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Publication numberUS3457910 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 29, 1969
Filing dateOct 31, 1966
Priority dateOct 31, 1966
Publication numberUS 3457910 A, US 3457910A, US-A-3457910, US3457910 A, US3457910A
InventorsLuigi Vecchio
Original AssigneeLuigi Vecchio
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Therapeutic vibratory pad
US 3457910 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

July 29, 1969 VECCHIO THERAPEUTIC VIBRATORY PAD Filed Oct. 31, 1966 INVENTOR. 40/6/ VECCH/O A TTOK/YEYS.

United States Patent 3,457,910 THERAPEUTIC VIBRATORY PAD Luigi Vccchio, 6003 Fair Ave., North Hollywood, Calif. 91606 Filed Oct. 31, 1966, Ser. No. 590,984 Int. Cl. A6111 21/00 US. Cl. 12824.2 12 Claims ABSTRACT 0F THE DISCLOSURE A therapeutic pad according to the present disclosure comprises a field-producing means for producing an alternating magnetic field and a metal armature adjacent to the field-producing means for producing vibrations when the field-producing means produces such alternating magnetic field. The armature has a plurality of flexible leaves, each of said leaves having a base about which it may bend, and at least two of the bases being nonparallel. An optional feature resides in the use of a half- Wave rectifier in series with the field-producing means for reducing the average power dissipation. Another optional feature resides in the use of a heating coil in connection with the vibrating armature to heat the pad.

This invention relates to a therapeutic pad.

An object of the present invention is to provide a therapeutic pad capable of selectively producing heat and/ or vibration.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a therapeutic pad with an armature which vibrates in an alternating magnetic field, which armature is designed to obtain the maximum vibration from the magnetic field.

An optional and desirable object of the present invention is to provide a therapeutic pad with a heating means for producing therapeutic heat and means for selectively heating the therapeutic pad at a rapid rate to its therapeutic temperature.

Another optional and desirable object of the present invention is to provide a vibratory therapeutic pad, having an electriaclly energizable vibration-producing means, with a half-wave rectifier in series with said vibrationproducing means. The rectifier reduces the power dissipated by the vibration-producing means while the vibratory force remains unaffected.

The present invention generally comprises a therapeutic pad having a plurality of conductive coils adapted to produce vibrations when energized with alternating current. A heating coil is provided for deriving and maintaining temperatures of therapeutic value, and means is provided for selectively operating the conductive coils and/ or the heating coil.

According to a desirable form of the invention, a plurality of heating coils are provided, and means is provided for selectively actuating one or more of the heating coils.

The above and other features of this invention will be fully understood from the following detailed description and the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 illustrates a therapeutic pad in accordance with the present invention having a heating means and a vibratory means;

FIG. 2 is an illustration of a magnetic coil used in the pad of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is an illustration of an armature used in conjunction with the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 44 of FIG. 1 illustrating a clamp used in the present invention;

FIG. 5 illustrates a circuit of the present invention; and

3,457,910 Patented July 29, 1969 FIG. 6 is a time-temperature graph illustrating the thermal properties of a heating coil and vibratory means of the present invention.

In the drawings, there is illustrated a plurality of serially-connected conductive coils 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14. The coils are each stitched (by means not shown) to a flexible cloth 15, for example, heavy burlap. The wires of each coil are clamped together at several places with clamps 16. Although illustrated as serially-connected, it is understood that coils 10-14 may be connected in parallel. The coils may take on any desirable configuration, such as rectangular, eliptical or circular and may be placed in any desirable array, such as side-by-side, one over another, or nested. The coils illustrated in FIG. 2 are substantially rectangular in shape and each consists of approximately 50 to 500 turns of wire. The coils are of such dimension as to permit a nesting array.

Referring to FIG. 4, clamp 16 comprises an upper and lower section 60 and '61 respectively, secured together by tape 62 or other banding means. Sections 60 and 61 are preferably constructed with hard steel. Hard steel is preferable because it provides a high thermal transfer from coils 10-14 to the surface of the therapeutic pad, and it does not appreciably affect the magnetic field. Secured Within the clamp and surrounding coils 10-14 is a wrappnig 63 of cellular plastic foam. Wrapping 63 provides the dual purpose of insulating clamp 16 from the coil and providing sufficient friction to prevent the clamp from movement along the winding.

In close proximity to coils 10-14 is a pliable steel armature 17, preferably in the form of a Maltese cross. A suitable cloth 18 is spaced between coils 10-14 and armature 17. An aerated non-conductive foam pad 19 is placed over armature 17 for contact with the user or patient. Cloth 18 and pad 19 may be fastened together to form a pillow containing armature 17.

Clamps 16 provide a Surface upon which the armature pillow may rest. This surface, best illustrated in FIG. 2, provides several functions. First, the surface provides a space between the coils and the tips 47a of the armature into which the armature tips are free to vibrate. Second, the surface provides a high thermal path between the coils and armature 17 so that heat may be transferred from the coils to the armature. In prior systems, the armatures have had to rely on the surface area of the coils for heat transfer, which surface area was usually quite small because one wire of the coil protruded above the other wires thereby creating a surface area of the size of one wire. The surface provided by clamps 16 provides a substantial surface for induction of heat into armature 17. Third, the clamps maintain coils 10-14 in a spaced relation so that they may vibrate due to magnetic induction between them.

Also stitched to burlap cloth 15 are beating coils 20 and 21 and thermostatic devices 22 and 23. This arrangement, shown in the upper portion of FIG. 1, is preferably stitched to the opposite side of burlap cloth 15 from coils 10-14. Each of the heating coils is preferably spiralized nicrome wire insulated with fibrous asbestos. Another armature arrangement may be placed over the heating coil arrangement so that burlap cloth 15 and its attached heating and magnetic coils are sandwiched between the two armatures. Since the armatures are highly flexible and the coils are mounted on burlap cloth, the therapeutic pad is highly flexible and may be wrapped around the body of the user into any desirable configuration.

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 5, heating coil 20 is connected by lead 24 to a terminal 25. The other end of heating coil 20 is connected by lead 26 to thermostatic switch 22 which is in turn connected by lead 27 to another thermostatic switch 23. Thermostatic switch 23 is connected by lead 28 to terminal 29 and by lead 30 to one end of heating coil 21. The other end of heating coil 21 is connected by lead 31 to a third thermostatic switch 44. Thermostatic switch 44 is connected to a fourth thermostatic switch 45, which is in turn connected by lead 46 to coil 10. Lead 32 connects the last of the seriallyconnected coils 14 to terminal 33.

Referring particularly to FIG. 5, the circuit diagram illustrates a ganged four-position two-pole switch 34 having wipers 35 and 36. Wipers 35 and 36 are connected together and to one side of plug 37 by lead 38. Plug 37 is adapted to be connected to a source of ordinary house current of 115 volts, 60 cycles AC. The first position of the wipers is open-circuited to provide an OFF position. The third and fourth positions of wiper 35 are connected together and to terminal 25 by lead 39. The second and third positions of wiper 36 are connected together and to one side of diode 40 by lead 41. The other side of diode 40 is connected to terminal 33 by lead 42. Terminal 29 is connected by lead 43 to the other side of plug 37.

Normally-closed thermostatic switch 23 may be adjusted to open at approximately 150 F., and is influenced by the temperature induced from heating coils 20 and 21 and the vibratory coils 1014. Normally-closed thermostatic switch 22 may be adjusted to open at a temperature slightly greater than 150 F. Thermostatic switch 23 thus controls the high temperature limit of the therapeutic pad and switch 22 operates in the event of failure of switch 23. Normally-closed thermostatic switch 44 may be adjusted to open at approximately 180 F., and is influenced predominantly by the heat from vibratory coils 10-14. Normally-closed thermostatic switch 45 may be adjusted to open at a temperature slightly greater than 180 F. and operates in the event of failure of switch 44.

Referring now to the operation of the therapeutic pad, and particularly to FIGS. 2 and 3, the force induced by the magnetic field of coils 10 through 14 into the other coils and into armature 17 is determined by the equation where F is the force induced in the X direction (out of the plane of FIGS. 2 and 3), I is the current in coils 10 through 14, and dL/dx is the rate of change of inductance with the movement in the X direction of armature 17.

From the above force equation, force will be greatest if the geometry of armature 17 is such as to give a large dL/dx. Since coils 10-14 preferably have a rectangular configuration as indicated in FIG. 2 and a current direction indicated by I, the resulting magnetic field is in the direction indicated by H. Thus, the most effective armature design would be one which provides maximum movement in a direction perpendicular to the most possible lines of magnetic flux.

The Maltese cross design of armature 17 indicated in FIG. 3 conforms to the magnetic field of coils 10 through 14 and allows simultaneous bending of leaves 47 and tips 47a about both the major and minor axes 48 and 49, respectively. Two leaves have bases 48a aligned in parallel with axis 48 and two leaves have bases 49a aligned in parallel with axis 49. The bases of the leaves are connected, as illustrated in FIG. 3.

Diode 40 provides half-wave rectification of the sine wave current available from the source of house current. The current through coils 10 through 14 is halfwave rectified A.C. having a frequency of 60 cycles per second. The fundamental frequency of the vibratory force is therefore 60 cycles per second and armature 17 may be physically constructed to be tuned to this frequency. The armature therefore represents a simple harmonic oscillator capable of vibrating at or at less than 60 cycles per second.

Coils 10-14 tend to vibrate due to magnetic attraction in the magnetic field. Therefore, although armature 17 is desirable, the pad may be constructed without an armature, and vibration will be provided by movement of coils 10-14. Clamps 16 maintain coils 10-14 in spaced relation so that the coils are free to vibrate. Further, with current flowing in the wires of coils 10-14, a temperature rise occurs in the coils which may be transferred to the surface of the pad. Without armature 17, the pad becomes even more flexible and may be distorted into any desirable configuration.

The present invention also provides a simple but effective method for reducing the power dissipation of vibratory coils 10 through 14 while maintaining the force on armature 17 sufficiently high.

It can be shown that for a therapeutic pad of fixed geometry, the power dissipation is proportional to UN, where N is the number of turns of wire in a coil. It can likewise be shown that the maximum force available from the magnetic field is proportional to l/N' Thus, the force available would appear to be proportional to the power dissipation. However, since the peak vibratory force is proportional to the maximum power rather than the average power, a half-wave rectifier, such as diode 40, reduces the average power in half and the peak power is unaffected. The dissipated power is therefore reduced by one-half by eliminating one side of the input sinusoidal current waveform and the peak force remains unaffected. The diode reduces the average force by reducing the frequency of vibration to 60 cycles per second.

Referring now to FIGS. 5 and 6 and particularly to the operation of the therapeutic pad, in the OFF or first position of switch 34, no current is drawn through the windings. In the VIBRATION or second position of switch 34, full current flows through heating coil 21 and vibratory coils 10-14, thereby energizing the same. Since heating coil 21 has a relatively slow heat-producing capability (when compared to that of coil 20) the temperature of the therapeutic pad rises slowly due to the heating effect provided by heating coil 21 and conductive coils 10-14. The temperature of the pad slowly rises, following a time-temperature curve approximating curve 50 in FIG. 6, until the temperature reaches 180 F. At that temperature, thermostatic switch 44 operates to control the temperature at that level. Conductive coils 10-14, 'being energized, produce vibration in the manner hereinbefore explained.

In the VIBRATION AND HEAT, or third position of switch 34, the current is divided through two parallel circuit paths; one path containing heating coil 20, and the other path containing the series circuit of heating coil 21 and conductive coils 10-14. The temperature of the pad rises more rapidly when the switch is in the VIBRATION AND HEAT position due to the combined heating effect of heating coils 20 and 21 and conductive coils 10-14. The temperature of the pad rises rapidly, following a time-temperature curve approximating curve 52 in FIG. 6, until the temperature reaches F. Thermostatic switch 23 operates at 150 F. to control the current through heating coil 20. The temperature of the pad continues to rise over 150 F. due to heating coil 21 and the temperature produced by coils 1014, but the temperature rise is more slowly than before. The temperature rise approximates the upper portion of curve 52 in FIG. 6 until the temperature reaches F. Thermostatic switch 44 then operates to control the temperature at 180 F. Since conductive coils 10-14 are energized, coils 10-14 produce vibration in the manner heretofore explained.

In the HEAT, or fourth position of switch 34, full current flows through heating coil, 20, thereby energizing the same. Heating coil 20, when operating independently of heating coil 21 and conductive coils 10-14, rapidly heats the pad, following a time-temperature curve approximating curve 51 in FIG. 6, until the temperature reaches 150 F. At that temperature, thermostatic switch 23 operates to control the temperature at that level. Since conductive coils -14 are not energized, no noticeable vibration is produced.

The present invention provides a therapeutic pad capable of selectively producing heat and/or vibrations. The pad produces a maximum of vibratory force with a minimum of power dissipation, and may include an armature designed to obtain the maximum vibration from the magnetic field. The pad is highly flexible and may be wrapped around areas of the body for maximum comfort. The pad is easily fabricated and utilizes a simple, yet effective design.

This invention is not to be limited by the embodiments shown in the drawings and described in the description, which are given by way of example and not of limitation, but only in accordance with the scope of the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. A therapeutic pad comprising: field producing means for producing an alternating magnetic field; a metal armature adjacent to said field producing means for providing vibrations when said field producing means produces an alternating magnetic field; said armature having a plurality of flexible leaves, each of said leaves having a base about which the leaf may bend, at least two of said bases being non-parallel, said leaves being connected at their bases.

2. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said means for producing an alternating magnetic field comprises a plurality of conductive coils.

3. Apparatus according to claim 2 further including a plurality of clamps, each clamp surrounding one of said coils at one location on said coil, said clamps providing a surface for contact with said armature, and said clamps further providing a high thermal transfer between said coils and said armature.

4. Apparatus according to claim 2 wherein said conductive coils are in a rectangular nested array, and wherein said armature has a substantially rectangular configuration having a size approximating the outer boundary of the array.

5. Apparatus according to claim 4 wherein said armature has four leaves, the bases of two of which leaves are perpendicular to the bases of the other two leaves.

6. Apparatus according to claim 2 further including half-wave rectifier means in series with said plurality of conductive coils for reducing the average power dissipation of said plurality of conductive coils.

7. Apparatus according to claim 2 further including a healing coil, and selection means for selectively connecting said heating coil and said conductive coils to a source of alternating current.

8. Apparatus according to claim 2 further including a first heating coil and a second heating coil; said plurality of conductive coils being serially-connected to said second heating coil; selection means for selectively connecting said first heating coil, said second heating coil and said conductive coils to a source of alternating current; and thermostatic means capable of disconnecting said source of alternating current at a predetermined temperature.

9. Apparatus according to claim 8 wherein said selection means is adapted to connect the source of alternating current to either (a) said first heating coil, (b) said first and second heating coils and said plurality of conductive coils, or (c) said second heating coil and said plurality of conductive coils.

10. Apparatus according to claim 9 wherein said conductive coils are in a rectangular nested array and Wherein said armature has a substantially rectangular configuration having a size approximating the outer boundary of the array.

11. Apparatus according to claim 10 wherein said armature has four leaves, the bases of two of which leaves are perpendicular to the bases of the other two leaves.

12. Apparatus according to claim 1 further including a non-conductive pad adjacent said armature.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,667,866 2/1954 Hart 128-241 2,949,108 8/1960 Vecchio 128-24.1 3,043,294 7/1962 Nell 128-41 XR L. W. TRAPP, Primary Examiner

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2667866 *Oct 21, 1949Feb 2, 1954Electronic Medical FoundationElectropad
US2949108 *Sep 3, 1957Aug 16, 1960Vecchio LuigiTherapeutic vibrator pad
US3043294 *Oct 15, 1959Jul 10, 1962Oster Mfg Co JohnVibratory foot massaging machine
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3664332 *Mar 18, 1970May 23, 1972Vecchio LuigiTherapeutic vibrating pad
US3710784 *Apr 3, 1972Jan 16, 1973C TaylorMassaging device
US4105024 *May 16, 1977Aug 8, 1978Raffel Marvin JMassaging furniture
US5235967 *Jan 7, 1992Aug 17, 1993Arbisi Dominic SElectro-magnetic impact massager
DE3237696A1 *Oct 12, 1982Apr 12, 1984Beltron GmbhMassagegeraet
Classifications
U.S. Classification601/18
International ClassificationA61H23/02
Cooperative ClassificationA61H2201/0207, A61H23/0218, A61H2201/0228
European ClassificationA61H23/02F