Title:
Rehabilative exercising chair
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Disclosed herein is an exercise chair for aiding in the alleviation of lower back pain. The chair device of the present invention comprises a central post portion defining a central axis with a base at one end and a coupling portion fashioned to be tilted relative to the central axis at the other end. A coil spring is concentrically located on the central axis and affixed to the post portion at the one end and to the coupling portion at the other end. The coil spring is normally biased to maintain the seat of the chair in a non-tilted position. Also disclosed herein, is a method of practice employing the chair device. In the method, a user in a seated position on the chair selectively and reversibly rotates their pelvic/hip region in three possible dimensions about a point of origin substantially centrally located to their pelvic region in various directions resulting in stretching and strengthening exercises of the abdominal, lumbar and pelvic/hip regions of the user.



Inventors:
Derakhshan, Afrooz (North York, CA)
Sadeghi, Kaivan (North York, CA)
Application Number:
12/314787
Publication Date:
09/17/2009
Filing Date:
12/16/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C1/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20020096933Chair adjustment deviceJuly, 2002Wang
20080007105Adjustable headrest assemblyJanuary, 2008Viger
20080012414ArmchairJanuary, 2008Dewert
20070029845Folding high chairFebruary, 2007Riedl et al.
20090066144Device for fastening a car seatMarch, 2009Fillie
20080073894Object holding system for use with vehicle seat beltsMarch, 2008Phillips
20100026068APPARATUS FOR TILTING VEHICLE SEAT CUSHIONFebruary, 2010Yoo et al.
20090200846Infant seat rocker deviceAugust, 2009Yehuda
20070090671Weight regulator for a chairApril, 2007Nielsen et al.
20050039250Collapsible, portable, weight-supporting devicesFebruary, 2005Krause
20080222789Back Stress Reducing Kneeling DeviceSeptember, 2008Pfeiffer



Primary Examiner:
ALLRED, DAVID E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DOWELL & DOWELL, P.C. (ALEXANDRIA, VA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed:

1. An exercising chair comprising: a post portion defining a central axis, the post portion having first and second end regions; a base connected to the post portion at the first end region; a coil spring concentrically located on the central axis and adjacent the second end region; a seat portion; a coupling portion for supporting the seat portion relative to the post portion at the second end region; the coupling portion being arranged to permit substantially free tilting movement of the seat portion relative to the central axis; the coil spring operable to bias the seat portion to a neutral position relative to the central axis.

2. A chair as defined in claim 1, further comprising a ball joint; the ball joint having a saddle portion and a ball portion located intermediate the second end region and the coupling portion on the central axis and extending concentrically through the coil spring.

3. A chair as defined in claim 1, further comprising a support flange; the support flange having a central passage; the post portion extending through the central passage, the support flange fixed to the post portion near the second end region; the coil spring being coupled to the support flange adjacent the second end region.

4. A chair as defined in claim 1, the seat portion further comprising a cushion.

5. A chair as defined in claim 4, the cushion being substantially horizontal in a neutral position.

6. A chair as defined in claim 1, the post portion being length adjustable.

7. A chair as defined in claim 6, the post portion including a telescoping mechanism.

8. A chair as defined in claim 7, the telescoping section including a pneumatic or a hydraulic cylinder.

9. A chair as defined in claim 6, the post portion including a threaded screw mechanism.

10. A chair as defined in claim 2, the saddle portion being affixed to the coupling portion.

11. A chair as defined in claim 2, the ball portion being coupled to the second end region.

12. A chair as defined in claim 1, further comprising a protective covering intermediate the second end region and the coupling portion encasing the coil spring.

13. An exercising chair comprising: a telescoping post portion having first and second end regions, a base connected to the post at the first end region; a support flange having a central passage affixed to the post portion near the second end region, the post portion defining a central axis; a seat portion; a coupling portion for supporting the seat portion relative to the post portion at the second end region; a coil spring concentrically located on the central axis between the coupling portion and the support flange; a ball joint having a saddle portion and a ball portion located intermediate the second end region and the coupling portion on the central axis and extending concentrically through the coil spring; the ball portion being connected to the second end and the saddle portion being connected to the coupling portion; the coupling portion and the ball joint being arranged to permit substantially free tilting movement of the seat portion about the ball portion; the coil spring operable to bias the seat portion to a neutral position relative to the central axis.

14. An exercising chair comprising: a post portion extending through a flange having a central passage affixed to the post portion defining a central axis, the post portion having first and second end regions; a base connected to the post at the first end region; a seat portion; a coupling portion for supporting the seat portion relative to the post portion at the second end region; a ball joint located intermediate the second end region and the coupling portion on the central axis; a plurality of coil springs equally spaced apart affixed and radiating tangentially from the flange and affixed to the coupling portion; the coupling portion and the ball joint being arranged to permit substantially free hemispheric movement of the seat portion about the central axis; the plurality of coil springs operable to bias the seat portion to a neutral position relative to the central axis wherein the seat portion is substantially horizontal.

15. A method of exercising the lower back and pelvic regions of a user, the method comprising the user's engaging a chair comprising: a post portion defining a central axis, the post portion having first and second end regions; a base connected to the post portion at the first end region; a coil spring concentrically located on the central axis and adjacent the second end region; a seat portion; a coupling portion for supporting the seat portion relative to the post portion at the second end region; the coupling portion being arranged to permit substantially free tilting movement of the seat portion relative the central axis; the coil spring operable to bias the seat portion to a neutral position relative to the central axis; and rocking the body about the central axis, against the bias of the spring, while engaged to the chair.

16. The method as defined in claim 15, comprising engaging the gluteal region of the user with the seat portion of the chair in a seated position.

17. The method as defined in claim 16, comprising the user's selectively and reversibly rotating the pelvic region about a point of origin substantially central to the pelvic region in at least one axis selected from the group consisting of the (0, +y, −z) axis, the (+x, +y, −z) axis, the (+x, 0, −z) axis, the (+x, −y, −z) axis, the (0, −y, −z) axis, the (−x, −y, −z) axis, the (−x, 0−z) axis or (−x, −y, −z) axis relative to the central axis of the chair.

18. The method as defined in claim 17, wherein the spinal segments of the lower back and pelvic regions of user are selectively hyperextended, hyperflexed or laterally flexed.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present application is related to and claims benefit of priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/007,982, filed Dec. 18, 2007 entitled “Pelvic Rock Chair”, the disclosure of which is hereby fully incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a rehabilitative exercise device to aid in the alleviation and prevention of back pain in an individual. More specifically, the present invention relates to an exercise chair wherein user controlled movements of the seat portion allow for broad ranges of pelvic/hip and abdominal ranges of motion for stretching and strengthening exercises of the lower back, pelvic/hip and abdominal regions of the body.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

A study published in 2007 by researchers in the United Kingdom using a representative population revealed that troublesome lower back pain was evident in about 25% of the respondents (Parsons S., et al., Fam Pract. 2007 September; 24(4):308-16. Epub 2007 Jun. 29). It is also known that much of the acute and chronic low back pain presented is a result of the biomechanics of the human anatomy. This low back pain may result from several organic parameters such as, for example, improper articular joint function of the lower back and pelvic/hip regions, tightness of the myofascial tissue surrounding the musculature of the lower back and pelvic/hip regions, lower back lordosis and discogenic issues of the lumbar spine such as disc derangement and inflammation.

Treatment of low back pain can take several forms. For exemplary purposes, anti-inflammatory and pain reduction medications such opioids are often prescribed by physicians to help alleviative some of the patient's discomfort. More invasive treatments using local anesthetics in combination with long-acting corticosteroid injections into the facet joints are routinely used in more extreme case of low back pain. However, it is often preferred to treat low back pain with non-invasive methods such as physical therapy using ultrasound or trancutaneous nerve stimulation in conjunction with therapeutic massage and stretching and strengthening exercises. Abdominal core low back strengthening exercises have also shown success in treating low back pain. Conditioning of the musculature surrounding the lower back and pelvic/hip regions leads to improved stability of the biomechanics of the lumbar, lumbosacral, and pelvic/hip regions, and thus a resultant reduction in lower back pain.

Due to the nature of lower back pain as it is presented in individuals, limited mobility and balance issues are often observed. These issues lead to a safety concern for those patients seeking to undertake or who have been prescribed by a caregiver a stretching and exercise regime. Limited mobility and balance issues render the patient in a position to fall over, being unable to get up, and other situations which can lead to further injury and increased severity of the lower back pain condition.

It would be desirable to provide a novel device and approach to stretching and strengthening exercises to aid in the alleviation of lower back pain and improve the stability of the biomechanics of the lower back and pelvic/hip regions of an individual. It would also be desirable also to provide a means for persons not afflicted with lower back pain to maintain range of motion and strength of the lower back and the pelvic/hip region as a preventative measure against developing lower back pain.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The foregoing needs and other needs and objectives that will become apparent for the following description are achieved or at least alleviated in the present invention, which comprises an exercise chair device. The chair is formed of a central-axis post portion with a base portion at one end and a coupling portion for supporting a seat at the opposing end of the post portion. A coil spring is concentrically located on the post portion near the coupling portion and arranged to permit substantially free tilting movement of the seat portion relative to the central-axis. The coil spring is arranged to be upright and operable to bias the seat portion to a neutral position relative to the central axis.

Thus, according to one aspect of the present invention, there is provided an exercising chair comprising a post portion defining a central axis, the post portion having first and second end regions, a base connected to the post portion at the first end region, a coil spring concentrically located on the central axis and adjacent the second end region, a seat portion, a coupling portion for supporting the seat portion relative to the post portion at the second end region, the coupling portion being arranged to permit substantially free tilting movement of the seat portion relative to the central axis, the coil spring operable to bias the seat portion to a neutral position relative to the central axis.

According to another aspect of the invention, there is provided an exercising chair comprising a telescoping post portion having first and second end regions, a base connected to the post at the first end region; a support flange having a central passage affixed to the post portion near the second end region, the post portion defining a central axis; a seat portion; a coupling portion for supporting the seat portion relative to the post portion at the second end region; a coil spring concentrically located on the central axis between the coupling portion and the support flange; a ball joint having a saddle portion and a ball portion located intermediate the second end region and the coupling portion on the central axis and extending concentrically through the coil spring; the ball portion being connected to the second end and the saddle portion being connected to the coupling portion; the coupling portion and the ball joint being arranged to permit substantially free tilting movement of the seat portion about the ball portion; the coil spring operable to bias the seat portion to a neutral position relative to the central axis.

According to yet another aspect of the invention, there is provided an exercising chair comprising a post portion extending through a flange having a central passage affixed to the post portion defining a central axis, the post portion having first and second end regions; a base connected to the post at the first end region; a seat portion; a coupling portion for supporting the seat portion relative to the post portion at the second end region; a ball joint located intermediate the second end region and the coupling portion on the central axis; a plurality of coil springs equally spaced apart affixed and radiating tangentially from the flange and affixed to the coupling portion; the coupling portion and the ball joint being arranged to permit substantially free hemispheric movement of the seat portion about the central axis; the plurality of coil springs operable to bias the seat portion to a neutral position relative to the central axis wherein the seat portion is substantially horizontal.

According to another aspect of the invention, a method of exercising the lower back and pelvic regions of a user is provided comprising the user engaging a chair comprising a post portion defining a central axis, the post portion having first and second end regions, a base connected to the post portion at the first end region, a coil spring concentrically located on the central axis and adjacent the second end region, a seat portion, a coupling portion for supporting the seat portion relative to the post portion at the second end region, the coupling portion being arranged to permit substantially free tilting movement of the seat portion relative the central axis, the coil spring operable to bias the seat portion to a neutral position relative to the central axis, and rocking the body about the central axis, against the bias of the spring, while engaged to the chair

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

It should be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and the arrangement of components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced or of being carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology used herein is for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting. The use of “including,” “comprising,” or “having” and variations thereof herein is meant to encompass the items listed thereafter and equivalents thereof as well as additional items. Unless limited otherwise, the terms “connected,” “coupled,” and “mounted,” and variations thereof herein are used broadly and encompass direct and indirect connections, couplings, and mountings. In addition, the terms “connected” and “coupled” and variations thereof are not restricted to physical or mechanical, or electrical connections or couplings. Furthermore, and as described in subsequent paragraphs, the specific mechanical, electrical or other configurations illustrated in the drawings are intended to exemplify embodiments of the invention. However, other alternative mechanical, electrical or other configurations are possible which are considered to be within the teachings of the instant disclosure. Furthermore, unless otherwise indicated, the term “or” is to be considered inclusive.

In an embodiment of the present invention, a ball joint is located intermediate the coupling portion and the post portion of the chair. The ball joint extends concentrically through the coil spring and connects to the coupling portion at one end and the post portion at the other end.

A support flange is suitably provided for supporting the coil spring, affixed near the coupling end of the post portion, with a central passage for the post portion to extend through.

Suitably, a cushion is provided on the seat portion.

In preferred embodiments of the present invention the post portion is provided with means for length adjustment, making it suitable for patients of different height, but also extending the range of possible rehabilitative exercises which the health practitioner can prescribe for an individual, by varying the relative disposition of the patient's back and legs.

The present invention also provides a method for the use of the rehabilitative chair of the present invention for reduction of low back pain.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Several preferred embodiments of the present invention will be provided, by way of examples only, with reference to the appended drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a front view of an embodiment of the rehabilitative exercise chair of the present invention, with the seat portion in a neutral position, parts of an individual supported by the chair being depicted in ghost;

FIG. 2 is a side view of an embodiment of the rehabilitative exercise of FIG. 1 showing the seat portion in a tilted position, the user being similarly depicted;

FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 2 but showing the seat portion in a neutral position;

FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 1 but with the seat portion in a tilted position;

FIG. 5 is a side view of another embodiment of the rehabilitative exercise chair of the present invention showing the seat portion in a tilted position, the user being depicted in ghost;

FIG. 6 is a side view of an embodiment of the rehabilitative exercise chair of the present invention similar to that of FIG. 5 but showing the seat portion in a neutral position;

FIG. 7 is a view corresponding to that of FIG. 4 but also showing the Cartesian reference axis;

FIG. 8 is a corresponding to that of FIG. 2 but with the Cartesian reference axis; and

FIG. 9 is a side view of an embodiment of the rehabilitative exercise chair and showing the back rest and chair arm supports.

As would be readily understood by a person skilled in the art, the Global Cartesian Co-ordinate system of oriented movement is used herein to describe pelvic/hip motions of the user about a point of origin centrally located to the pelvic/hip region of a user. Briefly, according to the Global Cartesian Co-ordinate system three axis are formed about a central point of origin to define 3-dimensional co-ordinates in space. The “x-axis” points to the right in the Global Cartesian Co-ordinate system the “y-axis” points forward and the “z-axis” points upward as can be in FIGS. 7 and 8. The co-ordinates are given as (x, y, z) and a positions to the left of the point of origin, behind the point of origin or below the point of origin is noted with a “−” preceding the specific co-ordinate. For example, a co-ordinate below, to the left and forward of the point of origin would be noted as (−x, y, −z).

Referring to FIGS. 1, 2, 3 and 4 a rehabilitative chair 10 according to a specific preferred embodiment of the invention is illustrated. A post portion 12 thereof defines a central axis 14. The post portion 12 has a first end region 16 and second end region 18. A base 20 for supporting the chair 10 in an upright position is provided at the first end region 16 of the post portion 12. The base 20 provided is fashioned and affixed to the post portion 12 in dimensions and a manner suitable to support and maintain the chair 10 alone and the chair 10 in combination with the user 42 in an upright position with the post portion 12 remaining substantially perpendicular to the floor when in use. A coil spring 22 is located concentrically on the central axis 14 and coupled near the second end region 18 of the post portion 12. The coil spring 22 is further coupled at the opposing end to that connected near the second end region 18 to a coupling portion 24. The coil spring 22 may be connected to the coupling portion 24 by any means suitable to maintain the connection of the coil spring 22 and the coupling portion 24 under conditions of use by a user. A seat portion 26 for engaging the gluteal region of a user 42 is provided and connected atop the coupling portion 24.

The coupling portion 24 and the coil spring 22 are located concentrically relative to the central axis 14 and arranged to permit substantially free tilting movement of the seat portion relative to the central axis 14. Additionally, the coil spring 22 is operable to bias the seat portion 26 to a neutral, non-tilted position relative to the central axis 14 as is shown in FIGS. 1 and 3. Using the Global Cartesian Co-ordinate system for reference and shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, the arrangement of the post portion 12, the coil spring 22 and the coupling portion 24, permit the seat portion 26 to be tilted about the central axis 14 in all directions, for example, (0, +y, −z), (+x, +y, −z), (+x, 0, −z), (+x, −y, −z), (0, −y, −z), (−x, −y, −z), (−x, 0−z) and (−x, −y, −z) when the user 42 selectively rotates his/her pelvic/hip region about a point of origin 50 schematically shown. For exemplary purposes, referring especially to FIG. 8 and using the Global Cartesian Co-ordinate system for reference, when the user 42 selectively rotates their pelvic/hip region about a point of origin 50, the seat portion 26 may be tilted in the (0, +y, −z) direction. Also for exemplary purposes, referring especially to FIG. 7 and using the Global Cartesian Co-ordinate system for reference, when the user 42 selectively rotates the pelvic/hip region about a point of origin 50, the seat portion 26 may be tilted in the (−x, 0, −z) direction. It will be readily apparent to one skilled in the art that due the arrangement of the post portion 12, the coil spring 22 and the coupling portion 24, the seat portion 26 may be selectively tilted by a user 42 about the central axis 14 at the coupling portion 24 in any direction.

The chair device 10 also comprises, referring to FIGS. 1 to 4, a ball joint 28 including a ball portion 32 and a saddle portion 30. The ball joint 28 is provided intermediate the second end region 18 and the coupling portion 24. The saddle portion 30 of the ball joint 28 is affixed to the coupling portion 24. The ball portion 32 is affixed to the second end region 18 of the post portion 12. The interaction of the ball portion 32 with the saddle portion 30 forms a point of rotation for tilting of the seat portion 26. In this arrangement, it may desirable for some users as a means to inhibit a swaying motion of the spring under conditions of use. It will, however, be readily apparent to one skilled in the art that the saddle portion 30 may alternatively be affixed to the second end region 18 of the post portion 12 and the ball portion 32 may alternatively be affixed to the coupling portion 24. It will also be readily apparent to one of skill in the art that any suitable 3-dimensional articulating joint may substitutable in place of the ball joint 28 to provide substantially the function for substantially the same result.

The chair device 10, referring to FIGS. 1 to 4, also comprises a support flange 34. The support flange 34 has a central passage (not shown), through which the post portion 12 is extended. The support flange 34 as can be seen in FIGS. 1 to 4 is affixed near the second end region 18 of the post portion 12. The coil spring 22 rests upon the support flange 34 under the force of gravity or, may optionally be coupled to the support flange 34 by any suitable means.

In an alternative embodiment of the chair device 10, referring to FIGS. 5 and 6, a ball joint 28 is coupled to the second end region 18 of the post portion 12 to provide a point of articulation relative to the central axis 14. In this embodiment, a plurality of substantially equally spaced apart coil springs 22 are coupled at one end to the support flange 34. The plurality of coil springs 22 are coupled to the coupling portion 24 near the opposing end to that of said end coupled to the support flange 34. The ends of the coil springs 22 coupled to the coupling portion 24 are coupled near the periphery of the coupling portion 24 and arranged to be substantially equally spaced apart. In this fashion, as the seat portion 26 is selectively tilted by the user 42, a first coil spring 22 is compressed and a second coil spring 22b is extended as is shown in FIG. 5. In this arrangement of the chair device 10 embodiment, the co-operative functioning of the plurality of the coil springs 22 is operable to bias the seat portion 26 to a neutral position.

The chair device 10, in various embodiments, may also optionally comprise a cushion 36 as seen in FIGS. 1 to 6 provided atop the seat portion 26. The cushion 36 may be provided to enhance the comfort of the chair 10 for the user 42 under conditions of use. It is contemplated that the cushion 36 may be made from any suitable material, however, it is preferable that the cushion 36 comprises resilient material, such as, for example, a soft foam inner core and a harder foam outer covering. The cushion 36 may optionally be upholstered or covered with anti-bacterial, stain and/or fungal resistant material such as vinyl as is commonly known in the art.

In an alternative embodiment of the chair device 10, not shown in the figures, the post portion 12 provided may be length adjustable. This may be desirable in applications wherein the chair 10 may be shared among more than one user, for example a rehabilitation clinic. The length adjustment of the post portion 12 permits adjustment of the seat height relative to the ground, thereby allowing the chair 10 to accommodate the varying heights of different users. Length adjustment may also extend the range of possible rehabilitative exercises which the health practitioner can prescribe for an individual, by varying the relative disposition of the patient's back and legs.

The post portion 12 may have incorporated various different means for increasing or, alternatively decreasing the length. Although not shown in the figures, the post portion 12 may be made length adjustable through the incorporation of a telescoping mechanism. The telescoping mechanism may be in the form of a pneumatic or hydraulic cylinder. Alternatively, a length adjustment of the post portion 12 may be provided as a threaded screw system.

In various embodiments of the chair device 10, a protective covering 52, as shown in FIGS. 1 to 4 may be provided. The protective covering 52 is located intermediate the second end region 18 and the coupling portion 24 and encases the coil spring 22 and tilting mechanisms, for example the ball joint 28. Alternatively, in the embodiment of the chair device 10 shown in FIGS. 5 to 6, the protective covering extends from the outer perimeter of the seat portion 26 to the outer perimeter of the post portion 12 near the first end region 16. In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 5 to 6, the protective covering 52 covers the second end region 18, the plurality of coil springs 22, the ball joint 28 and the support flange 34. The protective covering 52 functions in a safety aspect to shield the user from untended interactions with the coil spring 22 and other components of the tilting mechanisms, such as, for example, in certain embodiments the ball joint 28.

In various embodiments of the chair device 10, as shown in FIGS. 1 to 4, 6 and specifically 9, the chair 10 may be provided with chair arms 38 which are connected to the seat portion 26 via chair arm supports 40. The connection of the chair arm supports 40 to the seat portion 26 is shown in the figures shown in FIG. 9. However, the chair arms 38 may be attached at several various locations of the chair 10. It is preferable that the chair arms 38 be attached to the post portion 12. It is more preferable that the chair arms 38 be attached to the seat portion 26 via the chair arm supports 40. Although not shown in the figures, in certain embodiments of the chair 10, it may be desirable for the chair arm supports 40 to be length adjustable to accommodate users of various sizes. It is also contemplated that the chair arms 38 may be structured to form a single continuous substantially “U-shape” placed in a horizontal manner such that the chair arm 38 extends from one side of the user 42 around the ventral side of the user and terminates at the opposing side of the user 42. In this embodiment, although not shown, the chair arm supports 40 may attached to the chair 10 in a manner such that the chair arm supports 40 extend ventral and upwards relative to the user 42 wherein the user 42 sits with the chair arm supports 40 between their legs and the chair arm 38 is in a transverse plane across the user's thorax. Additionally, although not shown in the figures, the chair arms 38 function to allow the user 42 a place to grasp for support when the chair is in use. By providing the user with a place to grasp while using the chair 10, the safety of the user 42 is enhanced and may aid in stretching and strengthening exercises.

In certain embodiments of the chair device 10, it may be desirable for the chair 10 to have a back rest 54 incorporated therein. As such, the chair device 10 described herein may additionally comprise a back rest portion 54 as shown in FIGS. 1 to 4, 6 and specifically 9. The back rest portion 54 may be attached at several various locations of the chair 10. However, it is preferable that the back rest portion 54 be attached to the coupling portion 24. It is more preferable that the back rest portion 54 be attached to the seat portion 26 of the chair 10.

In the practice of using the chair device 10, the user may improve articular joint function, myofascial tightness, and discogenic issues as well as undertake stretching and strengthening exercises of the pelvic, abdominal, and lumbar regions using the chair 10 as described herein. Thus a method of improving articular joint function, myofascial tightness, and discogenic issues as well as stretching and strengthening exercises of the pelvic, abdominal, and lumbar regions is provide herein. Referring now to FIGS. 1 to 6, the user 42 being engaged with the chair 10 is shown. The gluteal region of the user 42 is engaged in a seated position with the seat portion 26 of the chair 10. In various embodiments of the chair device 10, a cushion 36 may be provided atop the seat portion 26 for the comfort of the user 42 during use as is seen in the figures. The user 42 in the seated position maintains their feet on the ground. During conditions of use of the chair 10, the user 42 with their gluteal region engaged with the seat portion 26 and their feet maintained on the group moves their pelvic/hip region 48 a single plane or various combinations of xy, xz, and yz planes about a point of origin 50 substantially central to their pelvic/hip region 48. Movement of the pelvic/hip region 48 of the user 42 is shown in FIGS. 2, 4, and 5 and the schematically corresponding positioning of the lumbar vertebrae 44 and lumbosacral region 46 during conditions of tilting of the seat portion 26 by the user are also shown. The ideal schematic position of the lumber vertebrae 44 and the lumbosacral region 46 when the user maintains the seat portion 26 in a neutral position is shown is FIGS. 1, 3 and 6. In the process of the aforementioned user-selected directional movements of their pelvic/hip region 48 about the point of origin 50, stretching and strengthening exercises of the pelvic, abdominal, and lumbar regions are preformed using the chair device 10. Additionally, the aforementioned user-selected directional movements may improve articular joint function, myofascial tightness, and discogenic issues.

Thus, the invention generally relates to a device assembled to form a chair which may be useful for among other uses, broad ranges of back, lower back, pelvic/hip and abdominal ranges of movements for stretching and strengthening exercises of a user.

Doctors of Chiropractic medicine are known to treat patients with significant back pain. Also, it is known that Doctors of Chiropractic medicine treat pregnant patients with back pain. Features common to many of these patients and many others in the general population is that the pain is related to the improper biomechanical functioning of the lumbar, lumbosacral spine and pelvic/hip regions of the human anatomy. The chair device 10 may be used to assist in training persons afflicted with lower back pain to accelerate and facilitate recovery from lower back pain. Thus, the chair device 10 is designed, among other things, to facilitate a person afflicted with lower back pain to improve lumbar/pelvic range of motion, stretching, and strengthening exercises which may help with strengthening of the low back and pelvic/hip muscles, may promote the ability to maintain the balance and may improve the stability of the biomechanics of lumbar, lumbosacral regions of an individual. Furthermore, the chair device 10 may help to prevent lower back pain in individuals capable of performing the lower back and pelvic/hip ranges of motion.

Thus, use of the chair device 10 may help to reduce the low back pain in people/patients wherein the pain is substantially related to biomechanical changes of myofascial, discogenic, and articular joints. The present device may additionally help pregnant women to prevent, block and eliminate the low back pain as a result of pregnancy. In another aspect, the chair device 10 may also be used to train individuals, such as fashion models, to improve their style in walking/standing and balance.

Thus, in one example, the device provides a Pelvic Rock Chair, which may be useful as a rehabilitative exercising chair for a person's low back and pelvic/hip areas. It provides an assembly of a moveable seat support piece which is coupled to the top of a telescoping shaft at one end and at the other end it is connected to the a base of the chair. The seat support piece is coupled to the top section of the shaft and may be designed ergonomically for one to be able to hyperextend, hyper flex, lateral flexion, and for rotation of the spinal segments at low back and pelvis while seated. This may, among other possible uses, may be employed for stretching, strengthening of the myofascial component of the low back and pelvic, as well as for range of motion exercises of the low back and pelvic region and for discotherapy.

Thus, in a another example, the chair-like base and a rotatable seat may accommodate movements in there different planes at the same time, for example, planes XY horizontal, XZ and YZ vertical. Movement in the various planes may be up to 45° or more from horizontal without jeopardizing the safety of the individual. The power for the movements may be provided by the seated person in the chair device 10, whose feet are on the ground while the person moves their pelvic region in all directions.

In another example, the device comprises a base for resting on the ground, a vertical support column assembly coupled to the centre of the base and a seat assembly which in turn is nested in a substantially semi-spherical nest and is coupled to the vertical support column. The seat assembly may optionally be covered by a skirting-like material for the person/patients safety from the moving components of the device. The seat base is attached to springs which are tensed or compressed depending on the motion of the patient/person's shifting and activation of the seat assembly. When the patient/person gets off the seat, these springs bring the seat assembly to its neutral horizontal position (plane XY). The vertical support column assembly may optionally contain a pneumatic sub-assembly to permit reversible vertical collapse of the vertical support assembly relative to the seated patient/person's weight. In addition, the pneumatic sub-assembly of the vertical support column assembly may have a lever, to allow the patient/person to selectively actuate height adjustments of the seat height relative to ground level. The seat assembly may be comprised of a substantially spherical seat coupled to a rotating mechanism. The seat may be comprised of two complementing components, a first inner component and a second outer component, each having a substantially spherical shape. The inner component may be fabricated from a soft foam and the outer component on which the patient/person sits may be fabricated from a harder foam relative to the inner component. Optionally, the outer component may be covered or upholstered with a layer of suitable thickness fabricated from, for example, an anti-bacterial vinyl material, and/or a stain resistant material and/or fungal resistant material. Also, the chair device 10 may be provided with arm rests on which the patient/person may rest their arms while rocking his/hers pelvic region. The arm rests may be attached at several various locations of the chair device 10, however it is preferable that the arm rest be attached to the vertical column. It is more preferable that the arm rests be attached to the seat.

By way of example, ergonomically-designed chair device 10 may be used for multi-shift use (24 hours) and may be suitable for persons up to 350 lbs in weight. However, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that the chair device 10 may be designed and fashioned from suitable materials to support a user of well in excess of 350 lbs. in weight.

While the chair device 10 has been described for what are presently considered the preferred embodiments, the invention is not so limited. To the contrary, the invention is intended to cover various modifications and equivalent arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the appended claims. The scope of the following claims is to be accorded the broadest interpretation so as to encompass all such modifications and equivalent structures and functions.





 
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