Title:
Variable weight and height adustable therapeutic cane
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The abstract of the disclosure of this new and improved variable weighted and adjustable therapeutic cane is to provide an improved method to allow elderly and/or disabled people to administer self-rehabilitation through the use of a variable weighted cane that will restore muscles strength with each and every step taken. The new and improved variable weighted and height adjustable therapeutic cane will also assist and elderly person to identify space due to the initial weight and color of the therapeutic cane.

Standard canes that are presently available on the market which are commonly constructed from material such as aluminum, plastic or wood weight under a pound and therefore offer no restorative therapy to atrophied muscles. The new and improved variable weighted and height adjustable therapeutic cane will assist in rebuilding muscles with each step. The new and improved variable weight and height adjustable cane is height adjustable from thirty-four and one-half inches to thirty-seven and one-half inches to accommodate carious height sized people. The new and improved variable weight and height adjustable therapeutic cane weighs two and one-half pounds without the added weights and when the one pounds weights are added to the inside of the tubular steel leg, increasing the weight of the cane in one pound increments, up to two pounds, the therapeutic cane will weigh four and one-half pounds.




Inventors:
Harroun, Mary Mock (Mundelein, IL, US)
Application Number:
10/060241
Publication Date:
08/07/2003
Filing Date:
02/01/2002
Assignee:
HARROUN MARY MOCK
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A61H3/00; (IPC1-7): A45B1/00; A45B7/00; A45B9/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MAI, LANNA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MARY M. HARROUN (MUNDELEIN, IL, US)
Claims:

What is claimed as being new and novel art desire to have this invention protected under the Letter of Patent of the United States is as follows:



1. A height adjustable and weight adjustable therapeutic cane that includes an elongated steel shaft means that comprises of a rubberized safety tip on the end of the steel shaft portion, is height adjustable by use of a telescoping leg means, including an interior steel spring pin with button attachment that releases the button through one punched hole on the lower leg portion and also releases into the button into the upper leg portion punched hole to hold the upper and lower portion together and provides for height adjustment, is weight adjustable from basic weight of the therapeutic cane of two and one-half pounds to four and one half pounds by adding one pound weights to the interior leg means, is ergonomically shaped at the upper level to allow balance of the therapeutic cane when in use, is provided with a closed cell foam hand grip on the upper end handle.

2. is a two sectioned retrofitted steel tubular shaft connected in the mid-section.

3. is height adjustable by means of a telescoping leg means, with an interiorally placed steel spring pin with attached buttons that protrude through the upper leg means and the lower leg means through punch holes at prescribed placements on one-inch increments on the upper end of the lower tubular steel leg means and also at the lower end of the upper tubular steel leg means.

4. provides for weight adjustment on the initial two and one-half pound weight allowance of the therapeutic cane by adding one or two one pound weights to the interior tubular steel of the lower leg means, one pound at a time to allow the weight of the therapeutic cane to increase from two and one-half pounds to a final suggested weight of four and one-half pounds.

5. the therapeutic cane is ergonomically shaped on the lower portion of the upper tubular steel shaft,

6. the therapeutic cane has a closed cell foam fitted hand grip that is placed at the upper level end of the tubular steel shaft.

Description:

SPECIFICATION

[0001] A new and improved variable weight and height adjustable therapeutic cane for aiding the elderly and/or disabled persons in rebuilding atrophied muscles on one side of their body to enable them to return to full independent ambulation status consists of a height adjustable two sectioned cane with standard rubberized tip to prevent slippage, that will afford the end user or medical professional to add to the interior of the tubular steel one or two one pound weights that are solid steel rods to provide added weight to the cane to provide for individual strength building as the cane is used for walking across the floor. The new and improved variable weight and height adjustable therapeutic cane weighs two and one-half pounds before any weights are added to the interior of the lower steel tubular steel shaft. With the addition of added weight to the new and improved weight and height adjustable therapeutic cane, the device will weigh up to four and one-half pounds, allowing for the variability of two and one-half pounds to four and one-half pounds as needed by the elderly and/or disabled person that will be determined by the medical professional. A normal wooden or aluminum cane, presently on the market, weighs about fourteen ounces, which does not presently offer any therapeutic muscle rebuilding qualities.

[0002] The top of the cane is shaped in a curved ergonomically shape to assist in offering balance to the person utilizing the cane, making the cane easy to handle and easy for the elderly and/or disabled person to utilize during the self-rehabilitation process. The handle is covered with a closed cell foam cover that gives the cane the intended secure feeling as the person grips the cane. The cane is height adjustable using an interior steel spring with attached buttons that correspond to pre-drilled holes in both the upper cane member and the lower cane therapeutic cane. The telescoping leg member allows for adjustments in heights to meet the height variances of the elderly and/or disabled person utilizing the variable weighted and height adjustable therapeutic cane.

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0003] 1

References cited:
5,056,545Oct., 1991Spaeth135/66
5,238,013Aug., 1993Battiston135/75
5,392,801Feb., 1995Hannoosh135/65
5,692,533Dec., 1997Meltzer135/65
5,775,352Jul., 1998Obitts135/69
5,865,204Feb., 1999Bracy135/82

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0004] The U.S. patent Classification Definition for this patent application is 135/65. The present invention relates to a new and improved variable weighted and height adjustable therapeutic cane for providing elderly and/or disabled persons with a new type of cane that will afford the elderly and/or disabled person the ability to provide self rehabilitation to atrophied muscles as they walk.

[0005] Two years ago Health Care Financial Administration (HCFA) set restricted financial assets to be spent on Medicare recipients requiring physical, occupational and speech therapy as part of the measures taken to cut the costs of Medicare expenditures. As a result of the Medicare cutbacks, called the Prospective Payment System, the Medicare recipients are no longer receiving the physical therapy care they require for their care and recovery so the need for more individualized self-rehabilitation therapy products are required to meet these needs. The new and improved variable weighted and height adjustable therapeutic cane will offer to elderly and/or disabled persons the self-rehabilitation device to assist them in returning to functional upright/walking mobility and rebuild atrophied muscles and allow them also to identify their space in relation to their body and their world.

[0006] The new and improved variable weighted and height adjustable therapeutic cane will enhance the use of the cane for elderly and/or disabled people. Once an elderly person has had a mild stroke that has not eliminated self-ambulation from their physical abilities, but has caused weakness to occur on one side of their bodies, the elderly and/or disabled person needs to rebuild that lost muscle strength. Prior to HCFA reductions in Medicare reimbursements, the elderly and/or disabled person was placed into physical therapy for muscle strengthening, and the person was placed in medically prescribed weight training. Since the onset of the Prospective Payment System, the amount of reimbursement to be paid by Medicare for physical therapy has decreased substantially and the Medicare recipient no longer is able to receive the benefits of this therapy.

[0007] The new and improved variable weighted and height adjustable therapeutic cane solves the problem of weight rebuilding through walking. Before the variable weighted and height adjustable cane was designed, standard light weight canes could not offer any weight building capability. Prior to the new and improved variable weighted and height adjustable therapeutic cane the standard cane that have been available for the elderly and/or disabled people have been non-weighted, in fact they all weigh under one pound. For an elderly and/or disabled person who displays weakness to one side of their body, a one pound cane is not going to offer them any muscle build-up or any rehabilitation for the weaker muscles. The more weight that is picked up by the body at one time, over a period of time, the more the body will react by rebuilding muscles to meet that weight and tolerate the added weight. By doing so, the added weight is providing built in weight training as an elderly and/or disabled person walks around with the added weights on a device such as a variable weighted cane. When the elderly and/or disabled person begins self-therapy using the new and improved variable weighted and height adjustable therapeutic cane, say right after a mild stroke, the elderly and/or disabled person should start with the therapeutic cane with the lowest amount of weight of the cane. This would be a weight of two and one-half pounds. After walking and practicing self-rehabilitation for a period of time, the elderly and/or disabled person will then have another weight added to make the therapeutic cane three and one-half pounds. This exercise will continue until the therapeutic cane weighs four and one-half pounds. With the added weights the elderly and/or disabled person should receive the desired results of rebuilding muscles and be able to ambulate more proficiently, thus retarding further decline in body strength from occurring.

[0008] The new and improved variable weighted and height adjustable therapeutic cane will offer a sense of space to the elderly and/or disabled person. Spatial perception is an ongoing loss for the elderly and their sense of where they are located in space in relation to their body space becomes somewhat distorted as part of the normal aging process, more commonly known as part of proprioceptor reflex deficiency. The new and improved variable weighted and height adjustable therapeutic cane will offer the elderly and/or disabled people a sense of space due to the weight of the cane, when in use. Once and elderly and/or disabled person picks up the cane, with weights added or not, the initial two and one-half pounds the cane weighs, and places the cane down to walk next to it, the elderly and/or disabled person will know where they are in relation to the cane because of the weight and density of the cane.

[0009] There have been canes used for walking assistance by mankind probably since the beginning of time. Anytime mankind felt weak when he was upright and walking, he would bend down and pickup a large stick and use the stick as a walking aid. Children are given or are asked to make their own walking sticks when they are going to go on extended hikes in the woods, usually in Girl Scout or Boy Scout organizations. Canes and walking sticks have been used for centuries as a common aid to assist with walking and balance. But until now, canes were not purposely weighted and were not offered with the options of having them weighted and variable weighted for rehabilitation purposes, addressing the need to rebuild atrophied muscles by use of a simple cane device.

[0010] References to previous teachings on the developments of canes will now be discussed.

[0011] In Spaeth's teaching of his safety walking cane, he cites additional features placed on a standard walking cane such as safety wheels mounted adjacent to a lower terminal end, a light reflector, and a water supply reservoir being placed on the shaft of the safety cane. Other options to be placed on the shaft are a mirror, a horn member, and also an audible play-back device to alert others as to the positioning of the shaft in use. The present invention, of a new and improved variable weighted and height adjustable therapeutic cane, do not have these features.

[0012] In Battison, he teaches that the walking aid cane comprising a base plate: an upright support including a lower and extending through said base plate and connected to said base plate at the position of extension of said lower end through said base plate, and an upper end having handle means for permitting the user to grasp said cane; a plurality of legs means for supporting said cane in a surface. Battison teaches us that his cane has more than one leg base of support and has a base plate that is rectangular in configuration. He does include in his third claim to have the telescoping leg means that includes an outer telescoping member and an inner telescoping member slidably and telescopically received within the said outer telescoping member for adjusting the height of said walking cane and securement means for securing said outer and inner telescoping members in a fixed axial relation with respect to each other. The present invention, of a new and improved variable weighted and height adjustable therapeutic cane does not have variable legs means but does have the features of telescoping members to allow for adjustability of various heights.

[0013] In Hannoosh teachings of his self-righting walking cane, he claims his cane is a self-righting walking cane. The device has a center of gravity and a center of rotation, wherein said center of gravity is below the center of rotation. The cane consists of an elongated device lightweight shaft device having an upper end and a bottom end, a handle device attached to the upper end and a bottom end, with the handle device attached to the upper end of the shaft device. His cane also comprises of weighted base device attached to the bottom of the shaft device, with the said base device having a flat bottom portion. His cane also has a curved device comprising a plurality of frame devices each having an upper horizontal top section attached to a lower portion of the shaft device, and a downwardly and inwardly curved section attached to the weighted base device and a flat bottom end section attached to the flat bottom section of the weighted base device. The present invention, of a new and improved variable weighted and height adjustable therapeutic cane does not have a self-righting device attached. His device does have a weighted bottom, but his weighted bottom is not variable in being able to add or detract weights from the inside of the shaft on his cane. His cane does not offer variable weights.

[0014] In Meltzer's walking cane including function enhancing elements, including a substantially vertical elongated support member having an upper end and a longitudinal axis thereof, a handle means, complementarily positioned about said support member's upper end, for selectable radial rotation relative to said longitudinal axis of said support member; a plurality of forward and rearward downwardly integrally dependent legs rigidly extending from said support member's lower end, said legs each having a body portion and a foot portion thereof, a wheel means rotatably secured to each of said foot portions of said forward legs and a friction-enhancing tips integrally associated with each of said foot portions of said readward legs. The present invention, of a new and improved variable weighted and height adjustable therapeutic cane only contains a central leg, does not have a wheel on the lower end of one leg, but does have a friction-enhancing tip on the end of the one leg to retard slippage while the end user walks with the cane. The present invention calls for weights that can be added and is height adjustable.

[0015] In Obitts cam locked assembly for an adjustable cane, which comprises of a first member having a plurality of spaced apertures and an opening; a second member adapted for telescoping relation with the first member; a handle located at an end of one of the first member and second member; a snap button assembly at least partially housed inside of the second member and having a button on a first end extending radially outward through one of the apertures in the first member' a cam locking assembly located adjacent the opening including a housing receiving a can member with a raised surface, aand a cam lever operatively associated with the cam member for selectively engaging the raised surface with the second member through the opening of the first member. The new and improved variable weighted and height adjustable therapeutic cane is height adjustable utilizing the same mechanical means, but Obitts does not teach us that his adjustable cane can offer the opportunity to become weight adjustable, by offering the opportunity to include one pound weights to the inside of his cane, thereby making his cane therapeutic in nature.

[0016] In Bracy, in which he offers the teaching of a walking cane assembly having a pivoting safety tip which comprises of a shaft member having a long axis and upper and lower ends, a tip member having a socket portion in which said lower end of said shaft member is received and base portion for resting on an underlying support surface and a disk member interconnecting said shaft member and said tip member, said disk member having; a center portion which is mounted to said lower end of said shaft member so as to permit said disk member to rotate freely about said long axis of said shaft ember, so that said base portion of said tip member remains in a stationary engagement with said underlying support surface as said shaft member of said cane is twisted back and forth; and an outer edge portion which is in sliding engagement with an interior surface of said socket portion of said tip member so as to permit said disk member to tilt freely within said socket portion, so that said base portion of said socket member remains in stationary engagement with said underlying support surface as said shaft ember of said can is tilted from side to side. The present invention, a new and improved variable weighted and height adjustable therapeutic cane rests on a stationary axis, with no rotating parts that make it necessary for stability.

[0017] In summary, we have discussed the safety wheels on a cane of Spaeth's teachings; a base plate being added to a cane by Battison; a rotating base conceived by Hannoosh; legs added to a cane; plus wheel base by Meltzer; the telescoping adjustable leg of O'Bitts; and a pivoting safety tip by Bracy. None of these prior arts claim in their teachings that weights have been added to their designs for rehabilitation purposes of rebuilding atrophied muscles that may be used by and elderly and/or disabled person to administer self-rehabilitation during their normal daily walks.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0018] It is the object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved variable weighted and height adjustable therapeutic cane for use by elderly and/or disabled persons which provides for self-rehabilitation for an elderly and/or disabled person who has been diagnosed with a weaken side as a residual effect from a recent stroke or any other diagnoses that would render weakness to one side of the body. The present invention offers the same outward design as presently offered in other aluminum or wooden canes, but has the added features of added weight due to the initial steel structure of the therapeutic cane, plus another added feature that the weight can be adjustable to meet the needs of the elderly and/or disabled persons receiving the benefits of use from such a medical device.

[0019] The object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved variable weighted and height adjustable therapeutic cane for use by the elderly and/or disabled person is to provide an adjustable cane that can telescope upwardly or downwardly, raising the height of the cane in one-inch increments with an interior push pin assembly and to slidably attain the height of thirty-seven and a one-half inches from an original height of thirty-three and one-half inches. With the height adjustments available, the cane will be utilized in physical therapy and occupational therapy settings and will be able to be fitted to most elderly and/or disabled persons who would require it use during and after therapy.

[0020] The object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved variable weighted and height adjustable therapeutic cane that can be weight adjustable during the duration of the therapeutic needs of the elderly and/or disabled person to rebuild atrophied muscles on one side of the body and assist in returning the elderly and/or disabled person to functional mobility. The therapeutic cane, constructed from tubular steel, weighs, without the added weights, about tow and one-half pounds. Standard canes, presently available on the market, whether they are made from aluminum, wood or acrylic weigh under a pound. One pounds weights can be added to the inside steel frame of the present invention to add weight up to four and one-half pounds, by adding one pound weights to the inside of the tubular steel and holding them in place by use of a steel extension spring that will hold them in place against the telescoping push button interior pin.

[0021] The object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved variable weight and height adjustable therapeutic cane that provides for ease in utilization by providing an ergonomically designed handle with which to hold the cane correctly and offer the greatest benefit to the end user. The ergonomically designed handle also offers to the elderly and/or disabled person a soft cushioned closed cell foam handle grip to offer a firm hand hold on the can when the cane is in use.

[0022] The object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved variable weight and height adjustable therapeutic cane that provides for safety when in use by providing a rubberized safety tip that is attached to the lower end of the cane. When the end user, an elderly and/or disabled person takes a step with the therapeutic cane, the cane becomes firmly planted on the floor surface so that slippage will not occur during use of the cane.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS OF THE INVENTION

[0023] FIG. 1 is a perspective front elevation view of a new and improved variable weighted and height adjustable therapeutic cane constructed in accordance with the features of the present invention.

[0024] FIG. 2 is a perspective front elevation view of a new and improved variable weighted and height adjustable therapeutic cane shown in four sections, showing the weights as separate parts to the cane.

[0025] FIG. 3 is a perspective front elevation view of a new and improved variable weighted and height adjustable therapeutic cane showing one weighted solid tube in place inside the cane.

[0026] FIG. 4 is a perspective front elevation view of a new and improved variable weighted and height adjustable therapeutic cane showing two weighted, solid tubes in place inside the cane.

[0027] FIG. 5 is a perspective front elevation view of a new and improved variable weighted and height adjustable therapeutic cane displaying the telescoping leg means for height adjustment.

[0028] FIG. 6 is a side perspective view of a new and improved variable weighted and height adjustable therapeutic cane showing a person with muscles flexed walking with the cane.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION

[0029] Referring now more particularly to the drawings, therein is illustrated a new and improved variable weighted and height adjustable therapeutic cane constructed in accordance with the features of the present invention and referred generally by the reference number 10.

[0030] In FIG. 1, the hand grip 20 is attached to the upper end of the therapeutic cane to offer a rubberized closed cell foam handle that is used by the end user to hold onto the therapeutic cane. The upper section 15 of the therapeutic cane is ergonomically formed from tubular steel to balance the cane during the ambulation process. The lower section 18 is provided to offer length to the therapeutic cane and is capped off at the lower portion by use of a rubberized safety tip 30.

[0031] The weights that may be optionally added to the therapeutic cane are the solid one pound tubular steel rods 40 are shown in FIG. 2. The solid steel rods 40 are placed inside the tubular steel therapeutic cane to add weight to the cane for added muscle building.

[0032] In FIG. 3, a solid steel rod 40 is placed into the leg 18 of the therapeutic cane 10, the upper portion 15 is reattached to the lower leg portion 18 of the therapeutic cane. The added weight of the steel rod 18, is the first level of added weight.

[0033] In FIG. 4, a second solid steel rod 40 has been added to the therapeutic cane, adding another weight to the cane.

[0034] One, one pound solid steel rod 40 is shown in place in the lower section 18 of the therapeutic cane 10 in FIG. 3.

[0035] Two solid steel one pound rods 40 are shown in place in the lower section 18 of the therapeutic cane 10 in FIG. 4.

[0036] In FIG. 5, the height adjustment 50 is an added feature of the height adjustable therapeutic cane. A telescoping leg feature is not shown, as it is not novel art to this product. The height of the therapeutic cane 10 in its lowest position is thirty-three and one half inches from the floor to the top of the cane. The height of the therapeutic cane 10 in its highest position 52 is thirty-seven and one-half inches from the floor to the top of the cane.

[0037] In FIG. 6, the end user FIG. 60 is shown walking with the therapeutic cane 10. As shown, with each step the end user takes the end user's arm muscles 62 and leg muscles 63 are forced to flex, causing the arm and leg muscles to rebuild.