described in claim 12 wherein said foam is hydrophilic polyurethane

15. The finger stretching device as described in claim 12 wherein said foam is a non-irritant to the skin.

16. The finger stretching device of claim 11, wherein the plurality of holes are two holes.

17. The finger stretching device of claim 11, wherein the plurality of holes are semicircularly shaped.

18. The finger stretching device of claim 11, wherein the plurality of holes are rectangularly shaped.

19. The finger stretching device of claim 11 wherein the internal width of the plurality of holes is adjustable with a multiplicity of inserts.

20. The finger stretching device of claim 19 wherein said inserts further comprises up to three.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of and priority to U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/978,130 filed Oct. 7, 2007 by Kurt Charles Findeisen, the contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference as if recited in full herein for all purposes.

BACKGROUND

The proper health of toes is vitally important to the overall quality and enjoyment of life. In many instances the constant use of ill fitted shoes results in unnatural forces on certain portions of the toe. In extreme cases, improper toe position or confinement will result in loss of blood circulation, which may lead to gangrene and/or amputation. Therefore the use of devices that passively manipulate the foot and toes are beneficial to the overall health of the human body.

The period of sleeping is one of the most advantageous periods during which the assistive devices can be utilized to improve the health of a person. In particular, while sleeping, the foot and toes of the individual are usually exposed and not confined by a shoe. Also, during the period of sleep, the use of a toe separation device is unlikely to be viewed by other individuals and also be worn in the privacy of a person's home.

The field of toe manipulation devices includes U.S. Pat. No. 1,930,413 to Bruel. This inventive subject matter is intended to provide spacing that would result in the correct position of the toes. Also in the prior art is U.S. Pat. No. 1,080,305 to Scholl also describes a toe separation device that is worn while the shoe is on the wearer. U.S. Pat. No. 5,076,263 to Funatogawa separates and stretches all of the toes, but is not intended to be worn while wearer is asleep.

U.S. Pat. No. 2,506,308 to Maynier separates all of the toes but does not stretch the toes of the feet. U.S. Pat. No. 1,163,490 to Weil also separates the toes but it not intended to stretch the toes of the feet. U.S. Pat. No. 6,238,357 to Kawaguchi, et. al is complex and difficult to maintain due to pressurization of the device. U.S. patent to E. O. Johnson is also intended to separate toes but not stretch the toes of the feet. U.S. Pat. No. 2,471,997 to B. M. Baltor is intended to separate but not stretch the toes of the feet.

None of the aforementioned prior art describe a toe stretch device constructed from that has a shaped pliable material, that stays affixed to wearers foot during sleeping, and does not produce discomfort during sleep.

SUMMARY

The inventive subject matter overcomes the aforementioned problems by providing a foot and toe stretching device that reduces the pressure on the toes.

The inventive subject matter provides for a toe stretching device having a separator for receiving at least two toes there within, the separator including a duality of shaped openings, each shaped opening adapted for receiving an individual digit of the human foot and the shaped openings being from 0.25 to 2.0″ in length; the separator further comprising a stretch width section, the stretch width section interposed between the shaped openings, the separator spreading the toes between 0.25 to 2.0″ in width; such that when the toes are inserted into the shaped openings the toes are contactless. The toe stretching device also is fabricated from foam. The toe stretching device as also fabricated from foam that is polystyrene, polyurethane, extruded polyurethane foam, or copolymers. The toe stretching device is also fabricated from foam that is hydrophilic polyurethane. The toe stretching device is also fabricated from foam that is a non-irritant to the skin. The toe stretching device also has two holes. The toe stretching device also has holes that are semicircularly shaped. The toe stretching device also has holes are rectangularly shaped. The toe stretching device also has a plurality of holes that are adjustable with a multiplicity of inserts. The toe stretching device also has up to three inserts.

The inventive subject matter also describes a finger stretching device that has a separator for receiving at least two fingers there within, the separator having a duality of shaped openings, each shaped opening adapted for receiving an individual digit of the human foot and the shaped openings being from 0.25 to 4.0″ in length; the separator further having a stretch width section, said stretch width section interposed between the shaped openings, the separator spreading the fingers between 0.25 to 2.0″ in width; such that when the fingers are inserted into the shaped openings the fingers are contactless. The finger stretching device also is fabricated from foam. The finger stretching device is also fabricated from foam that is polystyrene, polyurethane, extruded polyurethane foam, and copolymers. The finger stretching device is also fabricated from foam that is hydrophilic polyurethane. The finger stretching device is also fabricated from foam is a non-irritant to the skin. The finger stretching device where the plurality of holes are two holes. The finger stretching device where the plurality of holes are semicircularly shaped. The finger stretching device where the holes are rectangularly shaped. The finger stretching device where the internal width of the plurality of holes is adjustable with a multiplicity of inserts. The finger stretching device where the inserts range up to three inserts.

This inventive subject matter relates to foot and toe manipulation devices and hand and finger manipulation devices. The various embodiments and domains described herein should not be construed as limitations in the potential application of the inventive subject matter. Rather they are teachings for the purpose of illustrating the ramifications and variations of possible embodiments of this inventive subject matter.

These and other embodiments are described in more detail in the following detailed descriptions and the figures.

The foregoing is not intended to be an exhaustive list of embodiments and features of the present inventive subject matter. Persons skilled in the art are capable of appreciating other embodiments and features from the following detailed description in conjunction with the drawings.

DRAWINGS

The following figures show embodiments according to the inventive subject matter, unless noted as showing prior art. Closely related figures have the same number but different alphabetic suffixes.

FIGS. 1A, 1C, 1D, 1E &1F show a perspective view of the reversible toe and finger stretch device.

FIG. 1B shows a view of the reversible toe and finger stretch device from above.

FIG. 2A shows the reversible toe and finger stretch device attached to the big toe of a right foot from above.

FIG. 2B shows the reversible toe and finger stretch device attached to the big toe of a left foot from the side.

FIGS. 3A & 3B show a perspective view of the reversible toe and finger stretch device.

FIG. 4A shows the reversible toe and finger stretch device attached to the index and middle finger of a right hand from above.

FIG. 4B shows the reversible toe and finger stretch device attached to the index and middle finger of a left hand from the side.

REFERENCE NUMERALS IN THE DRAWINGS

  • 10 shaped pliable material
  • 12 shaped opening
  • 14 removable shaped opening minimizer
  • 16 removable stretch width section
  • 18 stretch width section
  • 20 half-circle indentation
  • 22a removable shaped opening maximizer above the shaped opening
  • 22b removable shaped opening maximizer below the shaped opening
  • 24 adhesive square

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Representative embodiments according to the inventive subject matter are shown in FIGS. 1A to 4B, wherein similar features share common reference numerals. The specific embodiments are meant to be illustrative and not limiting of the scope of the inventive subject matter and the various ways it may be embodied.

For the purposes of reference, the term “the big toe” refers to the hallux and “the second toe” refers to the toe directly next to the hallux, etc. These references are made for individuals with five toes on each foot.

In accordance with the present inventive subject matter, the reversible toe and finger stretch device has a: 1. A shaped pliable material with, on one side, a shaped opening that passes fully through the pliable material with a removable shaped opening minimizer and a removable stretch width section therein, on the other side, a half-circle indentation that passes fully through the pliable material, and in between, a stretch width section; 2. A shaped pliable material with, on opposing sides, half-circle indentations of differing dimensions that pass fully through the pliable material, and in between, a stretch width section; 3. A shaped pliable material with, on opposing sides, shaped openings that pass fully through the pliable material with or without removable shaped opening maximizers that pass fully through the pliable material above and below these shaped openings, and in between, a stretch width section.

Now referring to FIG. 1A which illustrates a shaped pliable material 10 with a shaped opening 12, a removable shaped opening minimizer 14, a removable stretch width section 16, a stretch width section 18, and a half-circle indentation 20 on the opposite end of the shaped pliable material 10 from the shaped opening 12. FIG. 1B illustrates a shaped pliable material 10 viewed from above. FIG. 1C illustrates FIG. 1A with the removable shaped opening minimizer 14 and the removable stretch width section 16 removed and the insertion of an adhesive square 24. FIG. 1D illustrates FIG. 1A with the removable shaped opening minimizer 14 removed and the insertion of an adhesive square 24. FIG. 1E illustrates a shaped pliable material 10 with two half-circle indentations 20 of different dimensions on both sides of the stretch width section 18. FIG. 1F illustrates different shapes for: 1. the shaped pliable material 10, 2. the shaped opening 12, and 3. the half-circle indentation 18, and also incorporates removable shaped opening maximizers (22a &22b) above and below the shaped opening 12. Now referring to FIG. 2A that illustrates a shaped pliable material 10 attached to the big toe of a right foot with the stretch width section 18 stretching the opening between the big toe (the hallux) and the second toe (the toe directly next to the hallux) beyond the natural, unstretched width between these two toes. FIG. 2B illustrates a shaped pliable material 10 with a shaped opening 12, with the removable shaped opening minimizer 14 removed, attached to the big toe of a left foot with the stretch width section 18 and the removable stretch width section 16 together stretching the opening between the big toe and the second toe beyond the natural, unstretched width between these two toes. The half-circle indentation 20 resting up against the side of the second toe.

Now referring to FIG. 3A illustrates a shaped pliable material 10 with a shaped opening 12 on one end and a similar shaped opening 12 on the other end with a stretch width section 18 in between the similar shaped openings 12. Above and below both these similar shaped openings 12 are removable shaped opening maximizers (22a &22b). Inside both shaped openings is inserted an adhesive square 24. FIG. 3B, compared to FIG. 3A, illustrates a different shape of the shaped pliable material 10 with a different shape of the similar shaped openings 12, and different shape of the removable shaped opening maximizers (22a &22b).

Now referring to FIG. 4A illustrates a shaped pliable material 10 attached to the index and middle fingers of a right hand with the stretch width section 18 stretching the opening between the index and middle fingers beyond the natural, unstretched width between these two fingers. FIG. 4B illustrates a shaped pliable material 10 with the index finger inserted into one shaped opening 12 and the middle finger inserted into another similar shaped opening 12 with the stretch width section 18 stretching the opening between the index and middle fingers beyond the natural, unstretched width between these two fingers. The removable shaped opening maximizers above both shaped openings 22a are removed. The removable shaped opening maximizers below both shaped openings 22b are not removed.

FIGS. 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, and 1E show the reversible toe and finger stretch device of the present inventive subject matter. The shaped pliable material 10 incorporates a shaped opening 12 cut fully through the pliable material with a removable shaped opening minimizer 14, a removable stretch width section 16, a half-circle indentation 20, and a stretch width section 18 between the shaped opening 12 and the half-circle indentation 20. FIGS. 1C & 1D include the insertion of an adhesive square 24 within the half-circle indentation 20. FIG. 1F shows the reversible toe and finger stretch device of the present inventive subject matter. The shaped pliable material 10 incorporates a shaped opening 12 cut fully through the pliable material with removable shaped opening maximizers (22a &22b) above and below the shaped opening 12, a half-circle indentation 20, and in between the shaped opening 12 and the half-circle indentation 20, a stretch width section 18. FIGS. 2A and 2B show that placing the shaped pliable material 10 in between the big toe and the second toe of either a right or left foot by inserting the big toe into the shaped opening 12 and having the second toe rest up against the half-circle indentation 20 stretches the space in between the big toe and the second toe wider than the natural, unstretched width between the big toe and the second toe via the stretch width section 18. By removing or inserting the removable stretch width section 16 the stretch width section 18 can vary in width depending on how much stretch is desired in between the big toe and the second toe. By removing or inserting the removable shaped opening minimizer 14 the shaped opening 12 can vary in size depending on how much space is necessary to accommodate the big toe. When a foot is at rest, the wider stretch between the big toe and the second toe provided by the reversible toe and finger stretch device induces increased blood circulation within the foot and toes.

FIG. 2A shows the reversible toe and finger stretch device worn on a right foot.

FIG. 2B shows the same reversible toe and finger stretch device worn on a left foot. FIGS. 3A and 3B show the reversible toe and finger stretch device of the present inventive subject matter. The shaped pliable material 10 incorporates two similar shaped openings 12 cut fully through the pliable material with removable space opening maximizers (22a & 22b) above and below these shaped openings 12 and a stretch width section 18 between the similar shaped openings 12. FIG. 3A includes the insertion of an adhesive square 24 within each shaped openings 12.
The width of opening between shaped openings 12 and shaped indentation 20 (FIG. 1C, 1D) and/or shaped openings 12 (FIG. 3A, 3B) is such that when placed on the big toe and the second toe, the stretch width section 18 is approximately 1″. The stretch width section may also range is widths from 0.25″ to 2.0″ to support various toe geometries. The depth of the toe and finger stretch device is approximately 1″, but may also range from 0.25″ to 2.0″ depending on the length of toe digit.

FIGS. 4A and 4B show that placing the shaped pliable material 10 in between the index and middle fingers of either a right or left hand by inserting the index and middle fingers separately into the opposing shaped openings 12 stretches the space in between the index and middle fingers wider than the natural unstretched width between the index and middle fingers via the stretch width section 18. By removing or inserting the removable space opening maximizers (22a &22b) the shaped openings 12 can vary in size depending on how much space is necessary to accommodate the index and middle fingers. When a hand is at rest, the wider stretch between the index and middle fingers provided by the reversible toe and finger stretch device induces increased blood circulation within the hand and fingers.

Now referring to FIG. 4A that shows the reversible toe and finger stretch device worn on a right hand.

Now referring to FIG. 4B that shows the same reversible toe and finger stretch device worn on a left hand.

The shaped pliable material 10 can be made from any pliable material that is safe to be worn against human skin. Examples of such foam materials are polyurethane foam, polysytrene, or any foam product which exhibits properties of expandability and compressibility similar to the aforementioned products. The foam material may also be made from hydrophilic polyurethane cosmetic foam, aka non-latex foam.

The reversible toe and finger device is reversible and its function is to provide stretch capabilities equally to both feet or both hands.

All patent and non-patent literature cited herein is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety for all purposes.