US 3695255 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent I Rodgers et al.
[ 51 Oct. 3, 1972 FOOT EXERCISING DEVICE  Inventors: Edvvard J. Rodgers, 5705 Tannahill Circle; Rolland G. Sturni, 132
Forbes Drive, both of Huntsville, Ala. 35802  Filed: May 14, 1970  Appl. No.: 37,223
 US. Cl. ..l28/25 B  Int. Cl. ..A6lh l/02  Field of Search 1 28/24, 25, 25 B  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,526,220 9/1970 Small ..128/25 B 3,370,584 2/1968 Girten ..l28/25 B 3,318,304 5/1967 Gurewich ..128/25 B 2,674,242 4/1954 Bierman ..128/25 B 2,716,980 9/1955 Bierman ..128/25 X 3,301,553 l/l967 Brakeman ..l28/25 X FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 11,782 5/1903 Austria ..l28/25 Primary Examiner-Lawrence W. Trapp Attorney-Newton, Hopkins & Ormsby ABSTRACT A foot exercising device for use on persons confined to bed and including an exercising device having a pair of foot supporting means pivotally supported and attachable to a bed in a position to receive the feet of a person lying in bed. Oscillating control means is operatively connected to each of the foot support means for effecting an oscillating movement of the foot support means and the foot supported thereon of a limited moment of force about the foot ankle joint to exercise the body muscles associated with the oscillating foot movement.
8 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures PATENTED 1973 3,695,255
sum 1 0F 3 INVENTOR. Eawmo J Aodam ,Qaumva a 5mm Iva/Mira PATENTEMBIB m2 3.595.255
SHEEI 3 OF 3 INVENTOR.
,drme/vim A [an 400 J Podaem- FOOT EXERCISING DEVICE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION A person confined to bed for a long period of time, usually when the person is either unconscious, in a weakened condition, or temporarily paralyzed either totally or partially, without proper exercises and precautions will usually suffer muscle atrophy as well as elongation of certain muscles and foreshortening of others. The elongation and foreshortening of the muscles will develop into a condition where the foot becomes fixed in an extended position, toes pointed downward, known as dropped foot and is very difficult to correct once it is acquired. In order to prevent or correct muscle atrophy and dropped foot in bed ridden patients, it is necessary to exercise those muscles associated with oscillatory foot movement about the ankle joint. Further, during an exercising program to prevent or correct muscle atrophy and dropped foot as well as provide general muscle tone, it is desirable to increase the speed and extend of the oscillating movement of the foot while limiting the applied moment of force to gradually lengthen and strengthen its associated leg muscles.
In the past, any exercise that a bed ridden person could receive would be the result of personally applied therapy performed by trained hospital personnel. Frequently, such personnel were unable toproperly limit the movement of the foot and the moment of force applied thereto during exercise consistent with the particular patients muscular condition. This resulted in overextension of the foot rotation and damage to the patients muscle tissue. Also, the hospital personnel were many times physically unable to apply the proper foot rotational movement at the required speed and for the duration necessary to prevent or overcome muscular atrophy and dropped foot. Moreover, due to the shortage of personnel under which hospitals are frequently operating, a bed ridden patient just could not receive the necessary exercise to prevent muscle atrophy and/or dropped foot.
OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION It is therefore a primary object of the invention to provide a foot exercising device which is capable of supporting the feet and exercising the leg muscles of a person confined to bed.
A further object of this invention is to provide a foot exercising device which can be attached to one end support of a bed, and oriented in a direction to support as well as exercise the leg muscles of a person lying in the bed.
A still further object of this invention is to provide an exercising device which will support and oscillate a foot about the ankle joint.
Still another object of this invention is to provide a foot support means for an exercising device which includes means to adjustably position the foot to locate the ankle joint in direct alignment with an oscillating pivot for the foot support.
An additional object of this invention is to provide a foot exercising device which includes an oscillating foot support means with means for adjusting the speed and extend of oscillating movement.
Another object of the invention, probably the most significant one, is to limit the moment of force applied to the foot about the ankle joint consistent with the individual's muscular condition so that the applied moment will not overextend and thereby damage the muscle tissue.
A further object of this invention is to provide a foot exercising device which is simple in construction, economical to manufacture, and reliable in operation.
The apparatus of the invention comprises generally a pair of foot support means pivotally carried on a base member adapted to be positioned on the bed adjacent the patients feet and drive means for oscillating the foot support means operatively connected thereto. The foot support means can be adjusted to position its pivot point in alignment with the patients ankle joint when his foot is placed on the foot support means and the drive means is selectively adjustable to vary the magnitude of the oscillating movement applied to the patients feet. The drive means is operatively connected to the foot support means through resiliently contractable connecting links to prevent muscle injury to the patient by limiting the moment of force applied to the foot about the ankle joint to that which is no greater than that which the patients feet can be moved without such muscle injury.
These and other objects and advantages will become apparent after reading the following specification with reference to the attached drawings .showing one illustrative embodiment of the invention, and wherein the same reference numbers have been used to refer to like parts throughout the Figures of drawings wherein:
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a fragmentary side elevational view showing the relationships of the foot exercising device with one end support of a bed;
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the foot exercising device as shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of the exercising device showing the foot support means in two oscillated positions;
FIG. 4 is a front elevational view taken along line 4- 4 in FIG. 2 of the exercising device showing the motor and drive means with parts of the exercising device omitted for clarity;
FIG. 5 is a vertical sectional view taken along lines 55 in FIG. 2;
FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken along line 6-6 in FIG. 1; and,
FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of one foot stirrup taken along line 7-7 in FIG. 1.
These figures and the following detailed description disclose a specific embodiment of the invention, however, the inventive concept is not limited thereto since it may be embodied in other forms.
DESCRIPTION OF ILLUSTRATIVE EMBODIMENT Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawing, the exercising device will be described with reference to a base supporting framework 10, a foot supporting means 30, and a power operated control mechanism 60.
As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the base supporting framework includes a vertically oriented central support beam 11 mounted on a pair of horizontally oriented base members 12 and 13, with base member 12 being vertically displaced from and parallel to base member 13. Base members 12 and 13 are laterally spaced to provide a space 14 therebetween so that the members 12 and 13 will fit on opposite sides of the footboard F (shown in phantom lines in FIG. 1) to position the device with member 12 resting on the mattress to stabilize same. The central support beam 11 is mounted along the center of base members 12 and 13, and extends upwardly therefrom substantially perpendicular to the horizontal plane of members 12 and 13.
Connecting the outer adjacent ends of members 12 and 13 are a pair of reinforcing plates 16 that span space 14. The beam 1 1 and plates 16 define aligned, inverted U-shaped notches N therein which extend vertically upward from and open into space 14 so that the footboard F can be received therein to position the device. The edges of the beam 11 and plates 16 adjacent notches N may be covered with a soft pliable insert to prevent damage to footboard F while the device is in use.
Integral with a lower surface of base member 13 is a downwardly projecting motor support plate 17 which is perpendicular to base member 13. Motor support plate 17 is detailed such that the longitudinal axis of motor support plate 17 is parallel to the longitudinal axis of base member 13. Also mounted on the underside of base member 13 adjacent space 14 are a pair of L- shaped support brackets 18, each of which is detailed to support an adjustable stop member 19 to lock the device in position as shown in FIG. 1.
Referring again to FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, the foot support means includes a pair of foot supporting stirrups 31 and 32 rotatably supported on opposite sides of central support beams 11 by a common support shaft 33 for pivotal movement about a common axis.
Each of the foot stirrups 31 and 32 includes a base 34 detailed for receiving and supporting a foot thereon. Integral with a base portion 34 is a support bracket 35 which has defined therein a slot 36. Slot 36 is detailed in design to receive a slide element 37 therein for sliding movement in grooves 38 as shown in dashed lines in FIG. 1. (For details of the grooves 38, reference is made to FIG. 6, which illustrates similar grooves 77 in member 75 for a slide element 76 as described herein below).
One end of slide element 37 is provided with a bearing boss 39 which is detailed to rotatably receive a projecting end of common support shaft 33. The opposite end of slide 37 is threadedly engaged by a threaded member 40 supported for rotational non-axial movement in a plate element 41 secured to a bottom surface of base 34 by a pair of bolts 42. Threaded member 40 is detailed in design to, when rotated, effect a sliding adjustment of slide 37 along slot 36 to thereby adjust the spacing between base 34 and support shaft 33, as well as the pivot axis for stirrups 31 and 32.
As shown generally in FIG. 1 and more specifically in FIG. 7, each foot receiving base 34 includes an adjustable heel element 43 which has a pair of inward turned flanges 44 slidably supported in grooves'45 defined in base portion 34. Adjustment of the heel element 43 along grooves 45 is effected by a screw member 46 threaded into base portion 34. Screw member 46 is provided with a head element 46a rotatably connected to a bracket 47 attached to heel element 43. Rotation of screw member 46 will adjust the spacing between heel element 43 and a line L perpendicular to base 34 and drawn through support shaft 33.
Each foot is secured to base 34 by means of belts 48 and buckle 49. Belts 48 are attached to base 34 by bolts 50. The adjustment of heel element 43 and pivot shaft support slide 37 are detailed such that a foot secured to base 34 can be positioned to locate the transversely extending pivot axis of the ankle joint (joint shown in phantom lines in FIG. 1) in direct alignment with pivot support shaft 33. Should a different size foot from the last user be supported on base 34, the necessary adjustments on members 40 and 46, are effected to properly position the foot ankle joint as above described. It is to be understood that the support means and details of construction for each of the foot stirrups 31 and 32 are identical and the same reference characters have been used to refer to like parts in the figures of drawings with a detailed description being given herein above to only one of the foot stirrups 31 and 32.
Oscillating movement to the foot stirrups 31 and 32 is provided, as seen in FIGS. 3 and 4, by an oscillating control mechanism 60 including a motor 60a carried by support plate 17, a speed control 61, a gear reducer 62, and a pair of crank wheels 74 connected to the stirrups 31 and 32 by connecting rods 90. A control handle 63 is provided on speed control 61 for varying the speed of output shaft 64 of gear reducer 62 even though motor 60a runs at constant speed. Output shaft 64 extends vertically upward through an opening 65 in base member 13, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 5 and is connected to the input shaft 66 of an angle drive 68 through coupling 67. Angle drive 68 includes a conventional worm 69 carried by shaft 66 drivingly engaging worm gear 70 which is in turn connected to support shaft 71 for rotating same. Angle drive 68 is supported on central support beam 11 by means of a pair of mounting plates 72 and nut and bolt connecting means 73. Support shaft 71 extends outwardly of each side of drive 68 to provide a support for the pair of crank wheels 74 fixed thereto.
As shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 6, each of the crank wheels 74 defines a slide race 75 having adjustably supported therein a slide member 76. Slide member 76 is slidably supported by grooves 77 in wheels 74 which receive complimentary projections 77a provided along each edge of slide member 76 as seen in FIG. 6. Adjustment of slide member 76 along slot 75 is effected by a threaded blot 78 supported for rotational non-axial movement in a collar 79 fixed to crank wheel 74 ad jacent one end of slot 75. The extended end of bolt 78 is threaded in slide member 76 and rotation of bolt 78 will adjust the position of slide member 76 along race 75. The end of slide member 76 opposite bolt 78 is provided with a boss 80 (FIG. 2) having supported therein a stud element 81 which provides crank wheel 74 with a throw element. It is evident that rotation of crank wheel 74 will effect a corresponding rotation of throw element 81 and that adjustment of slide member 76 will adjust the length of the stroke of crank throw element 81.
Rotational movement of crank wheels 74 provides oscillating movement of foot stirrups 31 and 32 by means of the pair of connecting rods 90. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, each of the connecting rods 90 includes a pair of connecting joints 91 and 92 provided at opposite ends of each rod 90. Connecting joint 91 is operatively pinned to crank wheel throw element 81 and connecting joint 92 is operatively pinned to a pin 93 supported on the underside of stirrup base portion 34 by means of a bearing block 94 and connecting bolts 95.
Each connecting rod 90 as seen in FIG. 1 includes a tubular sleeve 96 attached to joint 91 and a rod 97 attached to joint 92. In an operating relationship, the rod 97 is slidably supported within sleeve 96 and held therein for sliding movement by means of an elongated coil spring 98 which surrounds sleeve 96 and rod 97. One end of spring 98 is connected to joint 91 by means of a fastener 99 and the opposite end of spring 98 affixed to a collar 100 slidably received on rod 97.
Collar 100 is connected to rod 97 by means of a pin 101 being inserted through a selected one of a series of spaced passages 102 provided in rod' 97. It is evident that the above construction of connecting rod 90 will convert the rotational movement of crank wheel 74. to oscillating movement of foot supporting stirrups 31 and 32. It is to be noted that the arrangement of connecting sleeves 96, rods 97, and springs 98 will provide a limiting effect on the maximum moment of force applied to the oscillating foot support stirrups 31 and 32.
The details of construction of each of the crank wheels 74 and each of the connecting rods 90 are identical and the same reference characters have been used to refer to like parts in the figures of drawings with a detail description of only one crank wheel 74 and one connecting rod 90 being given hereinabove. The only difference between each foot oscillating means above described is that crank wheels 74 may be selectively affixed to shaft 71 in such a manner that the oscillating movementprovided by one crank wheel can be set out of phase or in phase with the other. (180 out of phase shown in FIG. 2).
' OPERATION For use, the exercising device is placed on a bed in such a manner that the top portion of the footboard F (see FIG. 1) for a bed is inserted within notches N. Adjustable stop means 19 are then adjusted to properly align the exercising device in a horizontal plane and finnly secure the exercising device to the bed. The feet of a person lying in bed are then placed on support stirrups 31 and 32 with the bottom of the feet resting on stirrup bases 34 and the heels resting against heel support elements 43. Adjustment of slide element 37 and heel support element 43 is then effected by members 40 and 46, respectively, to place each foot ankle joint in direct alignment with the stirrup pivot support shaft 33. After the ankle joints have been properly located, the belts 48 are then placed around the feet and connected by buckle 49 to firmly strap the feet to the stirrups support means.
Next the proper adjustments are made on the crank wheel 74 to select the desired stroke of oscillating movement applied to stirrups 31 and 32. The collar 100 on each connecting rod 90 is then adjusted to select the maximum amount of spring force desired. After firmly securing the feet in place and adjusting the stroke and maximum spring force desired, the speed control lever 63 is placed in position to select the speed desired. Switch means (not shown) is then operated to supply motor 60a with electrical current to initiate an oscillating movement of the feet about the ankle joints. The oscillating movement of the feet will exercise the leg muscles associated with the oscillating feet movement. The speed of the oscillating movement can be varied during operation of the exercising device as desired by movement of speed control handle 63.
It is now evident that the desired illustrative embodiment of the foot exercising device is capable of obtaining the objects stated herein above. It is obvious that various changes may be made in details of construction by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit of the invention.
What is claimed is:
l. A foot exercising device for support by the footboard of a bed to exercise the foot of a patient lying in the bed, comprising in combination a framework having a downwardly opened inverted U-shaped notch which receives the upper edge of said footboard, said framework having a forward portion which protrudes forwardly of said notch and forms a support beam, two foot support means located one on opposite ends of said support beam and pivotally mounted on to said support beam, an oscillating control means supported on said framework rearwardly of said notch and connections between said oscillating means and each of said foot support means whereby the latter is oscillated by the former. A
2. A device as' claimed in claim 1 wherein said framework, rearwardly of said notch, includes a base member provided with a motor support, and wherein said oscillating means includes a motor carried by said motor support, a pair of cranks driven by said motor, and yiedable connecting rods respectively connecting said cranks and said foot support means.
3. A device as claimed in claim 2 wherein said motor is mounted on the underside of said base member, a drive shaft extending vertically through said member, a horizontal shaft mounted on the upper side of said base member, driving connections between said drive shaft and said horizontal shaft, said cranks being mounted at the ends of the horizontal shaft and adjustment means for varying the strokes of said cranks.
4. A device as claimed in claim 1 wherein said framework includes a pair of separate horizontal plates disposed on opposite sides of said notch, the rearward plate being lower than the forward plate, said forward plate supporting said support beam, said rearward plate supporting said control means, and a pair of spaced brackets defining said notch and joining said horizontal plates.
5. A device as claimed in claim 1 wherein each foot support means comprises a foot rest portion and a slotted support bracket rigidly connected to said foot rest portion and extending at right angles thereto and wherein a slide element, having a bearing boss, is slightly and adjustably received in each slot of said brackets and each bearing boss is mounted at the point of pivot of said foot support means.
3 ,695 ,255 7 8 6. A device as claimed in claim including a pair of ing element and with a strap member for holding a foot threaded members engaging respectively in threaded firmly against said foot rest member.
openings in said foot rest member and said slide for ef- A dfivice a claimed in ai 1 including an fecting adjustment of said bearing boss with respect to J'Jstable Stop means earned y 531d framework f P said slot. 5 jecting into the space of said notch for abutting said 7. A device as claimed in claim 6 wherein said foot footboard to clamp 531d framework plac? thereonrest member is provided with an adjustable heel receiv-