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Publication numberUS3831592 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 27, 1974
Filing dateJan 15, 1973
Priority dateJan 15, 1973
Publication numberUS 3831592 A, US 3831592A, US-A-3831592, US3831592 A, US3831592A
InventorsLancellotti W
Original AssigneeLancellotti W
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Trigger point instrument
US 3831592 A
Abstract
A trigger point instrument for chiropractic use in releasing trigger points in the human body comprising an elongated handle portion with a pair of spaced legs extending from said handle portion in substantially the same direction, the spacing between said legs being readily adjustable, and each of said legs having a resilient tip secured to the outer end thereof, the handle portion also having resilient tips secured to its outer ends, said latter tips being larger than the tips secured to the spaced legs.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1191 [11] 3,831,592

Lancellotti 1 Aug. 27, 1974 [54] TRIGGER POINT INSTRUMENT FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1 Inventor! William Lancellotfi, 371 636,146 l/1928 France.....'. 128/61 Broadway, Providence, RI. 02909 {22] Filed; Jan, 15, 1973 Primary ExaminerWilliam E. Kamm A 1 No 323 438 Attorney, Agent, or FirmSalter&Michaelson [57] ABSTRACT 1. 1 221 3 A trigger point instrument for chiropractic use in 58 Field Of Search 128/2 N, 2 R, 54, 60, 67, leasmg mgger poms the human body mmpmmg an elongated handle portion with a pair of spaced legs extending from said handle portion in substantially the same direction, the spacing between said legs being [56] References Cited readily adjustable, and each of said legs having a resil- UNITED STATES PATENTS ient tip secured to the outer end thereof, the handle 1,091,310 3/1914 Dunn 128/60 portion also having resilient tips secured to its outer 1,722,662 7/1929 David 128/60 I ends, said latter tips being larger than the tips secured 3,228,392 [/1966 Speyer 128/60 the paced 3,662,744 5/1972 LOW 128/2 N 06,309 12/1972 Toftness 128/69 1 4 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures 4244' 3 a2 36 I 24' f 90 34 I 1 .1 I' l/ I PATENTED A1182 7:974

FIG.|

FIG.3

1 TRIGGER POINT INSTRUMENT The present invention relates to a trigger point instrument for chiropractic use and, more particularly, to an instrument of this type that is both adjustable and more versatile than presently existing trigger point instruments.

Trigger point instruments, as presently known in the chiropractic art, traditionally comprise a T-shaped device, with the cross bar of the T functioning as a handle, and the leg portion of the T having a rubber tip secured to the end thereof. Devices of this type are used by chiropractic physicians to locate and then treat or release trigger points" in the human body. The term trigger point as used herein and as known in the art refers to highly sensitive muscular areas where muscular spasms or the like are taking place. In using a device of this type, the chiropractic physician will probe and press the rubber tip against numerous muscular areas, attempting to locate the trigger point; and, once so located, further pressure application of the device against the trigger point will treat the sensitive area and release undesirable tension caused by said sensitivity or spasm.

Prior art trigger point instruments, as described above, have been found to have certain shortcomings in use. For example, depending upon the particular muscular area being probed, a larger or smaller rubber tip must be used, thus making it necessary for the chiropractic physician to have a number of these devices of different sizes on hand. Also, when probing the transverse processes of the spinal column, it is necessary when using the existing instrument to first probe one side of the spinal column and then the other; whereas it would be advantageous to be able to probe both sides of the spinal volumn without having to raise and replace the instrument.

The present invention overcomes these shortcomings by providing a trigger point instrument wherein a pair of spaced legs, each having rubber tips at the end thereof, extend from the elongated handle portion of the device, whereupon said spaced tips may be used to get it between the transverse processes of the spinal column, whereby pressure may be applied to spaced points therealong without having to raise and then reapply the instrument. Means are provided for permitting ready adjustment of the spacing between the aforesaid legs, whereupon the spacing between the pressure tips can be adjusted to conform to the thickness or width of the spine being probed and treated.

In addition to the above, rubber tips are secured to the opposite ends of the elongated handle portion of my device, said rubber tips being substantially larger than the tips on the aforesaid spaced legs. Thus, the tips on the handle may be used for probing and applying pressure to the larger muscular structures, such as the gluteus muscles, hence adding to the versatility of my device. If desired, and preferably, the tips secured to the opposite ends of the elongated handle are somewhat different in size and/or configuration with respect to each other so as to be more effectively usable for specific muscular areas.

Also, one or more of the aforesaid rubber tips are spring loaded and are provided with calibration means whereby the pressure being applied by said tip can readily be determined.

Other objects, features and advantages of the invention will become apparent as the description thereof proceeds when considered in connection with the accompanying illustrative drawings.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the drawings which illustrate the best mode presently contemplated for carrying out the present invention:

FIG. I is a side elevational view of a trigger point instrument embodying my invention;

FIG. 2 is a sectional view of the instrument shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a section taken on line 3-3 of FIG. 2; and

FIG. 4 is a top plan view thereof.

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION Referring to the drawings, a trigger point instrument embodying my invention is shown generally at 10 and comprises an elongated handle 12 and a pair of outwardly extending legs 14 and 16, each of which extend from handle 12 in substantially the same direction so as to be inalignment with each other, as clearly shown in the drawings. The handle 12 is preferably of cylindrical configuration and is constructed of any suitable structural material, such as metal or a rigid plastic. Likewise, the legs I4 and 16 are preferably of cylindrical configuration and are constructed of any suitable structural material. Secured to the end of the legs 14 and 16, by any suitable means, are resilient tips 18, each of which is substantially the same size. In practice, it has been found that preferably the handle 12 is approximately 4 inches long and approximately 4 inch in diameter. The legs 14 and '16 are preferably approximately 2 inches long and 5/16 to Vs inch in diameter. The tips 18, which preferably are of a rubber construction, are approximately inch thick.

Referring now to FIG. 2, it will be seen that leg 14 is fixedly secured to handle 12, as at 20. On the other hand, leg 16 is adjustably mounted, whereby the spacing between legs 14 and 16 may be readily adjusted. Specifically, handle I2 is provided with a longitudinally extending threaded shaft 22, secured in position by means of a set screw 24 which, when inwardly threaded, engages behind head member 26 carried by the adjacent end of shaft 22. It will thus be seen that shaft 22 is firmly held in position within handle 12, but is free to rotate therein, and, specifically, the opposite end of shaft 22 is provided with a knurled portion 28 located outwardly of handle 12, which knurled portion, when turned, will cause shaft 22 to rotate. As will be seen most clearly inFIGS. 2 and 4, handle 12 is provided with an elongated slot 30 which is in communication with the threaded portion of shaft 22. Leg 16 is provided with a squared bottom portion 32 which extends downwardly into slot 30 and which threadedly receives shaft 22. It will thus be seen that rotation of knurled portion 28 and hence of shaft 22 will cause leg 16 to move longitudinally along handle 12 either toward or away from fixed leg 14, depending on the direction of rotation of shaft 22. Thus, simply by turning the knurled portion 28, the spacing between legs l4 and 16 can readily be adjusted so that when the instrument 10 is being used to probe the transverse processes of the spinal column, the spacing can be adjusted to conform to the thickness or width of the spine being probed or treated.

Secured to knurled portion 28 is a resilient tip 34 which it will be noted is substantially larger than the aforesaid tips 18. At the opposite end of handle 12, there is secured, as at 36, an additional resilient tip 38, preferably of rubber, it being noted that the tip 38 is of a somewhat different configuration than the tip 34, and is slightly smaller. It will be understood that the tips 34 and 38 may be used when it is desired to probe the larger muscle structures, such as the gluteus muscles. Thus, the same instrument may be used to probe the spinal column area, as well as other muscular structures in the body. In addition, the prongs l4 and 16 which are used for probing the spinal column area may be readily adjusted with respect to each other to conform to the thickness or width of the particular spine being treated.

ln many cases it is desirable to apply a predetermined amount of pressure when probing or treating the patient with the instrument l0, and to accomplish this, the tip 38 is spring loaded by means of spring 40 whereby pressure on tip 38 will cause same to depress against the action of said spring. Any suitable calibration means, such as pointer 42, extending through slot 44, may be associated with spring 40; whereby when tip 38 is depressed, the amount of pressure being applied may be quickly determined. If desired, other tips, such as the tips 18, could be similarly spring loaded.

While there is shown and described herein certain specific structure embodying the invention, it will be manifest to those skilled in the art that various modifications and rearrangements of the parts may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the underlying inventive concept and that the same is not limited to the particular forms herein shown and described except insofar as indicated by the scope of the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

l. A trigger point instrument comprising an elongated handle, a pair of spaced legs extending outwardly from said handle in substantially the same direction, re-

silient tips secured to the ends of said legs, and means carried by said instrument operable to adjust the spacing between said legs, said adjustable means comprising a threaded shaft rotatably mounted within said handle and extending longitudinally thereof, one end of said shaft extending outwardly from the adjacent end of said handle whereby rotation may be imparted to said one end to rotate said shaft, an elongated slot in said handle communicating with said threaded shaft, one of said legs extending through said slot and making threaded engagement with said shaft whereby when the latter is rotated, said one leg will be caused to move along said slot, said other leg being fixedly attached to said handle.

2. In the instrument of claim 1, said one end of said shaft having a resilient tip secured thereover, and said other end of said handle having a resilient tip secured thereover, said shaft and handle tips being larger than the tips on said legs.

3. In the instrument of claim 2, at least one of said tips being movably mounted, and resilient means normally urging said one tip outwardly, whereby pressure on said movable tip causes it to move inwardly against the action of said resilient means.

4. In the instrument of claim 3, said movable tip having calibration means associated therewith whereby the amount of pressure applied by said tip can be readily

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1091310 *Dec 6, 1912Mar 24, 1914Frederick C DunnMassage apparatus.
US1722662 *Jan 9, 1928Jul 30, 1929Tanous H DavidAdjusting device
US3228392 *Jul 15, 1963Jan 11, 1966Walter L SpeyerAbdominal exerciser
US3662744 *Dec 2, 1970May 16, 1972NasaMethod for measuring cutaneous sensory perception
US3706309 *Apr 29, 1971Dec 19, 1972Toftness Irwing NDevice for applying and releasing pressure
FR636146A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4452237 *Nov 4, 1981Jun 5, 1984Lewis Tommy KSelf acupressure apparatus
US4520798 *Mar 5, 1984Jun 4, 1985Lewis Tommy KSelf acupressure method
US4622956 *Oct 28, 1985Nov 18, 1986Nesheim David AReflex stimulator
US5704894 *May 15, 1996Jan 6, 1998Boutos; DavidPneumatic apparatus for controlling certain bodily insertion devices and collapsible seating apparatus
US5857960 *Sep 26, 1997Jan 12, 1999Boutos; DavidPneumatic apparatus for controlling certain bodily insertion devices and collapsible seating apparatus
US6102876 *May 27, 1997Aug 15, 2000Winger; Dale R.Hand held massager
US6945986 *Sep 6, 2002Sep 20, 2005Lope Peter LExtended skull and posterior cervical adjusting device
US7137960 *Jul 26, 2004Nov 21, 2006Tien-Jen TienManual massager
US7325549 *May 4, 2004Feb 5, 2008Rachel P. DickensHairdressing tool
US8100937 *Oct 10, 2007Jan 24, 2012Smalling Medical Ventures, LlcPressure assist system for facilitating vascular hemostasis, and associated method
US8357109 *Aug 26, 2009Jan 22, 2013Destefano Robert LouisMuscle treatment device
US20110054369 *Aug 26, 2009Mar 3, 2011Destefano Robert LouisMuscle treatment device
EP0500510A1 *Feb 7, 1992Aug 26, 1992Göte TornbergApparatus for therapeutic treatments in using pressure
Classifications
U.S. Classification601/135, D24/211
International ClassificationA61H39/04
Cooperative ClassificationA61H39/04
European ClassificationA61H39/04