US 3638646 A
A therapeutic table having a frame and at least three patient supporting platforms slidably mounted on the frame. The table is characterized by the frame being pivotable about a pedestal so that either end of the patient supporting portion may be elevated. The table is further characterized by a vibrator supported from the frame and being operatively connected to means for supporting an extremity of a patient on the table.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [151 sesame Draux Feb. 1, 1972  THERAPEUTIC TABLE 3,! 18,442 1/l964 Montgomery ..128/71  Inventor: Marcel M. Draux, 57 rue de Rempart, 59 g 57 valenciennes, France  Filed: Sept. 12, 1969 FOREIGN PATENTS 0R APPLICATIONS 21 APP] 57 415 88,820 2/1967 France 128/71 Primary Examiner-L. W. Trapp  Forelgn Application Priority Data Anomey pishman and van Kirk Oct. 16, 1968 France ..l70l46  ABSTRACT A therapeutic table having a frame and at least three patient 58] i 24 2 24 3 supporting platforms slidably mounted on the frame. The table is characterized by the frame being pivotable about a pedestal so that either end of the patient supporting portion  References cued may be elevated. The table is further characterized by a vibra- UNITED STATES PATENTS tor supported from the frame and being operatively connected 2 641 252 6/1953 H 128/33 to means for supporting an extremity of a patient on the table.
emmmg 2,773,499 12/1956 Zur Nieden l 28/ 71 UX 13 Claims, 20 Drawing Figures 1 i f T?" l llllli 1 I v I I 1111:133 H N Ii-22' E -13) I" T I l 1g 24 25] 1119 PATENIEU rm I 1972 SHEET UIUF 1O PATENIEB FEB 1 I972 SHEET 03 0F 10 Fig. 10
PATENTEU E8 1 H72 SHEET 08 0F 10 PATENTED E sum 0W 1 PATENTEU FEB 1 i972 SHEET OBUF 10 Fig.1?
PATENTEB FEB 1 H1? SHEET DSUF 10 THERAPEUTIC TABLE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION aim at promoting the unblocking of articulations (especially vertebral or sacro-iliac) and at combatting the compression of intervertebral discs which may have been caused and exacerbated by the effects of present-day life. These treatments are also aimed at facilitating the relaxation of muscular contractions and generally compensating for the effects of weight; not
only on the spinal column, but equally on the entire organism (for example visceral ptoses, slackening of muscles and ligaments, slowing down of veinous and lymphatic circulation).
For.,carrying out such treatments, the following devices and methods have hitherto been used:
a. Stretching Tables: various models exist, all based on the principle that a certain amount of lengthening of the spinal column is attained by indirectly fastening the latter at two points to two portions of a table, the two portions being movable relative to each other and being made to move apart.
Spinal stretching has a number of disadvantages the best known of which are as follows:
I. frequently painful and at best uncomfortable for the patient since it imposes traction stresses on the intervertebral discs which are sometimes great and for which the patient is physiologically ill suited;
.2. it often brings on reflex contraction of the paravertebral muscles which tend to resist the dislocation;
3. it transmits an identical strain to all the discs located between the points of application of the traction, which is not very logical if one takes into account the fact that the discs have adapted themselves by substantial structural changes to weights which, in upright or seated posture, progressively increase from the brain end of the spine to its base; and
4. it has no effect on the remainder of the organism.
b. Sloping Boards-Relaxation Chairs: envisaged for resting, their effect is almost solely on the blood circulation and perhaps the visceral ptoses. They require comparatively long periods of use for a limited result.
c. Vibrating Chairs or Beds: the vibrations of the frame are transmitted to the body. They are, however, not coordinated, all the body vibrating on the spot," and therefore they cannot really find any specific medical or paramedical application.
.d. Vibrating Platforms: these appear to be no more than variation of the preceding system, differing only in the position of the user who stands on the platform. Actually, the vibrations in this method of treatment are transmitted in the direction of weight and thus considerably aggravate its results by adding a harmful compression effect on the vertebral column, the vital organs, the circulation; they constitute the antithesis of the subject of the present invention.
e. Vibro-massage Apparatus: being appliances of limited power, their vibrations are localized at the point of application, on the skin, on the subcutaneous tissues and on the superficial muscles; they are generally reserved for beauty treatment. Certain more powerful types can transmit their vibrations to deeper lying muscles and may be used for relaxation massage; their effect, however, is also limited to the place of application of the vibrator and, as far as the longitudinal muscles are concerned, they act only in a plane perpendicular to .those muscles.
Without entering into an anatomical discussion, or a physiopathological one, it is necessary to recall some essential elements in order to understand how the present invention functions and to justify its usefulness.
If one considers that the spinal column is formed of mobile segments-the vertebraeinterconnected and separated by intervertebral, fibre-cartilaginous discs and linked by joints through the medium of articular protuberances, the surfaces of which must freely slide on each other, it becomes obvious that these segments can lose their mobility through external influences (strain, some kind of trauma, a heavy blow or repeated light blows, muscular contraction etc.) or through internal influences (changes in the state of the contacting surfaces or of the discs, which changes may be of, for example, inflammatory, infectious or degenerative origin).
It is well known that changes in the soundness of articular harmony (intervertebral, sacro-iliac, occipito-atlo-axoid) and the consequent loss of mobility can be the cause of local or distantly radiated pain, or irritations of the spinal nerves or their roots, of compression or irritation of the spinal marrow with eventual repercussions down to the level of the base of the spine and even to the mesencephalus, of cerebral or bulbospinal (syndrome of the vertebral artery) or medullar irrigation disturbances, or disturbances of the irrigation and drainage of the vertebral segments themselves with their ulterior consequences on the bone structure (particularly the degree of calcification), and finally of the most diverse organic malfunctions.
The nature of the vertebral blockages which result in loss of mobility varies at each vertebral stage according to the shape, the inclination and the state of the contacting articular surfaces and also because of the nature and thickness of the discs or of the ligaments, the extent of muscular contraction etc.
It can be said that two vertebrae cease to mutually articulate in the normal manner when their contact surfaces no longer slide freely one on the other through having slightly exceeded the nomtal limits of their movements and having become frozen in this new position, by having literally being seized up through an extended period of physiological inactivity, by being fixed" by muscular contractions or by a more profound change of pathological nature of the state of the articulations.
It is well known that all these blockages, dislocations" or slips," as well as pinching of discs, are directly or indirectly connected to weight. Even when they appear independently of weight; as may happen as a result of an accident, strain or wrong movement; the problems are aggravated by weight once they have appeared.
Except in pathologic cases where, to the contrary, immobilization of the vertebrae was desirable and sought after, it thus became logical on the one hand to free these articular seizures and on the other hand to combat the effect of intervertebral disc compression due to heaviness by a brief action in the opposite direction. This may be accomplished by applying, to the various intervertebral discs, a force of the weakest possible extent but nevertheless exactly proportional to the weight supported by the discs in upright (or seated) position. Accordingly, it is considered desirable that this "antiweight action on the spinal column should be accompanied by a similar action on the viscera and organs, on the circulation (particularly the return of blood from the lower limbs and the drainage of the lymphatic vessels), and on the general relaxation of the muscles which sustain the upright posture.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION An object of this invention is to overcome or reduce the effects of the previously described disadvantages of prior art therapeutic treatment apparatus. The present invention achieves this object by permitting the effects of a rapid intermittent traction (axial vibration) to be combined with the inclined position of the patient.
The present invention comprises a therapeutic table which includes a frame mounted on a horizontal shaft supported by a pedestal so that the frame can be inclined out of a horizontal position, a tabletop consisting of a plurality of platforms mounted in the same place on said frame so that the platforms may freely and individually slide in said plane in a common direction perpendicular to the inclination axis of the frame, a footrest carried by an end platform, a vibration device comprising a stationary portion carried by that end of the frame which supports the footrest and a sliding portion provided with straps for tying the ankles of a patient lying on the tabletop to the sliding portion.
The table, the general characteristics of which have just been defined, may further include a number of complementary components which will be reverted to hereinafter and the presence of which is of great advantage. These additional components are in particular: a headrest, straps for occasionally tying the patient to the platforms, stops for limiting the run of the platforms and various adjustment and locking means.
In accordance with the invention, the patient lies on his back on the tabletop with his ankles strapped to the vibration device and the table is slightly inclined so that the patients feet are higher than his head which, because of the mobility of the platforms, places his spine under slight tension. In this sloping position the patients vertebrae, instead of being subjected to weight as in everyday life, i.e., to compression forces, are subjected to traction forces. The intensity of these traction forces is proportional of that of the compression forces and of weaker values.
As will be explained in detail below, various adjustment means make it possible to impart to these traction forces the precise characteristics desired. Moreover, the nature of the forces in question (vibration) permits the traction force to be considerably reduced, as compared with that of the conventional stretching table, but with the same result.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING The present invention will be better understood by reading the following description and examining the accompanying drawings which, as a nonlimiting example, show one embodiment of a vertebrotherapy table in accordance with the present invention:
In the accompanying drawings:
FIG. 1 is an elevational view of the entire table;
FIG. 2 is a plan view corresponding to FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 shows, on enlarged scale, the central upper portion of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 shows, on enlarged scale, the left portion of FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 shows, on enlarged scale, the right portion of FIG. 1, partly broken away;
- FIG. 6 is a section along the line VI-VI of FIG. 3;
FIG. 7 is a section along the line VII-VII of FIG. I;
FIG. 8 is a plan view, with broken away parts, corresponding to FIG. 4;
FIG. 9 is a plan view, with broken away parts, of the right portion of FIG. 5;
FIG. 10 is a section along the line XX ofFIG. 3;
FIG. 1 1 shows, on enlarged scale, a detail of FIG. 3 encompassed by the circle indicated in broken lines at XI;
FIG. 12 is a section along the line XII-XII of FIG. 1 1;
FIG. 13 is a section along the line XlII--XIII of FIG. 1 1;
FIG. 14 shows an elevation, on enlarged scale, the detail indicated in plan view at XIV in FIG. 2;
FIG. 15 is a section along the line XVXV of FIG. 14;
FIG. 16 is a section along the line XVl-XVI of FIG. 14;
FIG. 17 is an end view seen in the direction of arrow XVI in FIG. 5;
FIG. 18 is an end view seen in the direction of arrow XVIII in FIG. 4;
FIG. 19 is a longitudinal cross section through the vibration device; and
FIG. 20 is a section along the line XXXX of FIG. 19.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT in carrying the invention into effect by way of example a therapeutic table, shown in its entirety in FIGS. 1 and 2, comprises a pedestal I, an inclinable frame 2, a plurality of platforms 3, 4, 5 for supporting the patient. The platform 3 is provided with a footrest 8 and a vibrator 12 while the platform 5 is provided with a headrest 9.
The height of the pedestal 1 is adjustable and for this purpose the pedestal consists of two portions, Le, a lower portion in the form of two flanges I5, 16 (see also FIG. 7) braced by two crossbars l8, l9, and an upper portion in the form of two flanges 22, 23 (see also FIG. 6) held against the inner surfaces of the two flanges 15, 16 of the lower pedestal portion by two struts 24, 25. Struts 24, 25 are threaded through two tubular tiebeams, such as shown at 27, the ends of which tiebeams abut the inner surfaces of the flanges 22, 23. The two struts 24, 25 pass through vertical slots 31, 32 of the lower flange l6 and two corresponding slots such as 33 of the lower flange IS. The struts 24, 25 are made in the form of bolts which permits the upper portion of the pedestal 1 to be locked in its lower portion at any desired height.
The frame 2 also comprises two flanges 37, 38 braced by two crossbars 39. The frame 2 is pivotally mounted on an upper tubular beam 41 (FIGS. 3 and 6) which passes through the tips of the two flanges 22, 23 of the upper portion of pedestal 1. The two ends of the beam 41 are made integral with the two flanges 38, 38 of the frame 2 by two pins 42, 43 respectively. Two rings 44, 45, fixed on the beam 41 by pegs 46, 47 respectively, hold the upper portion of the two flanges 22, 23 of the pedestal against the inner surfaces of the two flanges 37, 38 of the table.
The frame can readily be inclined to either side of the horizontal up to an angle of about 12; by means of any suitable drive such as, for example, the one illustrated which comprises a drive shaft 51 adapted to receive a driving wheel or a crank. Shaft 51 rotates in a bore 52 in the flange 23 of the pedestal, as well as in a bore 53 of a support 54 integral with said flange. A sprocket wheel 55 is mounted on the shaft 51 and engages a cog wheel 56 mounted on a shaft 57. Shaft 57 rotates in bores 58 and 59 in the flange 23 and the support 54 respectively. A crank 62 is also mounted on the shaft 57 and a circular cam 63, eccentric relative to the axis of the shaft 57, is carried by the crank 62. Cam 63 is disposed in a radial opening 65 of the flange 38 of the pivotable frame 2. A cover plate 66 is attached by two screws 67 to the outer surface of the flange 38 and screens the opening 65.
The shaft 57 passes through the flange 38 of the pivotable frame 2, via an arcuate slot 71 therein, coaxially of the pivotal beam 41 of said frame.
Threaded rods 75, 75 are extended from the opposite ends of a bracing tube 74 disposed between the flanges 22 and 23 of the pedestal. Rods 75, 76 pass through corresponding holes in flanges 22, 23 and also pass through arcuate slots 77, 78 in flanges 37, 38 of the pivotable frame. Rods 75, 76 are fixed and are also coaxial with the upper beam 41. Elements, e.g., screwnuts, can be placed on the ends of the threaded rods 75, 76 in such manner that, in pressing against the flanges 37 and 38 of the ivotable frame, they immobilize the latter in any desired sloping position. In the illustrated embodiment these tightening elements are of the conventional rapid tightening cam type, such as shown at 81, and they are provided with an operating handle 82 (FIG. 3).
The upper portion of the frame 2 serves as support for the tabletop comprising the three platforms or panels 3, 4, 5. For that purpose two slides 88, 89 of recumbent U-shaped cross section are fixed, e.g., by screws 87, below the lateral edges of each panel. Considering for example panel 4, the slides face each other and rest on rollers, such as roller 92. Each roller is freely rotatably about an axis 93 horizontally fixed in the upper portion of the corresponding flange of the frame 2. The lower leg section of the corresponding slide runs against other rollers, such as 96, (see FIG. 10) freely mounted on vertical axes 97. Axes 97 are fixed in the upper portion of the corresponding flange of the frame.
In the embodiment illustrated, the forward movement of each platform 3, 4 and 5 is restricted to a predetermined value of the order of 2 cm., 4 cm. and 7.6 cm. respectively. For this purpose there is provided at each side of the table and for each platform a withdrawable abutment such as 101 (FIGS. 3 and 11 to 13). Abutment 101 comprises a stop mounted so as to be pivotable about a horizontal axis 102, the axis 102 being arranged in the upper portion of the corresponding flange of the frame 2. Each stop is partly lodged in a cavity 104 of quartercircular shape machined out of the external face of the associated flange and having a vertical edge such as 105. The stops are also partly received in a rectangular groove 106 notched in the lower legs of the corresponding mobile slide. When a stop is in the vertical position shown in the drawings and the end 107 of the groove of the corresponding slide comes to hit the stop, the slide is immobilized since said stop is itself in contact with the fixed surface 105 of the cavity 104 in the frame 2. If the stop 101 is brought into a horizontal position by pivoting it about its axis 102, the movement of the slide is not interrupted because said stop enters said slide and then the platform can readily be removed if one wishes to do so.
Other stops, not shown, are disposed below the rear platform 3 and are pivotable 90 in the opposite direction so as to prevent accidental backward sliding of the assembly of panels.
Stubs or knobs 111 (FIG. are fixed at intervals in the outer surfaces of the slides 88 and 89. Straps 112 can be hooked onto stubs 111 for strapping the patient to the platforms.
The footrest 8 comprises a transom 12] (FIGS. 5, 9 and 17) supported by two vertical rods 122, 123. Rods 122, 123 are slideable and adjustable as to their elevation in two devices 124, 125 carried by two members 126, 127. Members 126 and 127 are mounted for longitudinal sliding relative to the platform 3 by means of two slide systems indicated generally at 128 and 129.
Each of the height adjustment devices such as 124, is of conventional type (see in section, FIG. 5) and comprises a socket 281 of conventional type having an internal conical narrowing 284 at its lower end.
Balls 283 are housed in each of sockets 281 and are urged towards the conical narrowing by a spring 287, the springs being propped by a shoulder 289 on the upper portion of said sockets 281. A sleeve 282 is slideably mounted on the rod 122; the lower end of the sleeve penetrating into the socket 281 and defining longitudinal slits 290 in which said balls run. The lower free end of said sleeve also comprises forks 291 adapted to cooperate with said balls. The upper end of the sleeve is provided with a collar 292 which permits the collar of the socket to spread and thus lift the balls 283 so that the rod 122 may freely slide. As soon as the sleeve 282 is released, the action of the spring 287 causes the balls to wedge between the rod 122 and the conical narrowing.
The above-described devices enable the footrest 121 to be raised or lowered, the footrest remaining immobilized in the position in which it is left. The footrest can also be longitudinally adjusted by sliding the two slide systems 128, 129. Slide systems 128, 129 can also be immobilized in any desired position by means of a conventional locking system such as 135, 136; e.g., by a cam-type device.
The slide systems 128 and 129, which may best be seen from FIG. 17, are identical and comprise four spars 304, 305, 306 and 307 integral with the platform 3. The spars 304 and 305 have a square section and have L-shaped profiles 308, 309 at their surfaces facing one another. The slide systems also comprise angle-blocks 310 and 311 which lie on the horizontal legs of the L-shaped profiles of the spars; the angleblocks being integral with a member 312.
A plate 313 is mounted below and extends between the horizontal legs of the profiles 308 and 309. Plate 313 is pierced by a screw 314 which is screwed into the member 312. Screw 314 is provided with a head having a lateral handle. By tightening the screw 314 the horizontal legs of the profiles 308 and 309-are squeezed between the angle-blocks 310, 311 and the plate 313 and the footrest is locked in longitudinal direction.
The locking device designated 136 may be identical to that designated and identical reference numerals have been used in both cases.
The headrest (FIGS. 4, 8 and 18) is, like the footrest, supported by vertical rods 152, 153 mounted through the intermediary of height adjustment 154, 155. Height adjustment 154, 155 is identical to the devices 124, 125 described above in relation to FIGS. 5 and 17. As may be seen from FIG. 13, height adjustment devices 154, 155 comprise members 156, 157 integral with a bedplate 159 which, by means of a longitudinal slide designated as a whole by the numeral 158, can be shifted in relation to the platform 5. A neckrest 151 associated with the headrest is supported, like the latter, by the bedplate 159 through the intermediary of two height adjustment devices 162, 163.
The longitudinal slide comprises two spars 295 and 294, integral with the platform 5, comprising L-shaped profiles 296 and 297. One of the horizontal legs of one of profile 296 supports an angle-block 298 integral with the bedplate 159, and the other profile 297 supports an angle-block 299, likewise integral with said bedplate.
Under the horizontal legs of the profiles 296 and 297, and between their vertical legs, extends a bar 300 pierced by a threaded rod 301. Rod 301 is integral with the bedplate 159 and is provided with a screwnut 161 having a lateral handle; the nut 161 thus constituting a locking system.
The slide can be immobilized in any desired position by means of the locking system. In fact, by tightening the nut 161, the angle-blocks 298 and 299 will be caused to squeeze the horizontal legs of the profiles 296 and 297 between the angleblocks and the bar 300. Thus the headrest and the neckrest can both be adjusted as to their height and in longitudinal direction so as to adapt them to the curvature of any patients spine.
The vibrator 12 (FIGS. 9 and 20) of generally elongate cylindrical form is held by means of a collar (FIG. 17) with which the vibrator is integral. Collar 175 can slide on two longitudinal rods 176, 177 carried by the corresponding end of the frame. Collar 175 permits the location of the vibrator to be adjusted according to the stature of the patient.
As will be described below, one can moreover place the vibrator under the other end of the tabletop, i.e., under the headrest, as shown in broken lines at 12 in FIG. 4, by mounting the collar 175 on analogous rods 178, 179 integral with the corresponding end of the frame. In view of the structure of the assembly, it is necessary in this second position for the vibrator to be lower than when it is arranged under the footrest; and it is for this reason that the plane of the holes of the collar 175 is spaced a certain distance from the axis of said vibrator.
The vibrator can be immobilized on its support rods, by means of a wing screw 181 mounted in a foot of the collar 175, by applying pressure against one of the support rods such as 176.
The vibrator is shown in detail in FIGS. 19 and 20. It comprises a cylindrical body 191 into one end of which a checkbase 192 is screwed, while at the other end another base 193 is fixed by screw 194. The base 193 is provided with a ball cartridge 196 in which a striker can slide. A crossbar 198 ending in two flanges 199 is fixed at the outer end of the striker. Each of these flanges 199 is pierced by an opening 202 through which a strap, such as shown at 203, for attaching the ankles of the patient can be passed.
With a view to another utilization, the crossbar 198 carried by the striker is in the form of a slide in which two frames 207, 208 can slide in opposition. Two axles 211, 212, respectively passing through the respective frames 207, 208 and having two rollers 213, 214 freely mounted thereon, also form part of the slide. These two rollers can be brought closer together or wider apart by means of a threaded rod 216, the opposed threads of which are engaged in correspondingly tapped holes of the two flanges 207, 208. The rod 216 is rotatably mounted in the two flanges 199 and one of its ends is provided with an operating knob 218.
A shoulder 221, prevented from turning in the body 197 by a rod 222 (another function of which will be later explained), is fixed to the interior end of the striker 197. The rod 222 passes both through a longitudinal hole 223 in the base 193 and through a longitudinal hole 224 in the shoulder 221.
The striker 197 is urged toward the interior of the body 191 by a helical compression spring 226 the two ends of which are propped against the base 193 and the shoulder 221 respectively.
The striker 197 is periodically displaced, at great velocity and counter to the bias of its return spring 226, by a mechanism driven by an electric motor 228. The drive mechanism is provided with a check means 229 which is coaxial with the checkbase 192 of the body 191. The collar 175 is fixed on electric motor 228.
At the tip of the shaft 231 of electric motor 228, which tip is inside the vibrator body 191, a plate 233 having an oblique face 234 is fixed by means of a bolt 232. The plate 233 is rotatably mounted by a needle bearing 235 and a ball bearing 236 of slanting contact; the exterior rings of both bearings being mounted in the base 192. Against the oblique face 234 of the rotary plate 233 a ball 238 is freely set in a disc 239. Disc 239 is integral with a pivot 242. Pivot 242 can slide axially, without turning, in an axial bore of a spindle 243 and spindle 243 can turn, without axial displacement, in the shoulder 221. The angular connection between the pivot 242 and the spindle 243 is ensured by a bolt 245 radially mounted in the spindle 243 and having its end housed in a longitudinal groove of the pivot 242. The ball 238 leans against an abutment ball ring 247 which in turn, via a washer 248, leans against the outer ring of a ball bearing 249. The inner ring of bearing 249 is fitted on the spindle 243. The angular position of the spindle 243 can be modified from the outside of the apparatus by means of a control knob 251 fixed to the corresponding end of the rod 222. The interior end of rod 222 carries a toothed wheel 252 which engages another toothed wheel 253 integral with the spindle 243. The center of the ball 238 is spaced from the geometric axis of the pivot 242 by the same distance as exists between that axis and the axis of the obliquely faced plate 233. When the spindle 243 on the shoulder 221 is in the angular position shown in FIG. 19 there is maximum spacing between the ball 238 and the axis of the obliquely faced plate. Accordingly, axial movement of maximal stroke is imparted to the striker 197 when the plate 233 is rotatingly entrained by the electric motor 228. If, by means of the adjustment control 251, the ball 238 is brought nearer to the axis of the obliquely faced plate, the axial stroke of the striker is obviously reduced for every rotation of said plate. When the ball 238 is in the center of the plate, the stroke of the striker is zero. Thus there is a possibility of very precise adjustment of the extent of the strikers stroke. One can also adjust the frequence of the vibrations of the striker if one uses an electric motor 228 of variable speed, e.g., by means of a rheostat.
FIG. 2 shows at 261 a device for joining the two platforms 4 and 5 at one side. A similar device 262 is disposed at the other side and two more such devices 263 and 264, similarly arranged, serve to join the platforms 3 and 4.
Joining device 261 is shown in details in FIGS. 14 and 16 and comprises a platelet 262 one end of which is fixed to the corresponding slide of platform 5 by a rivet 263. A rapid tightening system is fixed in a slit 264 at the other end of platelet 262. The tightening system is of any conventional and suitable kind and is designated as a whole by the numeral 265. The tightening system comprises, for instance, a cammed handle 266 arranged in a stud 267 inside which stud slides a rod 268 passing through the slit 264 and through a corresponding slit 269 of the slide of the neighboring platform 4. The rod 268 has a cap 271 intended to bear against the interior surface of the base of the slide so as to ensure joining of the two slides and consequently of the two corresponding platforms.
The vertebro-therapy table operates as follows:
The operator or medical assistants adjusts the height of the table according to his stature and for his comfort by causing the upper portion 23 of the pedestal to slide along the lower portion 16. Height adjustment is accomplished by first releas ing the threaded rods 24, 25 and locking them after adjustment.
The patient lies on his back on the table in such manner that his back rests on the platform 5, his pelvis on platform 4 and his legs on platform 3, his feet being on the footrest 8 and his head and neck respectively on the headrest 9 and the neckrest 151. These last three elements are conveniently adjusted in longitudinal direction as well as in height by using the means hereinbefore described.
The vibrator 12 is in the elevated position shown in FIGS. 1 and 17 and the patients ankles are strapped to the ends of the crossbar 198 of said apparatus by straps 203.
By means of the crank or the driving wheel mounted on the shaft 51 one inclines the table in a direction which imparts a slightly sloping position to the patient, i.e., his head being placed lower than his feet.
An angle of inclination of 12 of the table gives good results. The pelvis, the back and the head of the patient are thus entrained downward by the effect of heaviness, this movement being made quite freely thanks to the individual mobility of the three platforms. The spinal column is thus stretched naturally. The vibration apparatus is then started up, its speed and stroke being adjusted as need be.
The thus obtained intermittent, very rapid traction, in the form of an axial vibration, is longitudinally transmitted to the entire body of the patient and permits a supplementary lengthening of the spinal column by self-traction on the intervertebral discs and by breaking up the muscular contraction and the excessive friction existing between the locked" articular surfaces. The feet of the patient are maintained in the high position and the vibrations cause a decompression with natural elongation of the spine. During the course of this utilization the rollers 213, 214 of the vibration apparatus are not used.
Apart from this principal utilization the table hereinbefore described can serve additional utilizations:
In cases of locking of the cervico-dorsal joint, it may in such cases be useful to apply supplementary traction in that region. For this purpose the table is inclined in the opposite direction so that the head is in a higher position and that the remainder of the body serves to produce the traction force. For this utilization a fabric chinpiece is added to the headrest which then fixes the head more carefully, while the vibrator apparatus is placed in the low position as shown in FIG. 18 and it is attached directly to the lower portion of the bedplate 159. This is the only case, and an exceptional one, when the vibration apparatus itself actuates a movable portion of the table.
The table can be installed in two different ways, depending on the locality available to the user:
A first solution is for the vibrator assembly to be fixed optionally at the front or at the rear end of the table and the latter may be inclined in both directions. This is the solution illustrated and described herein.
In a second solution the platforms 3 and S are interchangeable and the table can be inclined in only one direction.
Finally, it may in certain cases be necessary to add a percussion on certain segments of the patients spinal column. The patient then lies on the table face down, the vibration device is removed from the table and held by hand so that one can cause the vibrators rollers 213, 214 to roll over the afflicted segments of the spinal column. This is, in fact, a deep vibration massage, symmetrically applied to the vertebral tracts, the spacing of the two rollers being so adjusted that the rollers make contact above the transverse or articular (dorsal region) or mamillary (lumber region) protuberances. The speed and amplitude of the vibrations are adjusted to optimum values. Adjustment of the spacing permits of precise application according to the individual or according to the vertebrae in question.
The advantages of the table may be summarized in the following manner:
l. The above-mentioned adjustments (speed and stroke of the vibrating element, inclination of the table) can be made in the running state and thus all combinations to ensure optimum functioning are posible; this allows the most varied conditions of use to be met, according to age, weight, stature, vertebral condition of each individual and according to the effect desired.
2. The intermittent, ultrarapid traction (axial vibration) permits of a substantial reduction of the traction force for an identical result, which by itself constitutes an advantage over the conventional stretching tables; it would then be sufficient to fasten the patient to the movable boards by means of straps provided for this purpose. This is the object of the studs or knobs provided in the lateral portions of the platform slides.
3. 1n the inclined position the weights carried by each vertebra become the pulling forces (or at least an identical fraction of these weights).
This is the main advantage of the system: there is perfect proportionality of the forces pulling at each vertebra and at each intervertebral disc and the weights carried by them in upright (or seated) position.
4. Adjustment of the inclination permits of modifying while taking account of the proportionality between the various vertebral stages, the magnitude of the forces pulling at each vertebral segment, through the degree of inclination.
5. The traction, which is the longitudinal component of the body weight on the table when considered as an inclined plane, thus varies substantially like the sine of the angle of inclination.
The 12 limit of inclination used in the embodiment described is not an absolute and a larger angle may be applied, but it corresponds to rules of comfort and of safety which are the result of experiments.
For additional utilizations it may be necessary to exceptionally immobilize the platforms relative to the frame. To this end FIG. 12 shows, by way of example, a means of immobilizing any of the three platforms, e.g., platforms on the frame 2, in the form of a stationary cylindrical peg 321 preferably provided with a knurled head 322. Peg 321 simultaneously engages a hole 323 in the slide 88 of said platform and a hole 324 in the frame 2. If peg 321 is in position, the corresponding platform is immobilized on the frame and since the three platforms can be rendered integral by means described above, it is thus optionally possible to make them all integral with said frame. The peg 321 need only be removed to release the platforms. Moreover, if desired, once can place a similar peg at the other side of the platform, as well as through the slides of the other platforms.
The invention is, of course, not restricted to the embodiment illustrated and described, which has been given by way of example, and a number of modifications may be introduced according to the applications envisaged, without thereby departing from the outline of the invention.
1. A therapeutic table comprising:
elongated frame means pivotally mounted to said pedestal and extending to either side thereof, said frame means being tiltable about a horizontal axis;
a plurality of platforms longitudinally slidably mounted on said frame means, said platforms being individually movable relative to said frame means;
a footrest supported from a first of said platforms;
longitudinal vibration inducing means supported from said elongated frame means adjacent said footrest, said vibration inducing means comprising a stationary portion fixed to said frame means and a portion movable with respect to said stationary portion in a direction longitudinal with respect to said elongated frame means; and
strap means carried by said movable portion of said vibration inducing means, said strap means being adapted to be attached to the ankles of a patient lying on said platforms with his feet on said footrest.
2. A table as claimed in claim 1 further comprising:
a headrest supported by a second of said platforms, said second platform being at the opposite end of said frame from said first platform.
3. A table as claimed in claim 2 wherein said platforms are provided with straps for securing a patient to the table.
4. A table as claimed in claim 1 wherein said frame includes stops for limiting the motion of each of said platforms.
5. A table as claimed in claim 1 wherein said footrest is adjustable for elevation and in the longitudinal direction of the table.
6. A table as claimed in claim 2 wherein said footrest and headrest are both adjustable for elevation and in the longitudinal direction of the table.
7. A table as claimed in claim 2 wherein either end of said frame may be elevated above a horizontal plane through the axis of rotation thereof.
8. A table as claimed in claim 2 wherein said vibration inducing means is detachable, the apparatus further comprising means for attaching said vibration inducing means to said headrest.
9. A table as claimed in claim 8 wherein the means for attaching said vibration inducing means comprises flanges provided at the underside of said second platform, said flanges having openings which permit said vibration inducing means comprises flanges provided at the underside of said second platform, said flanges having openings which permit said vibration inducing means to be attached by straps.
10. A table as claimed in claim 2 further comprising:
means for inclining said frame in the desired direction, said inclining means comprising a rotatable drive shaft mounted in said pedestal and operatively connected to a rotatable cam carried by a shaft mounted in said pedestal, said cam being housed in a radial slot in said pivotally mounted frame.
11. A table as claimed in claim 2 further comprising:
means for securing said platforms together.
12. A table as claimed in claim 11 further comprising:
means for immobilizing said platforms on said frame.
13. A table as claimed in claim 2 wherein said vibration means is immobile and the movable portion thereof is slideable longitudinally of said frame means and comprises coaxial massage rollers, the axis of said rollers being perpendicular to the direction of movement of said sliding portion.