Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS20100144504 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 12/063,473
PCT numberPCT/EP2006/007928
Publication dateJun 10, 2010
Filing dateAug 10, 2006
Priority dateAug 11, 2005
Also published asDE102005038309A1, EP1922048A2, WO2007017282A2, WO2007017282A3, WO2007017282A8
Publication number063473, 12063473, PCT/2006/7928, PCT/EP/2006/007928, PCT/EP/2006/07928, PCT/EP/6/007928, PCT/EP/6/07928, PCT/EP2006/007928, PCT/EP2006/07928, PCT/EP2006007928, PCT/EP200607928, PCT/EP6/007928, PCT/EP6/07928, PCT/EP6007928, PCT/EP607928, US 2010/0144504 A1, US 2010/144504 A1, US 20100144504 A1, US 20100144504A1, US 2010144504 A1, US 2010144504A1, US-A1-20100144504, US-A1-2010144504, US2010/0144504A1, US2010/144504A1, US20100144504 A1, US20100144504A1, US2010144504 A1, US2010144504A1
InventorsOlaf Krell
Original AssigneeOlaf Krell
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Exercise apparatus
US 20100144504 A1
Abstract
The invention relates to an exercise apparatus, particularly a sling suspension device, for performing gymnastical and training body exercises, comprising a carrying device (A) for holding a decompression stick (13) which is optionally pivotable about a vertical axis and at which are arranged suspension devices (24, 25) for slings (S), belts and/or ropes (28) for positioning and/or moving body parts and/or for putting on loads, characterized in that the decompression stick (13) is at least partially reinforced in the vertical direction and that it supports transverse bars (11; 11 a . . . 11 g) which can be displaceably adjusted and rotated.
Images(14)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(21)
1.-46. (canceled)
47. An exercise apparatus, in particular sling apparatus, for gymnastic and/or training movement of the body, with a supporting arrangement for holding an optionally displaceable decompression bar which is pivotable about a vertical axis and on which there are suspension devices for slings, straps and/or ropes for supporting and/or moving body parts and/or for applying loads, characterized in that the decompression bar is at least partially stiffened in the vertical direction and supports crossbars which are adjustable displaceably and are rotatable thereon.
48. The apparatus as claimed in claim 47, characterized in that the decompression bar has bars, tubes or the like which are arranged in parallel one above another and form a beam on which the crossbars are displaceably arranged.
49. The apparatus as claimed in claim 47, characterized in that the supporting arrangement has a plate which can be anchored to a room ceiling and is connected rigidly to a supporting rod which protrudes from it and the lower end of which has a rotational and supporting bearing for the decompression bar.
50. The apparatus as claimed in claim 47, characterized in that the rotational and supporting bearing is located at or in the vicinity of one end of the decompression bar.
51. The apparatus as claimed in claim 50, characterized in that a strut which is coupled rotatably to the upper end of the supporting rod is connected to the other, free end of the decompression bar.
52. The apparatus as claimed in claim 47, characterized in that the or each decompression bar has rotational bearings which are connected to displaceable linear bearings.
53. The apparatus as claimed in claim 47, characterized in that the crossbars are arranged in the region of the decompression bar in a manner such that they are rotatable on twin-mounted rotors and/or such that they are displaceable in particular along the longitudinal extent of the decompression bar.
54. The apparatus as claimed in claim 47, characterized in that there is a frame which is held by a supporting arrangement and on which the or each decompression bar is mounted displaceably, for example approximately centrally.
55. The apparatus as claimed in claim 54, characterized in that the frame has two rails which are spaced apart parallel to each other and to which two cross struts are connected, of which at least one is longitudinally displaceable and on which the or each decompression bar is mounted in a transversely displaceable and rotatable and pivotable manner by means of a respective rotational/linear bearing.
56. The apparatus as claimed in claim 54, characterized in that there is an adjusting device for the height adjustment of the frame, for example a cascade motor, a pneumatic drive or a hydraulic drive.
57. The apparatus as claimed in claim 47, characterized in that the devices for suspending or fastening slings, straps and/or ropes are freely moveable in at least one part of a plane which is defined by the pivoting or translation plane of the decompression bars or the suspension bearings arranged thereon.
58. The apparatus as claimed in claim 47, characterized in that crossbars which have receiving bearings with eyelets or rope pulleys or the like for the slings, straps and ropes are provided on the or each decompression bar.
59. The apparatus as claimed in claim 47, characterized in that the devices for suspending slings, straps and/or ropes on bars, in particular crossbars of the decompression bar and/or a traction bar have displaceable bearings which are freely moveable along the crossbars.
60. The apparatus, in particular as claimed in claim 47, characterized in that a moveable part or a plurality of mutually moveable parts is assigned a drive, in particular an electric motor, for generating an intermittent, cyclic or oscillating movement.
61. The apparatus, in particular as claimed in claim 47, characterized in that at least one adaptor for the coupling of a mini decompression bar can be attached to a shaft or a crossbar.
62. The apparatus as claimed in claim 47, characterized in that in each case two bars are each provided with an adaptor, which is displaceable in an easy-running manner, for a mini decompression bar.
63. The apparatus as claimed in claim 61, characterized in that a or the adaptor has a rotor which is guided in a freely displaceable manner on the assigned bar, preferably by means of a linear ball bearing.
64. The apparatus as claimed in claim 61, characterized in that a or the adaptor is of rotatable and/or lockable design.
65. The apparatus as claimed in claim 64, characterized in that a or the adaptor has, on the rotor, a rotational bearing at which the mini decompression bar is held.
66. The apparatus as claimed in claim 62, characterized in that a supporting bearing can be coupled to the rotor.
Description

The present invention relates to an exercise apparatus, in particular sling apparatus, for gymnastic and/or training movement of the body, according to the preamble of claim 1.

Exercise apparatuses are used in physical therapy for training body parts or the entire body in a manner which is as free from loads as possible, the body being able to be suspended horizontally for this purpose, for example in sling apparatuses. In the case of conventional woven mesh sling apparatuses, it may be difficult or impossible to arrange the suspension points vertically above selected body points. However, it is generally scarcely possible for a displacement to be carried out under load, and therefore the freedom of movement of a patient or his ability to be repositioned is greatly restricted and disadvantageous tensile, compressive and torsional loadings may also occur.

Exercise apparatuses of the type mentioned may be fitted in a displaceable manner to a framework, namely on or to longitudinal struts. Such a framework may be moveable or stationary, for example may be in the form of a ceiling-mounted, free-standing and/or wall-mounted framework or else a woven mesh of conventional construction. A decompression bar or the entire framework is frequently simply suspended on a room ceiling while a free-standing framework can be freely positioned in a room and a wall-mounted framework is supported on at least one wall of a room.

A hip exerciser according to U.S. Pat. No. 3,612,042 provides an overhead longitudinal rail above a bed, said longitudinal rail being supported at its ends and, at a horizontally displaceable and fixable bearing, holding a vertical support for a rod which is again horizontal.

A bedridden patient can pivot the rod by hand; toward its free end, which for example supports the patient's leg in slings, the rod is coupled to a resistance device which has a crossbar, which is displaceable along the longitudinal rail, and a telescopic spring which is displaceable on said crossbar and acts on the load end of the pivot rod. Of course, only a few forms of treatment and movement can be carried out with an exercise apparatus of this type.

EP-B1-543251 describes a modern exercise apparatus with suspension devices for ropes, slings or straps on a pivotable decompression bar, with which favorable properties and diverse possibilities for supporting and moving individuals or individual body parts for physical therapeutic and gymnastic exercises are provided.

However, there is a need for improvement with regard to the exact positioning of body parts for careful diagnosis and for the precise carrying out of certain movements or for applying loads during therapy, wherein, especially, superimposed loads and multi-dimensional movements or actions are to be avoided. It is an important aim of the invention to provide a variable, multi-functional sling apparatus which, while having great freedom of movement, permits accurate positioning or repositioning of a patient and/or of individual body parts. The apparatus is to be constructed in a simple manner, is to be produced cost-effectively and is to be easy to operate and is to permit movements suitable for therapy and the application of defined loads.

The main features of the invention are indicated in claims 1, 6, 10, 12, 15, 24 and 38. Advantageous refinements are the subject matter of the dependent claims.

In the case of an exercise apparatus, in particular sling apparatus, for gymnastic and/or training movement of the body, with a supporting arrangement for holding an optionally displaceable decompression bar which is pivotable about a vertical axis and on which there are suspension devices for slings, straps and/or ropes for supporting and/or moving body parts and/or for applying loads, it is provided according to the invention, as per claim 1, that the decompression bar is at least partially stiffened in the vertical direction and supports crossbars which are adjustable displaceably and are rotatable thereon.

The decompression bar, which physically very substantially alleviates the load on a patient in the apparatus for diagnosis, for prevention and/or rehabilitation, can be pivoted in a horizontal plane. Particularly great tilting resistance is obtained by the designated stiffening, which provides exceptional assistance to the treatment. With the crossbars which are displaceable in an infinitely variable manner along the decompression bar and are rotatable, the suspension devices can be brought easily and precisely to desired points where they can be fixed, to be precise even under load during therapy or exercise. As a result, exact positionability and freedom of movement of the patient are always ensured.

The vertical stiffening and therefore tilting resistance is achieved by bars, tubes or the like which are arranged in parallel one above another or next to one another and form an extremely stable beam having high load-bearing capacity. Said beam is also referred to as a double bar; it permits the easy displaceability and uniform, secure positioning of the suspension device for slings, straps and/or ropes. The double bar with its bars or tubes generally arranged in parallel prevents the crossbar mountings, which are displaceable on the decompression bar, from being tilted or becoming jammed and also increases the stability of the beam against deflection.

The supporting arrangement can have a plate which can be anchored to a room ceiling and is connected rigidly to a supporting rod or tube which protrudes from it and the lower end of which has a rotational and supporting bearing for the decompression bar. This construction permits very simple, reliable assembly. The use of an adaptor is possible. The supporting bar may be designed as a telescopic tube arrangement. The rotational and supporting bearing preferably sits at or in the vicinity of one end of the decompression bar. In order to support its other free end, a strut advantageously emerges from there and is coupled rotatably to or in the vicinity of the upper end of the supporting tube and absorbs the cantilever moment of the pivoting beam.

According to an aspect according to claim 6, for which protection is independently sought, the exercise apparatus has two decompression bars which are stiffened in the vertical direction, are held by one and the same supporting arrangement and can be coupled or are coupled to each other. By this means, the suspension of the entire body of a person being treated is possible as is the suspension of individual body parts. If the two decompression bars have a common rotational bearing, they are hinge-connected by the latter. In this case, one rotational bearing part expediently engages around the other, for example in the axial direction, thus forming an overall compact bearing. Cantilever moment struts act at or in the vicinity of the free ends of the decompression bars and are individually coupled to the supporting tube at or in the vicinity of the upper end thereof. As a result, the decompression bars which are coupled to each other can be pivoted independently of each other.

In an important configuration as per claim 12, on at least one decompression bar there is a traction device with a vertically arranged traction bar which has suspension devices for slings, straps and/or ropes, and preferably at least one crossbar with bearings arranged displaceably thereon. The traction bar advantageously sits in a height-adjustable manner at the free end of the decompression bar in question, which end lies opposite the rotational and supporting bearing. One end in each case of ropes is fastened to the traction device and the other end thereof acts on slings or straps in order to support body parts of the patient and/or to exert tensile forces for stretching the spinal column, for example in the region of the hips. In addition, tensioning arrangements, such as spring balances, motor-driven rope pulls, etc. can be used.

Independent protection is claimed by claim 15 for a configuration with a frame which is held by a supporting arrangement and on which the or each decompression bar is mounted displaceably, for example approximately centrally. The frame generally has two rails which are spaced apart parallel to each other and to which two cross struts are connected, of which at least one is longitudinally displaceable and on which the or each decompression bar is mounted in a transversely displaceable and rotatable and pivotable manner by means of a respective rotational/linear bearing. A very high degree of stability is obtained by such a two-point mounting of the decompression bar. If it is pivoted, for example, from the center about its rotational bearing on the fixed cross strut, the moveable cross strut, on the rotational bearings of which the decompression bar is additionally supported, is pulled closer. As an alternative, the cross struts on which the or each decompression bar is held can be attached fixedly to a present framework by means of a transition part, this being recommended especially for the retrofitting of an exercise apparatus, for example a sling apparatus with a ceiling-mounted woven mesh.

According to claim 22, for which protection is likewise sought independently, means for changing the distance from the decompression bar are provided at least on one of the bearings of the or each decompression bar, on the supporting arrangement or on the frame in order to easily adjust or adapt the height of said decompression bar and optionally its horizontal orientation. A threaded spacer piece, an adjusting screw or the like is advantageously used; the distance between the supporting arrangement or the frame and the decompression bar is set by screwing it into or unscrewing it from assigned threaded receptacles.

In the case of linearly moveable parts, i.e. the holders of decompression bar, traction bar and/or crossbars, on the one hand, and the linear or receiving bearings for the slings, straps and/or ropes, on the other hand, a mutual guide is particularly advantageously provided, for example by means of a tongue and groove element, which, as a protruding part on the displaceable devices, prevents rotation or tilting. Instead of polygonal supports which have previously been used, use can therefore be made of cost-effect round tubes or bars and corresponding bearings but nevertheless with there always being full tilt resistance.

Furthermore, according to independent claim 24, the devices for suspending or fastening slings, straps and/or ropes can be freely moveable at least in a region which is defined by the translation or pivoting plane of each decompression bar or the suspension bearings arranged thereon. Owing to the rotational mounting of each decompression bar and possibly to a displaceable mounting of the frame or in the frame, every region of the decompression bar can be placed and exactly positioned in a horizontal plane. According to the invention, crossbars on which there are receiving bearings with eyelets or rope pulleys and the like for the ropes, slings and straps are provided on the or each decompression bar. As a result, further ranges of movement, especially ranges of displacement for the bearings, are defined along each crossbar, and therefore virtually any desired point can be reached by a receiving bearing for the slings, straps, and/or ropes. This free-running property ensures—within natural limits—an unobstructed movement of the suspended body parts.

The range of movement of the crossbars can be limited by stop elements for which optionally the lockable bearings can be used or use can be made of separate bushings, for example in the form of sliding sleeves with locking devices. When closure caps, balls or disks which are enlarged in cross section are used at the ends of the crossbars, free-running of the suspension bearings is possible without them being able to slip off from the crossbars. As a result, there is the possibility of designing the suspension of the person being treated in a completely free-running manner, particularly since the other moveable devices, in particular the linear or rotational bearings and other bearings for receiving slings, straps and/or ropes are likewise freely moveable. This affords the great advantage of pain-free supporting of the patient, since, for example if suspended at the hips, one leg automatically drops into adduction or abduction to an extent corresponding to the sum of muscular, capsular and arthrogenic imbalances. It is important here that a precisely vertical positioning of ropes can be set, for example to support joints, which, for example, permits an unambiguous diagnosis of malfunctions of the joints. Furthermore, defined or metered movements for training and for gymnastic exercise are possible owing to exact supporting.

A precisely vertical suspension or supporting of body parts is frequently important for treatment. This is achieved by use being made in each case of two receiving bearings for slings, straps and/or ropes, said receiving bearings being spaced apart from one another in a manner corresponding to the diameter or thickness of the body part in question. For this purpose, compression springs, for example helical springs can be arranged between the in particular free-running bearings, and the spring force of said springs keeps the bearings at a distance which can be set manually by a therapist.

Another independent development provides, in claim 32, a driving device, for example with an electric motor, which brings about a cyclic, oscillating or intermittent movement of parts of the arrangement by themselves or relative to one another such that the patient is trained by the forcibly guided movement. Isokinetic motors where the person being treated takes part in the movement are also suitable. In order to detect said movement, at least one moveable part of the arrangement can be assigned a measuring device.

Adequate flexural rigidity and stability of the shafts and rotors requires greater material thicknesses per se, but this may increase the overall weight of the moveable parts and, because of the inertia of the components, may limit the freedom of movement of the suspended patient. In particular, the therapy of body parts of low inherent mass, for example the arms or calves, would be made more difficult as a result. This is countered by an independent refinement of the invention with mini decompression bars which are supported by a respective easy-running bearing on two bars. In particular, adaptors provided with linear ball bearings can guide the or each mini decompression bar in a freely displaceable manner. Said mini decompression bar may be designed as a shaft which is flattened at least at one end and can be locked in a manner free from rotation.

According to independent claim 38, at least one adaptor for the coupling of a mini decompression bar can be attached to the shaft or to a crossbar of the apparatus. Adaptors which are displaceable in an easy-running manner can advantageously be fitted to in each case two bars and each have a rotor which is freely displaceable, for example by means of a linear ball bearing, on the assigned bar. The or each adaptor is preferably of rotatable and/or lockable design by having, on the rotor, a rotational bearing at which the mini decompression bar is held, in particular by means of a supporting bearing which can be coupled to the rotor and has a bush body which holds a linear bearing body for the mini decompression bar in a rotatable manner and can be latched to a journal of the rotor. A stopper, for example a closure disk, at least one end of the mini decompression bar prevents the assigned bearing from unintentionally sliding off.

Further advantages, characteristics and features of the present invention emerge from the following description of exemplary embodiments with reference to the drawing, in which:

FIG. 1 shows a schematic oblique view of a decompression bar with a traction bar,

FIG. 2 shows a view similar to FIG. 1, but with two decompression and traction bars,

FIG. 3 shows an oblique view of a frame apparatus with two decompression bars,

FIG. 3 a shows a view corresponding to FIG. 3 with movement arrows,

FIG. 4 shows a side view of a pelvis/leg suspension with caudal traction,

FIG. 5 shows a side view of an upper body suspension with cranial traction,

FIG. 6 shows a side view of an upper body suspension with segmental cranial traction,

FIG. 7 shows a side view of a whole body suspension,

FIG. 8 shows a side view of a whole body suspension with cranial and caudal traction,

FIG. 9 shows a side view of a whole body suspension in an oblique position,

FIG. 10 shows an oblique view of the apparatus similar to FIG. 3 a with a mini decompression bar,

FIGS. 11 a, 11 b, 11 c each show a schematized view of an adaptor device, and

FIGS. 12 a and 12 b each show a plan view of an apparatus part with a mini decompression bar for suspension of a body part.

FIG. 1 shows a ceiling-mounted variant of a sling apparatus which is suitable for the suspension of body parts either of the lower or upper body of a patient. A supporting arrangement A has a plate P which can be fastened to a room ceiling. A rotational and supporting bearing D is located at the lower end of a supporting rod T which protrudes from the plate P. A tube R which is connected to said bearing surrounds the supporting rod T in a rotatable manner and can be fixed to it with a locking means F. The tube R is connected fixedly at the lower end to a holder for a decompression bar 13 and at the upper end to an oblique strut V, the other end of which is fastened to a bearing part of the decompression bar 13.

The decompression bar 13 is stiffened virtually over its entire length by mutually parallel tubes 14 such that a stable beam or double bar 20 is formed, to the one end of which a plate-like holder 7 a is fastened. The other free end of the bar 13 opens into an L-shaped holder 7 c which additionally receives a traction bar 15. Jamming or tilting under load is prevented by the double bar assembly and the particular mounting of the crossbars 11 a . . . 11 e.

A plurality of crossbars 11 a to 11 e are provided on the decompression bar 13, with the number not being restricted to the five crossbars illustrated. The crossbar 11 b sits by means of a rotational bearing 4 b directly on the holder of the double bar 14. In the example shown, all of the remaining crossbars 11 a, 11 c . . . 11 e are each attached by means of a rotational bearing 4 a, 4 c . . . 4 e to rotors 6 a, 6 c . . . 6 e which are longitudinally displaceable on the double bar 14, 14′ and can be fixed by means of locking means 5 a . . . 5 e, for example in the form of locking screws.

The crossbars 11 a . . . 11 e have, at their ends, removeable closure disks or balls 12 which are each enlarged in diameter, and therefore a holding region and range of movement for bearings 8 is formed between the ends. Said bearings are displaceable on the crossbars 11 a . . . 11 e and are preferably designed as sliding sleeves which can likewise be fixed by means of locking means (not denoted in FIG. 1 and FIG. 2) and bear eyelets 24 and/or rope pulleys 25 to which can be fastened ropes 28, straps, slings S or the like which serve for the suspension of body parts, for example a patient's pelvis. The closure disks or balls 12 which act as stoppers ensure that the receiving bearings 8 cannot slip off from the ends of the crossbars 11 a . . . 11 e during free movement along them. Free-running of the bearings 8, which can, however, be fixed at desired points, is therefore possible on the crossbars 11 a . . . 11 e in a region delimited by the closure bodies 12.

In FIG. 1, the rotor 6 f bears, on a rotational bearing 4 f, a pivotable, grooved retaining tube 19 to which two shorter crossbars 29 are attached which can be longitudinally displaceable individually or together and each guide displaceable bearings 8 provided with suspension means 24 or 25. It can be seen that a pivotable unit which provides a special suspension option, for example for the head of a person being treated, is formed by means of the retaining tube 19.

By means of the rotors 6 a, 6 c . . . 6 e, the crossbars 11 a, 11 c . . . 11 e can be displaced freely in a range of movement or displacement on the decompression bar 13 between the end holders 7 a and 7 c and be fixed in the desired position along the decompression bar 13 by fixing means. The crossbars 11 d, 11 e permit a completely pain-free supporting, for example, of extremities of the patients, for example if suspended at the hips in a sling S on the crossbars 11 b and 11 c (FIG. 4), since a supported leg automatically falls into “adduction or abduction” which corresponds to the sum of the muscular, capsular and arthrogenic imbalances. For the ropes or slings to be oriented as vertically as possible, spring elements, preferably helical or compression springs 9, are arranged between the bearings 8 used in each case for a suspension, for example on one side of a leg, said springs ensuring, in a variable manner, a distance corresponding to the thickness of the leg or foot. Locking means additionally also permit the bearings 8 to be fixed on the bars 11 a, 11 e.

At that end of the decompression bar 13 which lies opposite the supporting arrangement A, a traction bar 15 is accommodated in a displaceable manner in a horizontal limb of the L-shaped holder 7 c in an opening 27 and also has, at its ends, protruding closure elements 12 which prevent the traction bar 15 from being pulled out of the opening 27. On its circumference, a groove 20 extends axially parallel over virtually its entire length and, together with an engagement element, for example in the form of a locking screw 15 a, prevents tilting moments or a rotation of the traction bar 15.

The latter has a displaceable linear bearing 21 with a locking means 15 b which likewise interacts with the groove 20 and can be screwed into the groove 20, for example by means of a threaded shaft, in order to support a crossbar 16, which is arranged on the linear bearing 21, in a tilt-resistant manner. Said crossbar has, at its ends, closure disks or balls 12 which again protrude. Displaceable bearings 16 a similar to or identical to the bearings 8 of the remaining bars 11 a . . . 11 e are provided on the crossbar 16 and are likewise freely moveable in the free-running region between the closure elements 12 and the linear bearing 21 and can be fixed there in any desired position by means of locking means.

The bearings 16 a also have eyelets 24 to or with which ropes 28, slings S, straps or the like can be fastened. The bearings 16 a preferably serve to apply a tensile load (traction) to a body region of the patient by suitable tensioning ropes X, for example between a hip sling and the eyelets 24 or rope pulleys 25, being tensioned at the bearings 16 a by a load L (FIGS. 4 to 9). A spring balance or a static or motorized tensioning device can also bring about the tensile load which, if appropriate, is clocked or controlled according to a program. The arrangement of the traction bar 15 at the end of the decompression bar 13 ensures the full mobility of the patient in therapy and training.

The embodiment shown in FIG. 2 partially corresponds to that of FIG. 1, but here there is a second decompression bar 13* of the same type which is coupled at the rotational bearing D to the first decompression bar 13 by a two-part joint G1, G2, with a joint outer part G1 axially and radially surrounding a joint inner part G2. Locking means F at each joint part G1, G2 serve to fix the angular position. The stabilizing struts V are coupled to the upper end of the supporting rod T by separate rotational bearings H, for example by simple hook and eyelet connections. It is also possible to fit tensioning screws with opposed threads at any desired point between the rotational bearings H, and therefore the distance between the bearings can be adjusted according to requirements and therefore the support can be optimized. As a result, the vertical position of the free ends of the decompression bars 13, 13* can be readjusted in order to be able to orient them precisely at right angles to the supporting rod T or to the tube R. In order to pivot the decompression bar exactly in the horizontal plane, the supporting rod T or the tube R has to be absolutely vertical. This is achieved via an adjustable anchoring of the plate P on the ceiling, for example by variably sized spacer pieces which can be placed underneath or by heavy-duty pegs which are provided with threads.

The ceiling-mounted variant of the apparatus, which is shown in FIG. 2, is suitable for the suspension both of a whole body and also of body regions or parts, with a patient lying on a bed W with a mattress U, see FIG. 4 to FIG. 6. Those elements of the second decompression bar 13* which correspond to FIG. 1 are each marked by an * in FIG. 2 and in FIG. 3 to FIG. 10.

In the exemplary embodiment of FIG. 3 and FIG. 3 a, there are two half frames 1, 1* which lie opposite each other in the same plane and have parallel longitudinal rails 17, 18 which are preferably designed as continuous tubes and support linear bearings 1 a, 1 b; 1 a*, 1 b* which are slideably guided in a longitudinally displaceable manner on the rails 17, 18 and can be fixed in a desired position, namely by means of locking screws (not denoted). A frame apparatus of this type, while having a very simple, stable construction, likewise permits the separate suspension of upper and lower body of a person being treated or suspension of the whole body, and also tensile loads, both cranially and also caudally, are possible.

The rails 17, 18 may be part of a moveable or stationary framework which is fastened, for example, just to the ceiling of a room via vertical struts (not shown) at the ends of the rails 17, 18 or is designed as a combined free-standing/wall-mounted apparatus. In the form of a free-standing apparatus, a framework which stands freely on the floor and is, for example, cuboidal forms a type of cage, with the rails 17, 18 being upper longitudinal struts. In the case of a combined wall-mounted/free-standing installation, the rails 17, 18 are fastened by one of their ends to a wall while the other of their ends is supported in each case on the floor of a room via vertical struts. The longitudinal rails 17, 18 may also be part of an already existing apparatus, and therefore an existing sling apparatus may be retrofitted.

Each half frame 1, 1* has two cross rails 2 a, 2 b or 2 a*, 2 b* arranged at a distance from and parallel to each other. The linear bearings 1 a, 1 a*; 1 b, 1 b*, which are respectively accommodated in a displaceable or sliding manner on the longitudinal rails 17 and 18, support the cross rails 2 b, 2 b*. As an alternative or in addition, the cross rails 2 a, 2 a* may also be designed such that they are displaceable via linear bearings running on the longitudinal rails 17, 18. In another variant, the cross rails 2 a, 2 b or 2 a*, 2 b* are held displaceably at a fixed distance from each other in each case along the longitudinal rails 17, 18, which is realized, for example, by common linear bearings connecting the cross rails 2 a, 2 b; 2 a*, 2 b*, or—in the case of separate linear bearings—by struts which connect the cross rails 2 a, 2 b; 2 a*, 2 b* at a fixed distance from each other.

Along the cross rails 2 a, 2 a* or 2 b, 2 b* there are therefore displaceable linear bearings 3 a, 3 a* and 3 b, 3 b* which are respectively connected to rotational bearings 4 a, 4 a* or 4 b, 4 b* which in pairs each hold one decompression bar 13; 13*. Furthermore, each rotational bearing 4 a, 4 a* sits on a double linear bearing 3 c, 3 c* which holds a decompression bar 13, 13*.

In a departure from FIG. 2, the two decompression bars according to FIGS. 3 and 3 a and also FIGS. 7 to 9 can be connected or are connected by a coupling K in which protruding eyes of closure pieces can be coupled in a simple manner by a bearing bolt.

The two decompression bars 13, 13* preferably have two parallel tubes 14; 14* and therefore each form a double bar. Their axis of rotation is oriented in each case transversely with respect to the rails 2 a, 2 a* or 2 b, 2 b* and, in particular, vertically. The two decompression bars 13, 13* can therefore be pivoted horizontally in the plane of the cross rails 2 a, 2 a*; 2 b, 2 b* at the rotational bearings 4 a, 4 a*; 4 b, 4 b* while the linear bearings 3 a, 3 a*; 3 b, 3 b* permit a movement or displacement along the cross rails 2 a, 2 a*; 2 b, 2 b*. Double arrows in FIG. 3 a mark a selection of movement possibilities. For example, the rotational bearings 4 a, 4 a* may be height-adjustable, for example with an adjusting screw or a threaded spacer piece, in order to horizontally align one or each decompression bar 13, 13*.

Owing to the linear bearings 3 a, 3 a*; 3 b, 3 b*, each decompression bar 13, 13* can therefore execute translation movements transversely with respect to its longitudinal extent. In addition, a pivoting movement can be superimposed, and therefore the decompression bar 13, 13* can be adjusted obliquely with respect to the rails 17, 18 over which it can protrude laterally. One of the bearing or pivot points 4 a, 4 a*; 4 b, 4 b* can be fixed by means of locking devices 5 a, 5 a*; 5 b, 5 b* for the linear bearings 3 a, 3 a*; 3 b, 3 b*, as a result of which the spindle of the rotational bearing in question is fixed. The rotational bearing 4 a can be fixed, for example, by securing of the linear bearing 3 a by means of the locking means 5 a while the linear bearing 3 b remains displaceable on the cross rail 2 b, and therefore, during pivoting of the decompression bar 13, a rotational movement in the rotational bearing 4 b takes place with a displacement of the linear bearing 3 b.

Traction operations can be applied either from the head or foot end via the traction bars 15, 15* (FIGS. 4 to 9), which considerably expands the treatment possibilities. For example, with suspension of the upper body, a segmental traction of the spinal column from the cranial end in combination with a lateral flexion (lateral inclination) to the right or left and a right or left rotational movement can be carried out with the aid of the traction bar 15* (FIG. 6). In addition, specific compression action—also with movement—can be achieved via the two traction devices.

It is highly advantageous to be able to support a patient's head in a tilt-resistant manner on the crossbars 29 via four displaceable suspension points, of which at least one is displaceable on a grooved bar or retaining tube 19, which permits easy adaptation to different head sizes (FIGS. 5 to 9). In the case of such a suspension of the head, the pivot point defined by the rotational bearing between the retaining tube 19 in the assigned rotor 6 f* can be positioned and adjusted segmentally. This permits defined lateral inclination movements of the cervical spinal column and rotation possibilities by means of simple shortening or lengthening of the head sling suspension ropes.

The two decompression bars 13, 13* can be coupled together via a coupling K, for example by means of bearing bolts which couple protruding eyes on the component 6 a, 6 a* to each other (see, for example, FIG. 3). The rotational bearings 4 b, 4 b* then form a common central pivot point, which permits the suspension of the whole body of the person being treated.

Another variant is apparent in FIGS. 7 to 9. In this case, an apparatus in the manner of the construction of FIG. 2 is fastened to a room ceiling by a plate P of a supporting arrangement A which has a head M with pivotable braces N on a telescopic supporting rod T, as a result of which the entire apparatus can be rotated about a vertical axis (thin double arrow) and/or can be pivoted about a horizontal axis (thick double arrow). FIG. 9 shows a position in which the two decompression bars 13, 13* are oriented linearly and are together tilted by an angle of, for example, 5° or more. By means of the selection of the tilting angle, the gravitational force can act in different ways, and not only in the uniform suspension of the whole body which is illustrated. This is used, for example, for circulation training or for the therapy of (turning) states of dizziness.

The invention provides an additional device with bars which are adjustable longitudinally and/or obliquely particularly for the mobilization of body parts which have a small inherent mass in relation to the mass of the apparatus parts to be moved. Said bars are referred to here as mini decompression bars 10 (FIG. 10) which can be designed as tubes or shafts which are flattened at one end and, if appropriate after removal of a closure ball or disk 12, can be attached to crossbars—for example, 11 b, 11 f—by means of smooth-running adaptors 22. In each case two bars (for example 11 b, 11 f) are expediently each provided with an adaptor 22, which is displaceable in an easy-running manner, for a mini decompression bar 10.

At rotors 26, the adaptors 22 have supporting bearings, especially linear ball bearings corresponding to 8 a/8 b, which each hold a rotational bearing 37 for a linear bearing body 34 (FIGS. 11 a, b), in the transverse bore 35 of which the mini decompression bar 10 is guided. If an adaptor 22 is secured in a defined position by fixing of its assigned linear bearing 8 a on the crossbar 11 e, then a linear bearing 8 b can remain displaceable on the crossbar 11 d, as a result of which, when the mini decompression bar 10 is pivoted, a rotation in the rotational bearing 37 is associated with a displacement of the linear bearing 8 b.

However, it is also possible and provided according to the invention that adaptors 22 are neither fixed on the one nor on the other crossbar (11 a, 11 c in the example of FIGS. 12 a/12 b) but rather both are arranged in a freely running manner. This permits the typical exercise use shown in FIGS. 12 a, 12 b, where a patient can freely move his suspended arm at the elbow and shoulder joint totally horizontally and can position it differently obliquely relative to the longitudinal axis of his body. The pivot point of the (arm) movement is not located in a single component, for example the rotational bearing 37, but virtually between the respectively cooperating components which take on the supporting of the load, to be precise without components which are loaded on one side—for example rotor 6 a . . . 6 f—or the entire double bar construction 13, 13* being moved. This is of enormous advantage particularly for the treatment of body joints.

Suitable exemplary embodiments of adaptors can be seen from FIGS. 11 a, b, c. An adaptor 22 with a rotor 26, which is drilled through longitudinally, is guided in a slideable manner on a bar 11, can be fixed at a desired location on the bar 11 by means of a locking screw 36 and, on one side, has a collar 30 from which a journal which is scored and drilled through transversely protrudes (FIG. 11 a). The supporting bearing 8 a together with the rotational bearing 37 can be coupled thereto, for which purpose a bush body 32, which is likewise drilled through transversely, of a supporting bearing 8 a (or 8 b) can be latched to the journal 31 by a securing bolt 33 and, for example, a snap ring. The latter, at the rotational bearing 37, holds the linear bearing body 34 which guides, in its transverse bore 35, the mini decompression bar 10 and can be fixed thereon by means of a locking screw 36 a (FIG. 11 b). It is revealed in particular in FIG. 11 c that the rotor 26 also has, with respect to the journal 31, a supporting piece 38 for a bearing 39 which holds a rope pulley 40, which is provided with a notch 41 for the threading in of a rope (not illustrated), in a rotatable manner.

An adaptor 22 of this type can be used in two different functions. In the position according to FIGS. 11 a and 11 b, it serves for the flange-mounting of the supporting bearing 8 a on the rotor 26 such that the mini decompression bar 10, which is provided with the linear bearing bodies 34, can be coupled from below to the rotor 26 without closure elements 12 having to be unscrewed and screwed up. In the position turned through 180° on the bar 11, the journal 31 of the adaptor 22 protrudes upwards (FIG. 11 c), with the rope pulley 40 which is mounted on the supporting piece 38 serving as a suspension point for a rope pull, a hook or the like.

The invention is not restricted to the embodiments described but rather can be converted in diverse ways. It is thus advantageous, in the case of existing exercise apparatuses with woven meshes, to attach the sling apparatus rigidly to a framework by means of suitable fastenings, with the longitudinal rails 17, 18 not having to be present and the crossrails 2 b, 2 b* not having to be of displaceable design.

A traction bar 15 does not absolutely have to be provided at the end of the decompression bar 13 or 13*; on the contrary, it is also possible to arrange it or a further traction bar, for example, on one of the rotors 6 b, 6 c, or 6 b*, 6 c* in a central part of the decompression bar 13, 13*. The free-running regions can be restricted by additional bearings 8 or suitably designed bushings or stops by the latter or sliding sleeves or rotational bearings being fixed at the ends of the desired free-running region by locking means such that bearings 8 located in between can only be moved in said region.

Furthermore, in the various regions—at the rotational joints 4 a, 4 b, the linear bearings 3 a, 3 b, 3 c, 21 or on the suspension bearings 8 or other moveable parts, for example the rotor 6 b or 6 c—driving means, for example in the form of electric motors, can be provided, said driving means executing a permanent or intermittent, cyclic or oscillating movement and therefore bringing about a forcibly guided gymnastic movement of the patient.

It can be seen that the invention provides an exercise apparatus which is comfortable and secure to handle, for supporting, diagnostics and therapy and for gymnastic and/or training movement of the body, said exercise apparatus being designed as a sling apparatus with a supporting arrangement 1 and at least one decompression bar 13, 13* which is mounted in a pivotable and/or displaceable manner thereon and on which crossbars 11; 11 a . . . 11 g; 11 a* . . . 11 g* are arranged in a displaceable and rotatable manner together with bearings 8 on rotors 6 a . . . 6 f, 6 a . . . 6 f*. Tubes 14, 14′ which are arranged in parallel one above another or next to one another stabilize the decompression bar 13, 13* and prevent tiltings or clampings over the entire range of displacement of the bars 11; 11 a . . . 11 g; 11 a* . . . 11 g* to which mini decompression bars 10 can additionally be attached by means of adaptors 22 such that they are displaceable in an easy-running manner. For the support of body parts or absorption of loads, devices 24, 25 for the suspension of slings S, straps and/or ropes 28 are present in an arrangement such that movements which run freely horizontally can be executed. Defined supporting points for the body parts are provided or can be adjusted in an infinitely variable manner. A free-running effect and the rotateability of crossbars and/or frame parts are important in order to support a patient in a very substantially pain-free manner and to reliably diagnose and treat the active and passive structures of his movement apparatus. A frame construction 1, 1* permits the pivoting and/or displacement of the decompression bar 13, 13* with a stable, biaxial rotational mounting. If there is at least one traction bar 15, 15* at the end of the or each decompression bar 13, 13*, depending on requirements, tensile or compression forces may be in effect, with a person being treated retaining his full mobility. A new type of means of suspending the head creates particular movement and treatment possibilities. The flexibility of the apparatus according to the invention brings about considerable advances in physiotherapeutic diagnostics, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation.

All of the features and advantages emerging from the claims, the description and the drawing, including structural details, spatial arrangements and method steps, may be essential to the invention by themselves and in very varied combinations.

List of designations
A supporting arrangement
B base rail
D rotational bearing
F fixing means
G1 joint outer part
G2 joint inner part
H rotational bearing
K coupling
L load
M head
N braces
P plate
R tube
S slings
T (telescopic) supporting rod
U mattress
V (stiffening) struts
W bed
X tensioning rope
1, 1* frame
1a, 1b; 1a*, 1b* linear bearing
2a, 2b; 2a*, 2b* crossrails
3a, 3a* central linear bearing
3b, 3c; 3b*, 3c* linear bearing
4a, 4a*; 4b, 4b* rotational bearing
5a . . . 5f; 5a* . . . 5f* fixing means
6a . . . 6f; 6a* . . . 6f* (dual-mounted) rotors
7a, 7b, 7c holders
8; 8a, 8b (supporting) bearing
9 compression spring
10 mini decompression bar
11a . . . 11g; 11a* . . . 11g* crossbars
12 closure ball
13, 13* decompression bar
14, 14* (double) tube/bars
15, 15* traction bar
15a, 15b; 15*, 15b* fixing means (for 15, 16)
16, 16* (traction) crossbar
16a, 16a* bearing (on 16)
17, 18 longitudinal rails
19 grooved retaining tube
20 (longitudinal) groove
21, 21* linear bearing (for 16, 16*)
22 adaptor
23 traction bearing
24 eyelet
25 rope pulley
26 rotor
27 opening
28 ropes
29 crossbars (on 19)
30 collar
31 journal
32 bush part
33 securing bolt
34 linear bearing body
35 transverse bore
36, 36a locking screws
37 rotational bearing
38 supporting piece
39 bearing
40 rope pulley
41 (introductory) notch

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7878959 *Aug 27, 2009Feb 1, 2011Ko-Chuan ChenElectrically operated rehabilitation and exercise bed for simultaneous traction of upper limbs and lower limbs
Classifications
U.S. Classification482/143
International ClassificationA63B26/00
Cooperative ClassificationA61H2203/0456, A61H1/0229
European ClassificationA61H1/02D12