US 3270558 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 6, 1966 Filed Dec. 12, 1962 W. M. BARRET ET CHIROPRACTIC BALANCE FIG. I
3 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTORS WILLIAM M. BARRET CLARENCE H. CLEMENT ATTORNEYS Sept. 6, 1966 w. M. BARRET ET AL 3,270,558
CHIROPRACTIC BALANCE Filed Dec. 12, 1962 s Sheets-Sheet z INVENTORS WILLIAM M. BARRET CLARENCE H. CLEMENT ATTORNEYS Sept. 6, 1966 AR ET ETAL 3,270,558
CHIROPRACTIC BALANCE Filed Dec. 12, 1962 v s Sheets-Sheet s WILLIAM M. BARRET CLARENCE H. CLEMENT ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,270,558 CHIROPRACTIC BALANCE William M. Barret and Clarence H. Clement, Shreveport, La., assignors to Engineering Research Corporation, Shreveport, La., a corporation of Louisana Filed Dec. 12, 1962, Ser. No. 244,110 3 Claims. (Cl. 73-172) This invention relates to the art of chiropractic, and particularly to an improved method and apparatus for the quantitative determination and correction of structural misalignments of the spinal column.
In the practice of chiropractic, it is held that vertebral displacements of the spinal column reduce the size of the openings between the vertebrae and thereby cause pressure upon spinal nerves, or at least suflicient impingement to interfere with the normal transmission of nerve impulses. Remembering that the brain is the control center which regulates all bodily functions through its reception and transmission of nerve impulses that travel along the spinal cord, it is easy to understand that any impingement of nerves in the spinal cord would lead to improper functioning of various bodily organs, to pain in joints and muscles, and to other physical complaints.
After a vertebral displacement, or subluxation, is located, the chiropractor moves the displaced vertebra by the amount in the direction necessary to realign it to its normal position, and thereby restores normal nerve function. This is done by a manipulative process known as an adjustment.
Various techniques have been employed in chiropractic to determine when a subluxation is present, and when an adjustment has been successful in restoring normal vertebral alignment. Aside from X-ray studies, which frequently form an nosis, the chiropractor commonly employs two wellknown procedures. One of these makes use of a neurocalometer, which is a sensitive temperature-indicating device, the operation of which is based on the fact that nerves whose transmission of impulses are hampered in some way throw off an abnormal amount of heat. The other procedure consists of comparing the lengths of a patients legs while the patient lies prone on his back. Significant differences in leg length may indicate muscular imbalance in the spinal region due to a displaced vertebra.
In view of the fact that adjustments must frequently be repeated many times, over an extended period, before the proper vertebral alignment is maintained by the required muscular development, it is important for the chiropractor to have a convenient, reliable, and definitive technique for quickly determining the presence or absence of vertebral subluxations. This need has been recognized by the chiropractic profession for many years without the development of a suitable means for or method of accomplishing the desired result. In fact, applicants interest in the subject was aroused by a leading chiropractic clinic which felt that the inexactness of the conventional procedures greatly handicapped its curative efforts.
After devoting considerable research to the design and development of an instrument for subluxation determinations, applicants finally arrived at the means and method disclosed in the instant applicant. The herein disclosed instrument, and the method of operating the same, have proved notably successful in sustained clinical testing.
One of the objects of the invention is to provide a reliable and convenient means for and method of determining the presence or absence of vertebral subluxations.
Another object of the invention is to furnish a reliable and convenient means for and method of determining, in a quantitative sense, when a chiropractic adjustment is required.
important part of an original diag- An additional object of the invention is to make available a reliable and convenient means for and method of determining when a chiropractic adjustment has been precisely accomplished.
A further object of the invention is to provide a means for and method of obtaining other useful information, and for serving other useful purposes, for which the invention is adapted.
The principle and application of the invention will be understood from the description which follows, and the drawings appended thereto, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a front view of the preferred form of apparatus embodied in the invention.
FIG. 2 is a side view of the preferred form of apparatus appearing in FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a top view of the preferred form of apparatus appearing in FIGS. 1 and 2.
FIG. 4 is a perspective drawing which illustrates the preferred method of using the apparatus appearing in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 for chiropractic diagnosis.
Referring first to FIG. 1, there is illustrated therein at 2 a base which supports pedestal 3 to which is axially attached upper beam 4 and lower beam 5, the extremities of which are connected by bearings 6 and 7 to link 8, and by bearings 9 and 10 to link 11, the upper ends of links 8 and 11 being connected by pins 12 and 13 to ankle cups 14 and 15, which are provided with cushions 16 and 17. Ankle cups 14 and 15 are free to turn through a small arc about pins 12 and 13. Attached to upper beam 4 are brackets 18 and 19, which are connected at their lower ends to rod 20, along which cylindrical weight 21 may be freely moved. Circumferentially disposed at the middle of weight 21 is raised index 22, the lateral position of which may be read on graduated scale 23, which is rigidly connected at its extremities to an extension of brackets 18 and 19. The horizontal, or balance, position of upper beam 4 is indicated when pointer 24, which is fixed to upper beam 4, registers with mark 25 on index block 26 fixed to pedestal 3.
Beams 4 and 5 are free to turn about spindles 27 and 28, but the rotational motion is limited to a small are by stops 29 and 30, attached to base 2. Made integral with stops 29 and 30 are blocks 31 and 32, which carry spindles 33 and 34, about which links 35 and 36 are free to turn. The upper ends of links 35 and 36 are provided with spindles 37 and 38 and rollers-39 and 40. Rotation of arresting knob 41 (attached to shaft 42 and supported by pedestal bearing 43, FIG. 2) causes a like rotation of disc 44 and attached pins 45 and 46, which displaces links 47 and 48, and this in turn raises and lowers rollers 39 and 40. Clockwise rotation of arresting knob 41 raises rollers 39 and 40 until they press firmly against the under side of lower beam 5, thereby locking beams 4 and 5 in the balance position, as indicated by the alignment of pointer 24 with mark 25.
If unequal weights are now placed in ankle cups 14 and 15, and rollers 39 and 40 are lowered by a counterclockwise rotation of arresting knob 41, upperand lower beams 4 and 5 will rotate through a small arc in either the clockwise or counterclockwise direction, depending on which ankle cup carries the heavier weight. Beams 4 and 5 may then be brought back to the balance position by moving weight 21 either to the left (L) or right (R), and the final position of weight 21 required to restore the beam balance may then be read on graduated scale 23. Because of the geometric arrangement of beams 4 and 5 and links- 8 and 11, only vertical motion of ankle cups. 14 and 15 is possible as beams 4 and 5 rotate about their spindles 27 and 28.
Attached to the upper end of pedestal 3 are brackets 49 and 50, which are fixed to carrying handle 51 by screws 52 and 53.
Consider next the preferred method of employing the apparatus illustrated in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 in making a chiropractic diagnosis. In FIG. 4 it is seen that the patient lies prone on his back on a low chiropractic table 54, such as the Grostic table, and his ankles are placed in ankle cups 14 and 15, while weight 21 is at the zero, or midscale, position, and beams 4 and 5 are locked in the balance position by rollers 39 and 40. In this posture the patients legs are raised slightly above the horizontal position, so that they do not make contact with table 54 substantially below the hip joints. Arresting knob 41 is then rotated slowly in a counterclockwise direction to permit beams 4 and 5 to move freely through a very small arc in the event the downward forces on angle cups 14 and 15 are unequal. If there is any observable departure of pointer 24 from mark 25, weight 21 is shifted along rod until pointer 24 registers exactly with mark 25. The position of index 22 is then read on scale 23, either to the left or right of the midscale position. Any tendency for index 22 to crawl with respect to scale 23 is indicative of muscular tension on the part of the patient, and a final reading of the balance should be delayed until the patient is allowed to relax and the reading becomes stable. The time required for such relaxation rarely exceeds one minute.
In correctly performing the method here described, the rotational motion of beams 4 and 5 should be so limited by rollers 39 and 40, which are actuated by arresting knob 41, that the patient is never conscious of any movement of his ankles. The motion of beams 4 and 5 should not, in fact, be more than enough to cause a very slight misalignment of pointer 24 and mark 25. Aside from the manipulative control provided by arresting knob 41, excessive motion of beams 4 and 5 is ensured by stops 29 and 30, and also by pin 55, which is attached to pedestal 3 and which limits both the clockwise and counterclockwise motion of an indented segment of disc 44. I
The fact that the patient never feels any motion of his ankles is an important feature of the instant method, and one that overcomes any tendency on the part of the patient to tense his leg muscles, which would in turn vitiate the balance reading. The fact that the patient feels at rest during a measurement with the instant method provides a notable distinction over the earlier technique of visually comparing the lengths of the patients legs. The earlier technique is not only crude at best, but not infrequently is highly inaccurate because the patient, lying in a prone position on his back, will oftentimes instinctively tense his leg muscles as his feet are manipulated by the chiropractor, and this will tend to invalidate the leglength measurement. 7
It is known that each patient will have a normal reading with the chiropractic balance disclosed herein, and that any significant departure from his normal reading will point to the presence of a vertebral subluxation and the consequent need for a chiropractic adjustment. Both the quantitative magnitude and the direction of the vertebral subluxation and the required adjustment will be indicated by the position of the index 22 with respect to the scale 23. After each adjustment the patient is again checked with the balance, and the procedure is continued until the patients normal reading is observed, which indicates that the adjustment required to remove the vertebral subluxation has been precisely accomplished. The quantitative diagnosis here described quickly provides the chiropractor with important information not heretofore available with the prior-art techniques, and thereby enables him to furnish quicker and more effective treatment.
One should understand that the herein disclosed apparatus and method does more than compare the weights of the patients legs. Such a method was tried by having the patient stand with each of his feet on one of a like pair of scales. It was found that the scale readings were meaningless for chiropractic diagnosis.
The instant invention is based on a comparison of the turning moments of the patients legs when they are supported at the hip joints, and the downward forces at the leg extremities are counterbalanced by the like upward forces of the supporting ankle cups. Thus, for each leg, a change in weight or length, or both weight and length,
will influence the reading of the differential balance disclosed herein. Such changes are known to occur when muscular imbalance is present in the spinal region asa result of vertebral misalignments.
It is evident that the method illustrated in FIG. 4 would also be operative if the comparison of turning moments were made for like leg parts above the ankles, for ex-,
ample, with the ankle cups 14 and 15 supporting the patients calves, or the underside of his knee joints. Experience has shown, however, that the most definitive and reliable comparisons are secured when the ankle cups 14 and 15 are placed beneath the patients ankles, as shown in FIG. 4.
It will be obvious that the apparatus disclosed herein is susceptible of various modifications. For instance, movable weight 21 of FIG. 1 may be hung beneath lower beam 5 instead of upper beam 4, and the locking mechanism illustrated therein would be equally effective if used in conjunction with upper beam 4 instead of lower beam 5. Moreover, movable weight 21 may be replaced by, or used in connection with, a series of graduated weights hung at different points from the upper or lower beams, or a calibrated chain which may be reeled out beneath. one side of either of the beams. Instead of restoring the beam balance by. means of a weight, or weights, or a chain, an alternative arrangement may be employed using a fixed electromagnet, or electromagnets, in combination with permeable. and movable .cores attached to the beam structure. Then the beam balance may be restored by adjusting the current in one or more of the electromagnets, and the direction and magnitude of the current needed to restore the beam balance may be read on a current-indicating meter having a zero-center scale. But despite these possible alternatives, and other obvious ones involving weight adjustment and other features of the balance, the embodiment disclosed herein is preferred because of its simplicity and ease of operation, and because of the reliability of its readings.
It is to be understood, therefore, that various modifications may be made in the method hereinbefore described, and in the apparatus referred to for carrying it out, without departing from the spirit of the invention as defined in the following claims.
1. A pivoted beam balance for determining the presence and extent of a vertebral subluxation comprising: a horizontally disposed upper beam which is free to turn about a horizontal spindle positioned at the midpoint of said upper beam, a horizontally disposed vertically aligned, lower beam which is free to turn. about a horizontal spindle positioned at the midpoint of said lower beam, two rigid rectilinear vertical links each connected by spindles to like ends of said upper beam and said lower beam, said links extending upwardly beyond said upper beam and terminating at their upper ends in ankle cups, a supporting structure to maintain said spindles associated with said beams in spaced and substantially vertical alignment, means for progressively controlling the arcs through which said beams may swing and for locking said beams in their horizontal positions, a pointer attached to one of said beams which registers with a stationary mark on said supporting structure when said beams arein their horizontal positions, a horizontally disposed member attached below one of said beams and along which a weight with index may be moved laterally, and a graduated scale for indicating the lateral position of said weight.
2. Apparatus for determining the presence and extent of a vertebral subluxation in a chiropractic patient by comparing the weight of one leg of the patient with that of 1 the other leg of the patient comprising, in combination, a
first support means for supporting the weight of one leg of the patient; a second support means for supporting the Weight of the other leg of the patient, the vertical position of said second support means being movable from a reference position in response to the difference between the weight supported by it and the weight supported by the first support means; progressively operable means limiting the amount of movement of said second support means with respect to said reference position; and an indicating means responsive to the vertical position of the second support means for quantitively indicating the vertical position of the second support means relative to its reference position.
3. Apparatus for determining the presence and extent of a vertebral subluxation in a chiropractic patient by comparing the extent by which one leg extends beyond a reference line with the extent by which the other leg extends beyond the reference line comprising, in combination, a first support means for supporting the Weight of one extending leg of the patient at a specific distance from the reference line; a second support means for supporting the weight of the other extending leg of the patient at the same distance from the reference line as the first leg is supported by the first support means, said second support means having a normal position from which it is displaced to varying degrees in response to the difference between the Weight supported by it and the weight supported by the References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,082,968 6/1937 Morris 177-157 2,095,268 10/1937 Roberts 73-172 2,192,435 3/1940 Downing 73-172 2,582,017 1/1952 Eagle 177197 3,054,397 9/1962 Benzinger 1282 3,095,871 7/1963 Mann et al. 1282 LOUIS R. PRINCE, Primary Examiner. R. A. GAUDET, DAVID SCHONBERG, Examiners.
H. R. GOLDBERG, MICHAEL B. HEPPS,