US 3774598 A
A device for applying successive blows to joints of the human body and particularly the food for orthopedic purposes. The device has spring driven reciprocating pistons with control over the rate and quantity of energy released per blow and the rapidity of piston operation.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 1 Wilson et al.
ORTHOPEDIC EXERCISER Inventors: Donald R. Wilson, 2018 Christina St., Stockton, Calif.; William L. Morgan, Redwood City, Calif.
said Wilson, by said Morgan, Stockton, Calif.
Filedz Dec. 21, 1970 Appl. No; 99,843
Related US. Application Data Continuation-impart of Ser. No. 700,490, Jan. 25, 1968, Pat. No. 3,548,811.
US. Cl. 128/52, 128/25 B, 128/55, 128/64 Int. Cl A6lh 7/00 Field of Search 128/25 B, 26, 55, 128/51, 52, 64
[45 Nov. 27, 1973  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,041,693 5/1936 Boltz et al. 128/25 B 2,265,729 12/1941 Hall 128/25 B 2,836,174 5/1959 lnfanger 128/25 B Primary Examinerl .awrence W. Trapp AttorneyGregg, Hendricson & Caplan ABSTRACT A device for applying successive blows to joints of the human body and particularly the food for orthopedic purposes. The device has spring driven reciprocating pistons with control over the rate and quantity of energy released per blow and the rapidity of piston operation.
7 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures Patented Nov. 27, 1973 l6? Illllll'l'l'll I IIIIIIIIIIIII S NN 0 w y 1m EU I W w /7 BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION In the field of orthopedics it has been determined that bone growth is stimulated by the application of pressure and particularly successive applications of pressure as in the form of blows. This is particularly useful in the treatment of underdeveloped heels, for example, as occur in sufferers of cerebral palsy and also in hastening the mending of bone fractures.
It has been proposed to apply successive blows to the human body particularly at joints thereof by the use of suspended sandbags swung to and fro. Although very promising results have been obtained in this manner, it is believed evident that such a procedure is at best a rather primitive approach to the application of pressure or force. It is furthermore noted that in the application of blows to the body as at joints thereof for orthopedic purposes, it is necessary to carefully limitthe force of the blows and it has been determined to be highly advantageous to be able to control the repetition rate.
The present invention provides an extensive control over the application of force in blows applied to the SUMMARY OF INVENTION The invention may be employed'for the application of blows to any desired portion of the human body and particularly the joints hereof but is hereinafter described with respect to operations upon the human foot. The invention is preferably comprised as a small portable unit upon which a foot is placed and strapped so that the operating surface of the unit engages the sole of the foot. Provision is made for adjusting the position of this operating surface so that the device may be employed by a person sitting in a chair, for example, or lying in bed. Furthermore it may be employed by a it is particularly noted that the invention is adapted for use in hospitals by bed-ridden patients and in many instances such patients may be forced to lie on their side rather than on their back. The invention is readily applicable for use with patients in substantially any position.
The invention provides a pair of reciprocally mounted pistons disposed in separate airtight chambers and each having enlarged striking means extending from the pistons for forcibly engaging the underside of a resilient cover forming the operating surface of the invention. Each of the pistons is spring actuated with camming means operating the spring and a small electric motor may be provided for driving the camming means. Controlled mechanical movement is provided for adjusting the degree of spring compressions for each blow. Furthermore, adjustable valving means is provided for controlling the exit of air above the piston in the chamber during each blow to thus adjustably control the rate of release of energy.
person lying on their side, for example. In this respect DESCRIPTION OF FIGURES The present invention is illustrated as to a single preferred embodiment thereof in the accompanying draw ings wherein: v v
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a partial sectional view taken in the plane 22 of'FIG. 1; and 7 FIG. 3 is a partial sectional view taken in the plane 3-3 of FIG. 1.
DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawings there will be seen to be provided a housing 11 having an opening 12 in the front thereof. Within the housing there is provided an operating unit 13 enclosed in a casing 14 having a resilient flexible top 16 forming an operating surface of the device. The casing 14 is mounted within the housing 11 with the upper surface 16 of the casing extending inwardly of the housing from the bottom of the opening 12 therein. The casing is mounted for lateral tilting within the housing as, for example, by attachment to a ring 17 mounted by ball bearings or the like 18 on the inner rim of the housing opening. The casing may be fixed in adjustable tilted position as, for example, by a spring loaded plunger 19 adapted to fit into a plurality of small holes 21 in thehousing.
Within the casing 14 there are provided first and second pistons 22 and 23 which may be substantially identical in structure and connection, and thus only the piston 22 is illustrated and described. A piston chamber 24 contains the piston 22 with a piston rod 26 extending to the bottom of the chamber and having a lateral cam pin 27 at the bottom thereof. A spring 28 is disposed about the piston rod 26 in compression between the underside of the piston 22 and an end plate 31. A cam 32 driven by a small electric motor 33 rotates in engagement with the cam pin 27 to thus draw the piston downwardly against the compressive force of the spring 28. The end plate 31 is vertically adjustable for reasons noted below and such adjustment is only schematically illustrated as including upright guide pins 34 with one of such pins being threaded and a traveling nut being disposed thereon beneath the plate.
A striking member 36 is disposed beneath the cover 16 with a shaft extending downwardly from the member through a seal in the top of the piston chamber into engagement with the top of the piston 22. This member 36 will thus be seen to reciprocate with the piston, with the upward movement of the member being under the influence of the spring 28 as it is released by the cam 32.
The piston 22 tightly-fits the interior walls of the piston chamber 24 so that the piston compresses air trapped in the chamber as the piston rises. Provision is made for controlling escape of air from the chamber above the piston and in this respect there is shown a needle valve 41 extending through the wall of the piston chamber at the top of the chamber. This valve is controllable as to setting thereof from the exterior of the casing, as indicated by the dashed line extending from the valve. There is also provideda check valve 42 extending through the wall of the piston chamber at the top of the chamber so that air may re-enter the chamber as the piston is drawn downwardly therein.
There is also provided a heel rest 43 mounted atop the casing 14 as, for example, between side rails 44 for adjustable positioning longitudinally of the top of the casing. This adjustment may, for example, be provided by slotting the side rails and providing wing nuts or the like on threaded portions of the heel rest extending through the rail slots.
Considering now operation of the present invention, particularly with regard to the application of blows to the underside of the resilient flexible top 16 of the casing 14, it is first noted that energization of the electric motor 33 will cause rotation of the cam 32. The cam 32 bears upon the cam pin 27 of the piston rod 26 so as to force the rod and attached piston downwardly as the cam rotates to thereby compress the spring 28 between the piston and end plate 31. As the cam rotates to the point of reduced diameter the piston is freed to be forced upwardly into the force of the compressed spring 28. As the piston rises in the piston chamber it compresses air above the piston and the rate at which this air is allowed to escape from the chamber is controlled by the needle valve 41. As the piston rapidly rises it carries the striking number 36 with it so that this member 36 thus strikesthe underside of the resilient cover 16 to force it upwardly. Continued rotation of the cam 32 then forces the piston downwardly to again compress the spring 28 for the next blow of the member 36.
Adjustment of the position 'of the end plate 31 will be seen to set the amount of compression of the spring 28 as the piston is drawn downwardly and thus the total mount of energy stored in the spring for release to move the piston. Adjustment of the needle valve 41 controls the escape of air from the chamber above the piston and consequently the rate of release to the striking member 36. The check valve 42 is required to allow air to re-enter the chamber above the piston when it is drawn downwardly for the next blow. It is also noted that means are provided for controlling the speed of the motor 33 as, for example, by means of a rheostat or the like so that the rapidity with which the blows are struck is controllable.
It is to be notedthat in general the device illustrated in the drawings is adapted to strike successive blows by the two pistons for the purpose of alternately hitting the ball and heel of a foot disposed in the upper surface of the casing. Consequently it is normally preferable to employ but a single electric motor 33 and to drive the cams for both pistons therefrom with such cams being properly oriented to alternately release the two pistons to drive the striking members thereof upwardly into engagement with the underside of the resilient cover 16. Such connection is schematically illustrated by the shaft or the like 46 extending laterally from the motor 33. Suitable mechanical means may be provided for transmitting this drive however, it is preferred that the overall device be maintained as simple as possible so that in practice the axes of the cams would be rotated 90 from the illustration of FIG. 2 with the motor located between the two cams.
There may also be provided means for longitudinally tilting the casing 14 in the housing. This may be provided by simple mechanical means such as illustrated at 47 including a threaded stud extending from the bottom of the casing and engaged by a sleeve threaded thereon and in turn engaging a curved inner surface of the housing 11. Control over the adjustments described above particularly with regard to location of the end plate, speed of the electric motorand setting of the needle valve may be provided upon the exterior of the housing 1 1. No attempt is made to show actual connections of adjusting means but instead these are schematically illustrated by dashed lines in FIG. 2.
It will be appreciated that the present invention provides a simple device for the application of blows to the bottom of a foot, for example, and furthermore provides a high degree of control over this operation. Not only is the device adjustable as to position but also the amount of energy and rate of release of energy in each blow as well as the rapidity of blows are all readily controllable. This ishighly advantageous in the field of orthopedics for it will be appreciated that different applications of the present invention and application of the invention to different patients require the capability of careful adjustments so as to accomplish the therapeutic purposes of the invention. Although the invention has been described with respect to a single preferred embodiment thereof it is not intended to limit the invention to the details of illustration of description.
What is claimed is:
1. An orthopedic exercising device comprising a housing having an opening in the front thereof, a casing having a resilient top within said housing with the top of the casing disposed at the bottom of said housing opening, means mounting said casing in said housing for adjustable tilting of the casing laterally of the housing opening, and drive means in said casing including a pair of striking members spaced longitudinally of the casing from the housing opening and mounted for reciprocation to successively strike the underside of the casing top for applying blows to the bottom of a foot placed on the top of the casing in the housing.
2. The device of claim 1 further defined by adjustable tilting means disposed between said casing and said housing at the opposite end of said housing from the opening in the front thereof, said tilting means having an adjustable length and engaging both said casing and said housing whereby said casing is longitudinally adjustable as to inclination'with respect to said housing.
3. An orthopedic exerciser having a casing thereabout and comprising a flexible resilient cover over an open top of said casa pair of reciprocally mounted pistons within said casing,
a pair of striking members mounted one on each of said pistons beneath said cover,
a pair of springs disposed one beneath each piston and compressed between the piston and an end plate,
drive means, and
camming means rotated by said drive means and disposed to engage said pistons to alternately move said pistons away from said cover to compress said springs and to release said pistons,
whereby said striking members alternately strike the underside of said cover.
4. The exerciser of claim 3 further defined by .said end plates being adjustably mounted for controlled movement toward and away from said pistons to thereby control the amount of energy stored in said springs upon each rotation of said camming means.
5. The exerciser of claim 3 further defined by each of said pistons being mounted in sealing relation to piston chambers for movement therein, a control valve chambers and controlled outlet of air from the connected to each of said piston chambers atop same, chambers for establishing the rate of energy release and means controlling each of said valves for adjusting stored in said springs, and the rate of air exit from said piston chambers as the pismeans adjusting the position of said end plates to ton thereof is driven upwardly therein by the piston 5 thereby control the amount of energy stored in said spring. springs for each operation of said camming means.
6. The exerciser of claim 3 further defined by each I 7. The exerciser of claim 6 further defined by means of siad pistons being reciprocally mounted in sealing controlling the speed of said drive means for adjusting relation to a piston chamber, the repetition rate of said striking members engaging valving means communicating with said chambers 10 said cover.
above said pistons therein for inlet of air to the