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.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3042023 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 3, 1962
Filing dateMay 23, 1960
Priority dateMay 23, 1960
Publication numberUS 3042023 A, US 3042023A, US-A-3042023, US3042023 A, US3042023A
InventorsWallace B Yates
Original AssigneeWallace B Yates
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
US 3042023 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

July 3, 1962 w. B. YATES 3,

EXERCISER Filed May 25, 1960 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 &


uh. cm


July 3, 1962 w. B. YATES 3,042,023

EXERCISER Filed May 23, 1960 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 a; "Ea-Er INVENTOR: I I/IKLLAUE B. YATES- Lu/QQCU .AT T Y.

States atent 3,042,923 EXERCISER Wallace ii. Yates, 351 S. Blanchard St., Findlay, Ohio Filed May 23, 196i), Ser. No. 30,851 Claims. (Cl. 128-25) The present invention relates to a therapeutic exerciser for use in the manipulative treatment of joints of the human body and an exerciser particularly adapted for improving the flexing and straightening movements of the forearm.

Joints are frequently affected by illness or accident in a manner causing stiffness and lack of mobility, Such a condition is especially severe and difiicult to overcome when resulting from a multiple fracture of the bones in the region of a joint. While such an injury may be incurred at the knee or some other location, a fracture of the elbow is a more frequent form.

Children suffer such injuries through falling with their elbows extended, While adults, in addition to severe fractures from falls, frequently have the bones joined at the elbow shattered when a passing car strikes their elbow projecting from a car window.

The repair of such breaks is tedious and consists of thorough debridement, suture of nerves and tendons, and restoration of bone and joint alignment. The latter frequently requires internal fixation with wires, screws or plates.

It is nearly always necessary to place the elbow in a position of flexion to maintain the bones in the position of reduction with the amount of fiexion determined by the ability of the circulation to function thereunder. This flexed position must be held until the bone healing is completed. The period of healing may be only two or three weeks for children with comparatively minor fractures or may extend to eight weeks or more for adults or for children with complicated fractures.

Contraction and atrophy of the muscles results from this prolonged period of immobility. There is also shortening and adhesion of the tendons and ligaments attending the primary repair of the injury which is aggravated by the inaction during the healing period. Because of these factors, return of complete motion of the joint may require considerable time and extensive therapy including hot pads, massage, baths, application of ointments and resistive and assistive exercises. Should such treatment not be properly and consistently administered, in complete functioning of the elbow or other joint may extend over many months or full restoration of movement may never be attained.

While hospitals and clinics may have facilities and trained personnel capable of providing the necessary therapy, the time and expense involved in utilizing such services puts them beyond the reach of most patients. In any case, exercise by the patient is most important in the final cure, however helpful may be massages and other forms of care given by others.

The frequency and continuation of the needed exercise makes repeated trips and long stays at a clinic or hospital having exercise equipment impractical. Also, the supply of the exercise devices at such establishments is not only limited but the design of the exercising units have been inadequate in the form andscope of exercise provided. They have been particularly deficient in efficiency and convenience for use in exercising and developing arm muscles and tendons.

There is, then, a need for an improved device providing a broader range of exercise and one that is adaptable for home use.

Accordingly, the principal object of this invention is to provide an inexpensive, compact exerciser particularly adapted for home use without extensive or continued instruction.

A further object of the invention is the provision of an exerciser by which joint muscles may be exercised through the full range of the joint movement.

Another important object is to provide an exerciser especially suited for giving assistive exercises to stretch muscles and tendons associated with the elbow.

An additional object of the invention is the provision of an exerciser in which resistive and assistive forces may be varied as the development of the muscles progresses.

A more specific object is to provide an exerciser which is equally convenient for utilization with either the left or right arm and which is adjustable for fitting arms of different sizes and lengths.

These and other objects are attained in part through a compact, portable exercising device mounted on a platform with means for holding the upper arm stationary and with a weight carrying lever for movement with the forearm.

Additional objects and features of the invention will appear from the following description of a preferred embodiment in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

In the drawings,

FIGURE 1 is a plan view of an exerciser embodying a preferred form of this invention;

FIGURE 2 is a side elevation of the exerciser of FIG- URE 1;

FIGURE 3 is a sectional view taken on the line 33 of FIGURE 2;

FIGURE 4 is a like view taken on the line 44 of FIGURE 2;

FIGURE 5 is an elevational view of the side of the exerciser opposite to that of FIGURE 2 and arranged for extreme elbow bending exercise;

FIGURE 5A is a fragmentary view of the angle indicating dial and the stop lugs in a position associated with elbow-straightening exercise;

FIGURE 6 is a plan view of the pad assembly by which sulpplemental lifting pressure is applied directly under the el ow;

FIGURE 7 is a sectional view of the pad assembly of FIGURE 6 taken on the line 7-7 thereof;

FIGURE 8 is a plan view of the holder and rest for the upper arm;

FIGURE 9 is a side view of the holder of FIGURE 8;

FIGURE 10 is a perspective view showing the pivoting portion and weight holder for the pad applying pressure; under the elbow; and

FIGURE 11 shows the notch and screw head combine-- tion by which the upper arm rest is detachably secured to the platform of the exerciser.

Referring to the drawings in more detail, the exerciser is mounted on a pressed steel or aluminum platform 15 having four rubber feet 16. A post 18; of inverted U shape is positioned near the center of the platform to act as a support for the pivotable weight carrying bar 20. The axle 22, projecting laterally from the inner end of the bar 20, is journalled in a selected pair of a vertical series of aligned holes 24in the post 18. The end of the axle 22 fastened to the bar 20 is flattened exteriorly at 28. The other end 30 of the axle is threaded for receipt of the wing nut 32.

Removably secured to the platform 15 is an upper arm holder 34. The base 36 of the holder has two projecting machine screw heads 37. These retain the holder in position by fitting into a pair of key hole slots 38 in the platform as indicated in FIGURE 11. The upper arm holder 34 includes a foamed rubber cushion 41 mounted on the base 36, and there is a felt covering 42 overlying the cushion, as shown in FIGURE 9.

The top of the holder is transversely curved to comfortably receive the arm of a patient. For extremes of arm sizes cushions or complete holders of different shapes may be provided.

A broad strap 43 of leather or fabric is placed over the arm and fastened by turnbuckle 45 extending through a slot 46 in the strap. A number of slots permits one to be selected best adapted to the girth of the arm. The upper arm is thus held firmly in position but preferably without any squeezing effect. The upper arm should be positioned to place the elbow alongside and just below the level of the axle 22.

A forearm engaging saddle 47 is arranged to rest upon the outer end portion of the forearm. The saddle includes a tubular portion 49 pivotably supporting the saddle upon a pin 51 which projects laterally from a bracket 53. The pin is held in threaded engagement with the bracket by a lock nut 54. The bracket is slidably mounted on the bar 2t) and is held in a selected position thereon by the thumbscrew 56.

From the end of the bar 20 and on the side opposite to that on which the saddle 47 is carried, extends a rod 53 for receiving one or more weight discs 59 to apply an assistive load for extension movement of the elbow and a resisting load for fiexion of the elbow in the region between a right angle and a full extended position of the forearm.

For exercising the muscles of the hand and wrist and also simply to position the hand, a gripping bar 60 is pivotably suspended by straps 61 and 62 from a reduced extension 63 of the rod 58 projecting out the opposite side of the bar 20. Graspable by the fingers is a pin 65 slidable in slots of the straps 61 and 62. Movement of the pin by closing of the fingers is resisted by the leaf spring 66 is shown in FIGURE 4.

This activity of the fingers is of considerable value in maintaining and improving circulation through the arm.

When a cast is finally removed from an arm fractured at the elbow, it may not be possible at first for the patient to extend his forearm. much beyond an angle of ninety degrees. With the continued use of an exerciser of this invention aided by massage, hot pads and ointments, the extension of the forearm may be slowly increased until it reaches a substantially straight position.

At the final stage of this restoration of movement, the assistive action of the weighted bar 20 appears to lose some effectiveness. It has been found that the application of an upward force to the underside of the elbow in conjunction with the functioning of the weighted bar facilitates completion of the full arm straightening move ment.

A feature of this invention involves the provision of such a means, which, in the disclosed embodiment, comprises the elbow contacting pad 68 mounted with an intermediate cushioning layer 69 on a metal backing plate 70, as shown in FIGURE 7. Integral with the backing is a tubular journal 71 by which the pad assembly is pivotably carried on pin 73. The latter projects laterally from the lever arm 7 4 which is fixed for swinging action to the axle 76. A holder 77 supports the axle 76. The holder 77 is removably positioned under the tongue 73 of the bracket 79, which in turn is bolted to the platform 15. Extending from the other end of the axle 76 is a weight carrying bar 81 which has a lateral arm 82 for receiving selected disc weights 83.

As arranged in FIGURES 1 and 2, the exerciser is adapted for use by the right arm of the patient. Should the left arm he the one requiring treatment the holder 34 for the upper arm is disengaged from the two key hole slots 38 at the right end of the platform, as viewed in FIGURE 1, and is turned around and attached to the platform by the pair of slots 38 at the other end of the platform. The weight carrying bar is then swung over to the right side, and for the terminating treatment of the elbow lifting pad 68, the holder 77 from which it turns is inserted under the tongue 78 of the bracket 73 on the left end of the platform.

A record of the improvement in extension of the arm may be made by reference to the dial 85 which is adjustably positioned by the tightening of the wing nut 3:: upon a threaded stud extending from the post 13 through the arcuate slot 33 in the circular dial 855. A pointer 99 turns with the arm 20 and its position in relation to the indicia on the dial enables the angle of arm extension to be determined.

To prevent undue strain on the forearm the movement of the weight carrying bar 20 is limited by abutment of the pointer with the stop lugs 92 and 93.

To improve backward bending or fiexion of the forearm the weight bar 21 may be swung past center as indicated in FIGURE 5. The saddle 47 then pivots around to engage the back or normally lower side of the forearm. For this type of exercise the dial 555 with the attached stops 92 and 93 would be positioned as shown. For the final straightening of the forearm the dial 85 would be set as illustrated in FIGURE 5A.

In reviewing the features of the invention, the adaptability of the exerciser to arms of different sizes and lengths and to a wide range of exercises should be emphasized.

The upper arm strap 43 is provided with a plurality of fastening slots of which one may be selected for receipt of the turnbuckle 45 to accommodate the girth of the particular arm to be exercised. At the same time the holder 34 for the upper arm is removable and may therefor be replaced with a holder of a different shape.

The series of holes 24 in the post 118 permits the axle 2.2 to be placed at whatever level is most suitable for the arm size. Also, the bracket 53 from which the forearm engaging saddle 47 is suspended may be shifted along the weight carrying bar 29 to the point most appropriate for the forearm of each patient. The pivotal suspension of the hand gripping bar 60 enables it to be swung one way or the other for easy grasping. The alternate positions on the platform for the forearm holder 34 and the elbow lifter 68 make the unit quickly adaptable to either the right or left arm.

The adjustable safety stops 92 and 93 prevent painful and possible damaging overextension of arm movement while providing a means through the associated dial and pointer for measuring and recording improvement in extension or flexion.

One of the main features of the invention is in having means for strapping down the upper arm. Through this arrangement the shoulder muscles are prevented from participating and thus interfering in the exercising movement. The curative motion is accordingly concentrated in the area needing repair, and the resulting isolation of the exercising activity allows the muscles of the rest of the body to relax. The patient may accordingly lie comfortably on the floor or sit at ease in a chair while utilizing the exerciser. With no strain on the body above the arm fatigue from the exercise is minimized.

The elbow lifter, as an aid in the final straightening treatment, is also a valuable and unique feature of the invention. Its non-rigid, resilient pressure supports the elbow as well as applying a straightening force thereto. The lifter may be moved rapidly up-and-down by hand to increase the working action on the elbow.

in final summary, it should be noted that an exerciser has been provided in which the amount of resistance or assistance given the bending or straightening motion and the degree of motion may be controlled within a wide range. Further, the exerciser of the invention is compact, easily portable and simple to operate. The exerciser may be manufactured at a cost low enough for the doctor or therapist under whose instructions it is used to loan a unit for a nominal charge.

While described herein in connection with elbow therapy, the invention is adaptable in principle and with slight structural change to other joints of the arm and leg.

Such alterations, as well as other modifications, may be made in the disclosed embodiment without departing from the spirit of the invention and the scope of the accompanying claims.

I claim:

1. A therapeutic exerciser for the muscles effecting movement at a joint between an upper, movable body member and a lower, movable body member, said exerciser including a small, easily portable platform adapted for placement on the floor or on any flat surface, means for holding the upper body member in a stationary, comparatively raised position on the platform, an area on the platform for receiving the joint at a lower level than the 15 stationary position for the upper body member, a pressure receiving bar pivotably mounted to swing on an axis adjacent said area and with said axis parallel to the axis of the main movement of the joint received in said area, and means on the bar for engaging the lower body member, all moving parts of said exerciser being restricted in location and movement to space above the platform.

2. A therapeutic exerciser according to claim 1 having freely movable means directly supporting the joint.

3. A therapeutic exerciser according to claim 1 having means for applying upwardly directed force against the underside of the elbow, said means being independent of the weight means applying force against the forearm.

4. A therapeutic exerciser according to claim 1 having means for adjusting the vertical position of the axis on which the bar swings.

5. A therapeutic exerciser according to claim 2 in which the freely movable means is pivotably mounted.

References Cited in the tile of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,832,334 Whitelaw Apr. 29, 1958 2,855,199 Noland et al. Oct. 7, 1958 FOREIGN PATENTS 11,782 Austria May 11, 1903 111,562 Great Britain Dec. 6, 1917

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2832334 *May 23, 1956Apr 29, 1958Whitelaw Stephen HTherapeutic device for use in manipulative treatment of joints of the human body
US2855199 *Nov 9, 1955Oct 7, 1958N K Products CompanyExercise device
AT11782B * Title not available
GB111562A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4878663 *Nov 8, 1988Nov 7, 1989Innovative Therapeutic Designs, Inc.Direct drive rehabilitation and fitness apparatus and method of construction
US5256125 *Jul 7, 1992Oct 26, 1993Jones Arthur ABiceps curl machine
US5645521 *Jan 17, 1996Jul 8, 1997Dynasplint Systems, Inc.Shoulder physical therapy device
US6165109 *Jan 19, 1999Dec 26, 2000Plamann; Kenneth O.Weight lifting machine
US6241643 *Mar 25, 1998Jun 5, 2001Soren A. LoftArm exercising device
US7303507 *Nov 14, 2003Dec 4, 2007Jozsa Timothy JForearm-mounted, adjustable exercise device
US7976444 *May 30, 2008Jul 12, 2011Matthew BinnsShoulder rehabilitation and exercise device
US8251879 *Jun 6, 2011Aug 28, 2012Matthew BinnsShoulder rehabilitation and exercise device
US20080300511 *May 30, 2008Dec 4, 2008Matthew BinnsShoulder rehabilitation and exercise device
US20110230800 *Jun 6, 2011Sep 22, 2011Matthew BinnsShoulder rehabilitation and exercise device
U.S. Classification601/33, 482/97
International ClassificationA63B23/12, A63B21/00, A63B21/06
Cooperative ClassificationA63B23/1281, A63B21/0615, A63B21/1492, A63B21/08, A63B2208/12
European ClassificationA63B21/06F, A63B21/14M6, A63B21/08, A63B23/12K