US 2674242 A
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April 6, 1954 -w. BIERMAN EXERCISER FOR SUBNORMAL MUSCLES 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Aug. 2, 1950 INVENTOR. MAL/HM F ERMHM A TTOQNEY April 6, 1954 w. BIERMAN 2,674,242
EXERCISEZR FOR SUBNORMAL MUSCLES Filed Aug. 2, 1950 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR.
M g BERMFI'A/ A TTOPNE) April 6, 1954 w. BIERMAN EXERCISER FOR SUBNORMAL MUSCLES 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed Aug. 2, 1950 INVENTOR. EER IA/ A TTOENE) April 6, 1954 w. BIERMAN EXERCISER FOR SUBNORMAL MUSCLES 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed Aug. 2, 1950 INVENTOR. "M/LLIHM BER/"H V A TTOQNEY Patented Apr. 6, 1954 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE EXERCISER FOR SUBNORMAL MUSCLES William Bierman, New York, N. Y.
Application August 2, 1950, Serial No. 177,196
12 Claims. 1
This invention relates to exercisers for subnormal muscles, and more particularly pertains to exercisers of the character described for the body extremities, i. e. for the feet, legs, hands and arms.
It is an object of my invention to provide a power exerciser of the character described which can move and thus prevent atrophy of completely paralyzed muscles, and also can effect an improvement in the condition of paretic muscles which normally move the body extremities.
It is a further object of my invention to provide a power exerciser of the character described which can achieve improvement of paretic muscles that are associated with completely paralyzed muscles.
It is another object of my invention to provide a power exerciser of the character described which by simple and rapid adjustments can be shifted to move and exercise all kinds of variously aiilicted sets of muscles.
It is another object of my invention to provide a power exerciser of the character described which constitutes relatively few and simple parts and is light, portable, easy to use and inexpensive to manufacture, so that the same can be made available on a large scale for the use of patients in homes and hospitals.
It is another object of my invention to provide a power exerciser of the character described which can be employed by the patient himself without the constant assistance and supervision of doctors and technicians, whereby not only will the patient be psychologically aided, but his treatment will be less financially burdensome.
Other objects of my invention will in part be obvious and in part will be pointed out hereinafter.
My invention accordingly consists in the features of construction, combinations of elements and arrangements of parts which will be exemplified in the device hereinafter described and of which the scope of application will be indicated in the appended claims.
In the accompanying drawings in which is shown one of the various possible embodiments of my invention,
Fig. 1 is a side view of an exerciser constructed in accordance with my invention;
Fig. 2 is an auxiliary top view thereof, the same being taken substantially along the line 2-2 of Fig. 1;
Fig. 3 is a front view of the exerciser;
Fig. 4 is a sectional view through the exerciser, the same being taken substantially along the line 2 4-4 of Fig. 1 and showing the back of the platform and the bi-axial mounting therefor;
Fig. 5 is a sectional view taken substantially along the line 5-5 of Fig. 4 and showing the detail of the mounting for permitting oscillation of the platform about an axis perpendicular to the horizontal axis;
Fig. 6 is a sectional view taken substantially along the line 66 of Fig. l and showing details of the means for adjusting the throw of oscillation about the two axes;
Fig. '7 is an enlarged sectional view taken substantially along the line 1-1 of Fig. 2 and showing a detail of the selectively changeable drive for oscillating the platform about the horizontal axis; and
Fig. 8 is a side view partially in section of an adjustable weight used with the exerciser for affording passive aid or active resistance to paretic muscles.
To facilitate explanation of my invention, reference will be made herein to the conventional system of muscle grading, wherein a completely paralyzed muscle is known as grade 0; a muscle which can cause just a flicker of motion is known as grade 1 or as a trace; a muscle which can move a joint, but not against gravity, e. g. can move a joint in water, is known as grade 2 or "poor; a muscle which can move a joint against gravity but not against resistance is known as grade 3 or fair; a muscle which can move a joint against some resistance is known as grade 4 or good; and a muscle which is able to move a joint against ordinary resistance is known as grade 5 or normal.
For grade 0 muscles, no improvement can be effected. However, atrophy of such muscles can be minimized or checked by proper movement thereof.
For grade 1 and 2 muscles, an improvement in condition is achieved first by determining with extreme precision the degree of muscle power remaining and then by applying just the exact minimal amount of assistance to enable that muscle to complete itsnormal range of movement.
For grade 3 muscles, the desired result is secured by causing the joint to move against a minute resistance which gradually and progressively is increased as the muscle passes to grade 4.
Movement of any body extremity, e. g. a foot, is controlled by several groups of muscles, different groups being able to act independently of the others as prime movers. Thus, for example, to flex a foot upwardly about the ankle, there are muscles which can move the foot upwardly and inwardly, muscles which can move the foot upwardly and outwardly and muscles which only can move the foot upwardly. Other groups of muscles can bring about various downward movements of the foot, i. e. downwardly and inwardly, downwardly and outwardly and downwardly only. It will be apparent that these different groups of muscles can be afflicted to varying degrees. For instance, all the muscles can be grade 0, in which case the exerciser will be required to move the foot up and down and bend it from side to side. All of the muscles which fiex the foot upwardly'may be gradewhile the downward flexing muscles may. be-
must be able to flex the foot upw'ardlyi and to supply assistance or resistance as necessary for downward flexing. Other conditions of affliction require different aid by the exerciser.
In general, I carry out my inventionbyso mounting the platform that it iscapable ofos-- cillation about two axes atright angles to each other, one of the axes being horizontalbut the .vo axes not'necessarily intersecting. In other words, the bridge and beamform a cross whose horizontal bar is journalled in the pedestal posts and whose vertical bar is journalled in the lugs 58 attached to the platform. In the preferred form of my invention, the mounting'for the platform is such that separate pivoting means are employed for said two axes, whereby the positions of said axes can be definitely and simply fixed and the arcs of oscillation readily calibrated. The platform is oscillated by two powerboard :2 or the like, adapted to be rested on a fiat horizontal support such as a table; chair or bed. A horizontal hinge l4 pivotally connects the rear edge of the board to the rear edge of a base Hi. The angular position of said base is adjustably set by any suitable means, for instance, a pair of perforated, stiff, fiat strips 18 located on opposite sides of the base and board remote from the hinge I4. Each strip is pivotally secured to an angle bracket on the board as by a horizontal bolt 20 and wing nut 22 and is similarly secured to an angle bracket on the base by another bolt and nut 24, 26. By inserting the bolts 24 through the proper registered apertures in the strips, any feasible angular position of the base can be obtained.
A platform 28 of suitable dimensions and shape is included. Said platform comprises an elongated plate 30 along whose lateral edges I provide a plurality of T-shaped extensions 32, the same constituting anchoring posts to which tapes or bandages can be secured in order to hold a foot or hand against the platform. To fix the position of the heel of a hand or foot, a bottom stop 34 is provided. Said stop includes a flat body 36 overlying the plate 30 near its bottom and having retroverted ends 38 which embrace the lateral edges of the plate in order to guide the stop for movement parallel to the longitudinal axis of the plate. The stop is held in any adjusted position by a capstan bolt 49, a shouldered portion of which abuts the upper surface of the stop body 35. The threaded extension of the bolt 40 passes freely through an opening in the stop body and through an elongated slot in the-platform plate 30. iSaid threaded extension is received in a nut 42 beneath the plate. The stop body carries a V-shaped rest 43 against which the heel of a foot or hand is designed to be placed.
The mounting means for the platform constitutesa pair of pedestal posts 44 secured to the base andinwvhich' the opposite ends of a bridge 46 are journalled for oscillation about a horizontal axis. Fixed rigidly and firmly to the center of the bridge is a beam 48 which runs in a direction-at-rightangles to'the horizontal'axis aforesaid. The beam'extends' above and belowsaid axis for a-reason which later will be apparent. The ends of the-beam are offset toward the plat-' form 28 and are journalled in lugs 50 protruding from the rear surfaceof said platform. Thereby the platformis mountedfor oscillation about the horizontal axis of rotation of' the bridge and additionally about an axis at right angles to the horizontal axis.
The horizontalarc of rotation is measured with the aid of a circular scale52 (Fig. 1) on a stationary disk 54' fixed to one of the posts44;
Saidscale is read against an index pointer 56' clamped to' an end58 of the bridge which protrudes through the post.
It may be mentioned that oscillation of the bridge about its horizontal axis is held between two fixed'limits determined by abutment of offsets 60 (Fig. 2) adjacent the ends of the bridge against the projecting ends of screws 62 (Fig. 4) mounted on'ears 64-1ocated on the back surface of the disk 54.
The are of oscillationabout the second axis is measured with the aid of a circular scale 66 (Fig. 2) on a disk 68- fixed to the uppermost lug 50. This scale is read against a stationary index pointer 10 clamped to the upper end of the bridge 48 which extends through said lug.
For a purpose which will become obvious as the description proceeds, means is included to selectively lock the platform to the beam in any desired relative position thereof. Said means conveniently comprises a knurl-headed bolt 72 Whose shank freely passes through an opening in the pointer 70 and through an arcuate slot 16 in the disk 68, the center of curvature of the slot being at the axis of rotation of the platform relative to the beam. The tip of the bolt engages a nut 18 (Fig. 1) located beneath the disk 68. It will be seen that upon tightening the bolt the platform is securely fixed to the beam.
In the preferred form of my invention shown herein, I employ as a source of power an electric motor whose speed is controlled by a rheostat 82. The motor speed is far too rapid for the purpose for which I intend the same and, accordingly, suitable means is included to derive a lower rate of speed. For example, the-motor may be provided with a reduction gear train 84 which can, as illustrated, form an integral part of the motor assembly. The output shaft 86 of the gear train mounts a small diameter sheave 88 over which a belt 90' is trained. Said belt engages a large diameter sheave 92 fixed to a horizontal operating shaft 94 which is journalled in a pedestal bearing 96 and is parallel to the axis of rotation of the bridge.
The overall speed reduction ratio including that of the gear train, if any, forming part of the motor and the reduction train, if any, between the output shaft of the gear train and the operating shaft 94 should be such that the shaft 94 turns over at a comparatively slow speed. By way of example, a suitable speed is in the neighborhood of ten revolutions per minute. It will be understood, however, that this number simply is exemplary and the invention is not to be limited thereto. Thus, speeds as high, for instance, as thirty revolutions per minute, or as low as three revolutions per minute, are within the scope of my invention. These slow speeds are basically distinguishable from the much higher speeds found in body massaging or shaking instruments. Hence, it will be appreciated that hereinafter when the term slow" is used to denote the rate of rotation of the shaft 94 (and hence the timing of the cycle of the exerciser) I mean to indicate a speed in the neighborhood of three to thirty revolutions per minute and exclude such rapid rates of rotation as 500 R. P. M. and up.
The operating shaft 94 has secured thereto a support 98 (Fig. 1) on which is mounted a pair of ways or gibs IIlIl between which a cross-head I02 is slidably captive for movement radially of the shaft 94 in a vertical plane perpendicular to the shaft. The cross-head is formed with a tapped bore which extends parallel to the direction of movement of the cross-head and receives a threaded spindle I04 (Fig. 6) having a knurled head I06. Said spindle is held against axial shifting by a bearing I08 secured to the plate at and caught between the head I66 and a collar H9 pinned to the spindle. Thus, by turning the spindle the eccentricity of the cross-head may be varied.
Extending from the cross-head is a crank pin I I2 to which an end I I4 of a link I I6 is pivotally secured. The other end of the link is pivotally connected to the beam t5. Both axes of pivotal connection are horizontal and parallel to the shaft 94. The pivotal connection between the link H6 and beam is effected by means of a pin H8 and a pair of parallel arms I28 on the end of the link. Said pin has a knurled head I22, an unthreaded shank which extendsthrough one of the arms I2!) and through an eye I24 on the beam, and a threaded tip I26 which is designed to engage a. tapped opening in the opposite arm. I720. The beam is provided with. two eyes I24, one above the horizontal axis of rotation of the bridge and the other below the same for a purpose which soon will be obvious.
The link I I6 is designed either to be used as a positive (dual direction oscillation) drive between the crank pin I I2 and the beam or as a one-direc tion drive, i. e. a drive capable of oscillating the beam in one direction only but permitting a nonpowered movement of the beam in the return direction. To this end, said beam comprises a sleeve I28 (Fig. '7) within which a rod I33 is snugly telescoped. The sleeve is movable with one end of the link and the rod with the other. The sleeve has a tubular extension i322 (Fig. 2) within which a detent I34 is slidable in a path intersecting the longitudinal axis of the rod I39. Said detent is biassed toward the rod by a com.- pression spring I36 housed within the tube. A manipulating handle I38 fastened to the detent extends through a bayonet slot I40 in the tube.
When the handle is in the long and of the bayonet slot, the spring I36 urges the detent toward the rod. Said rod is provided with an annular depression I42 which is engageable by the tip of the detent to tie the rod and sleeve together for joint movement. When the handle is in the short or looking end of the bayonet slot, the detent will be held in retracted position against the force of the spring I35 with the tip of the detent disengaged from the annular depression, so that it is possible relatively to move the rod and sleeve to extended position. In other words, the sleeve can be pulled along the rod at such time as the detent is retracted to break the operative connection between the rod and sleeve.
The cross-head I02 supports a block I44, the same optionally being secured to the outer end of the crank pin I I2. On the block I44 I provide a pair of ways or gibs I493 between which a crosshead I48 is captively, slidably secured. Said cross-head I 48 is manipulated in the same manner as the crosshead It?! by means or a threaded spindle I5ii having a knurled handle I52. The cross-head I48 carries a crank pin I54 whose eccentricity is varied by rotation of the spindle I50. It will be observed that the two cross-heads, and therefore the two crank pins, are adjustable in parallel direction.
Rotatably mounted on the crank pin IE4 is a bearing I56 having a through opening I58 (see Fig. 1) which receives the short angular end I BI] of a lateral rocking link I62. The tip of said end is threaded to engage a knurled nut I64 whereby the link IE2 is detachably connected to the crank pin I5 5. The opposite end of the link IE2 is adjustably connected (see Fig. l) to a second bearing ltd. This latter bearing is pivotally mounted on a spindle I58 (Fig. 2). It will be observed that the spindle is horizontal and parallel to the horizontal rocking axis of the bridge 48. The bearing I66 is held on the spindle by a knurled nut I'IIl threaded on the free end of said spindle. The spindle is secured to a lever I12 that is carried by a sleeve I'M mounted on a pin I'III parallel to the spindle so as to permit rotation parallel to the horizontal rocking axis. Also afiixed to the collar is a second lever I18. This latter lever is connected to the platform 28 by a link I89 of adjustable length, each end of said lever being swiveled.
In the operation of the exerciser the base It is set at a proper angle to the board I2 a directed by a physician or technician. If the exerciser is to be used for completely paralyzed muscles only,
i. e. an exerciser which functions without the efiort or assistance of a patient, the handle I38 of the link H6 is set so that said link acts as a positive or bi-clirectional power transmitting kinematic mechanism. The pin I22 and corresponding end of the link IIii are set in either of the eyes I24. The lateral rocking link I52 is set in its operative position as shown in the various figures. The patients hand or foot is strapped on the platform 28 and the motor then energized. By previous analysis, the extent of upward and downward flexion of a patients extremity is determined and the threaded spindle I04 is turned to obtain the desired oscillatory arc of movement about the horizontal axis of support of the bridge. It will be observed that this are can be measured with the aid of the scale 52 and pointer 56. Next, if lateral or sideto-side fiexion is desired, the bolt I2 is freed and the threaded spindle I59 is turned to disalign the axes of the crank pins II2, I54. This causes. the. platform 1 to rock, fromside to sidev (aboutan axis-perpendicular to the horizontal axis) in synchronism with oscillation about said horizontal axis. The-extent of such lateral rocking-can be readwith the aid of the pointer and the scale 69. The speed of the rocking cycle can be varied by manipulation of the rheostat 82.
Should it be desired to employ the exerciser without lateral ilexion, the crank pin I5 is maintained in axial alignment with the crank pin I I2. Alternatively, the link I62 can be disconnected and the platformlocked inany desired sidewise inclination by tightening the bolt '12.
If it is desired to employ the exerciser in aid of a condition wherein the muscles which move a hand; or foot upwardly are completely paralyzed and themuscles which move a hand or foot downwardly are paretic, the two nuts I64. and no are unscrewed-and the link I62 removed. In addition, the handle I38 is pulled into the locking end of the bayonet slot thus releasing the rod and sleeve for independent movement. The link H6 is connected to theupper eye I24. Finally, the platform is rocked to some desired lateral inclination with respect to the beam 48 and secured in this position by tightening the bolt i2. When the motor is energized the operating shaft 94 will turn in a clockwise direction A (see Fig. l) The crank pin I I2 during movement through its upper two quadrants will oscillate the bridge 5 in aclockwise direction about the horizontal rock ing axis. However, it will be unable to rock the bridge in a counter-clockwise direction. as it moves throughits lower two quadrants. The link is able to transmit the clockwise movement because the free end of the-sleeve abuts a shoulder I532 on the rod I30. Alternatively, the tip of the rod may bottom against the closed end of the sleeve. Movement in a reverse direction cannot be transmitted since the rod slides out of the sleeve. Accordingly, the shaft 94 will flex a foot or arm upwardly, but the foot or arm must be moved downwardly with the aid of the patients muscles.
It is desirable to assist grade 1 and 2 muscles and to resist grade 3 and i muscles. To enable the machine to carry ont such function, I provide an end I84 of the bridge 46 which extends beyond the pedestal post with a block I86, this block being of rectangular cross-section and having a face formed with a pair of parallel rails I 88. A bracket I 911 (Fig. 8) of complementary shape is employed in connection with said block. The bracket is of U-shaped configuration, one of the legs of the U being designed to be snugly received between the rails I88 while the opposite leg of the U slida'bly engages the opposite face of the block. Said bracket I90 serves to support a bar I92 havinga threaded free end 94. The bar slidably receives a plurality of apertured cylinders I96 whose weights may be of different values. Any predetermined total weight is placed on the bar and held in position by threading a nut I91 down the rod to engage the outermost cylinder.
For flexing downwardly a foot with grade 1 or 2 muscles, the bracket I90 is arranged so that the cylinders I 95 tend to turn the bridge 65 in a counterclockwise direction thereby aiding these muscles in their movement of the platform 23. Should the paretic downwardly flexing muscles be grade 3 or 4, the bracket is reversed to afford a resistive torque against which said muscles may work. It is to be noted that the arc of oscillation is relatively small and that the bar I92 is approximately,horizontal atthe center of saidarc,
Hence the change in a'ssistive orresistive torque. afforded by the cylinders asthe platform oscillates about the horizontal rocking axis is not appreciable.
Should the downwardly flexing muscles be completely paralyzed and the upwardly flexing mus cles paretic, the pin I22 is withdrawn from the,
upper eye I24, the associated end of the link II 6 is engaged with the lower eye I24, and said pin inserted through said eye. Now when the crank pin H2 moves through its upper two quadrants, it will positively oscillate the platform 28 in a counterclockwise direction thereby positively flexing the foot or arm downwardly. However, due
to the one-directional driving effect of the link I I6, as the crank pin moves through its lower two quadrants, the platform will not be moved up wardly thereby and the foot must be flexed upwardly by the paretic muscles, either with the assistance of the cylinders I69 if the muscles be grade 1 or 2 or against the resistance of said cylinders if the muscles be grade 3 or 4. It will be understood that the position of the cylinders is i limiting sense.
Having thus described my invention, I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent: 1. An exerciser for sub-normal muscles ofbody extremities, said exerciser comprising a platform,
means mounting said platform for rocking about a horizontal axis, a source of motive power, and a kinematic train interconnecting the source and platform for oscillating said platform about said axis, said kinematic train oscillating said plat form to and fro and including means to convert the train into an intermittent one-Way drive for oscillating the platform in one direction only and permitting free return of the platform in the opposite direction.
2. An exerciser for sub-normal muscles of body extremities, said exerciser comprising a platform, means mounting said platform for rocking about a horizontal axis and about an upwardly extending axis at right angles thereto, a source of motive power, a kinematic train interconnecting the source and platform for oscillating said platform about said axis, said kinematic train oscillating said platform to and fro and including means to convert thetrain into an intermittent one-way drive for oscillating the platform in one direction only and permitting free return of the platform in the opposite direction, a separate kinematic train actuated by said source of power for oscillating said platform about the axis at right angles to the horizontal axis, means to selectively disconnect said second train, and means to se: lectively lock said platform against rocking about the second-namedaxis.
3. An exerciser for sub-normal muscles of body extremities, said exerciser comprising a platform, means mounting said platform for rocking about a horizontal axis, a source of motive power, a kinematic train interconnecting the source and platform for oscillating said platform about said. axis, said kinematic train oscillating said platform to and fro and including means to convert the train into an intermittent one-way drive for oscillating the platform in one direction only and permitting free return of the platform in the opposite direction, and means to selectively oppose or aid oscillation of the platform during its free return movement.
4. An exerciser for sub-normal muscles of body extremities, said exerciser comprising a platform, means mounting said platform for rocking about a horizontal axis, a source of motive power, and a kinematic train interconnecting the source and platform for oscillating said platform about said axis, said kinematic train oscillating said platform to and fro and including means to convert the train into an intermittent one-way drive for oscillating the platform in one direction only and permitting free return of the platform in the opposite direction, said kinematic train being constructed to selectively oscillate the platform intermittently in one or the other of two directions while permitting the free return of the platform in the opposite direction.
5. An exerciser for sub-normal muscles of body extremities, said exerciser comprising a platform, means mounting aid platform for rocking about a horizontal axis and about an upwardly extending axis at right angles thereto, a source of motive power, a selectively variable kinematic train actuated by said source of power for oscillating the platform through an adjustable are about said horizontal axis, and a separate selectively variable kinematic train actuated by said source of power for oscillating the platform through an adjustable are about said second-named axis.
6. An exerciser for sub-normal muscles of body extremities, said exerciser comprising a base, a member, means mounting said member on said base for rocking about a horizontal axis, a platform, means mounting said platform on said member for rocking about an upwardly extending axis at right angles to said horizontal axis, a horizontal shaft parallel to said horizontal axis, means to rotate said shaft, a crank pin carried by said shaft, means to vary the eccentricity of said crank pin, a second crank pin, carried by said first crank pin, means t independently vary the eccentricity of said second crank pin relative to said first crank pin, a link pivotally driven by the first crank pin and oscillating the member, and a second link driven by the second crank pin and oscillating the platform.
'1. An exerciser as set forth in claim 6 wherein the first-named link constitutes two relatively slidable parts and means to detachably connect said parts to one another for common movement, and wherein the second-named link is removable.
8. An exerciser for sub-normal muscles of body extremities, said exerciser comprising a platform, means mounting said platform for rocking about a horizontal axis, separate means mounting said platform for rocking about an upwardly extending axis at right angles to said horizontal axis, a rotary shaft, kinematic means directly driven by said shaft for rocking said platform about said horizontal axis, and a second kinematic means separate from said first kinematic means and directly driven by said shaft for rocking said platform about said second-named axis.
9. An exerciser as set forth in claim 8 wherein mean i provided for varying the are through which the platform rocks about the horizontal axis and separate means is provided for varying the are about which the platform rocks about the second-named axis.
10. An exerciser for sub-normal muscles of body extremities, said exerciser comprising a member, means mounting said member for rocking movement about a horizontal axis, a platform, means mounting said platform on said member for rocking about a second axis perpendicular to said horizontal axis, and power actuated means for slowly independently oscillating said member about the horizontal axis and said platform about the second-named axis.
11. An exerciser a set forth in claim 10 wherein separate kinematic means are provided for independently oscillating said member and platform about their respective axes.
12. An exerciser as set forth in claim 10 wherein separate independently adjustable kinematic means are provided for independently oscillating said member and platform about their respective axes.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 964,898 Budingen July 19, 1910 1,602,196 Iverson Oct. 5, 1926 2,211,542 Howell et al Aug. 13, 1940 2,413,351 Herrick Dec. 31, 1946 FOREIGN PATENTS Number Country Date 8,483 Great Britain Sept. 24, 1903 113,030 Great Britain Feb. 7, 1918