EP1812103A2 - Exercise augmenting self-contained electro-stimulator and method - Google Patents

Exercise augmenting self-contained electro-stimulator and method

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Publication number
EP1812103A2
EP1812103A2 EP05857826A EP05857826A EP1812103A2 EP 1812103 A2 EP1812103 A2 EP 1812103A2 EP 05857826 A EP05857826 A EP 05857826A EP 05857826 A EP05857826 A EP 05857826A EP 1812103 A2 EP1812103 A2 EP 1812103A2
Authority
EP
European Patent Office
Prior art keywords
muscle
electrodes
electrode
positive
electrical
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Withdrawn
Application number
EP05857826A
Other languages
German (de)
English (en)
French (fr)
Inventor
Arthur F. Hurtado
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Individual
Original Assignee
Individual
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by Individual filed Critical Individual
Publication of EP1812103A2 publication Critical patent/EP1812103A2/en
Withdrawn legal-status Critical Current

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Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61NELECTROTHERAPY; MAGNETOTHERAPY; RADIATION THERAPY; ULTRASOUND THERAPY
    • A61N1/00Electrotherapy; Circuits therefor
    • A61N1/02Details
    • A61N1/04Electrodes
    • A61N1/0404Electrodes for external use
    • A61N1/0408Use-related aspects
    • A61N1/0452Specially adapted for transcutaneous muscle stimulation [TMS]
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61NELECTROTHERAPY; MAGNETOTHERAPY; RADIATION THERAPY; ULTRASOUND THERAPY
    • A61N1/00Electrotherapy; Circuits therefor
    • A61N1/02Details
    • A61N1/04Electrodes
    • A61N1/0404Electrodes for external use
    • A61N1/0472Structure-related aspects
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61NELECTROTHERAPY; MAGNETOTHERAPY; RADIATION THERAPY; ULTRASOUND THERAPY
    • A61N1/00Electrotherapy; Circuits therefor
    • A61N1/18Applying electric currents by contact electrodes
    • A61N1/32Applying electric currents by contact electrodes alternating or intermittent currents
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61NELECTROTHERAPY; MAGNETOTHERAPY; RADIATION THERAPY; ULTRASOUND THERAPY
    • A61N1/00Electrotherapy; Circuits therefor
    • A61N1/02Details
    • A61N1/04Electrodes
    • A61N1/0404Electrodes for external use
    • A61N1/0408Use-related aspects
    • A61N1/0456Specially adapted for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation [TENS]
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61NELECTROTHERAPY; MAGNETOTHERAPY; RADIATION THERAPY; ULTRASOUND THERAPY
    • A61N1/00Electrotherapy; Circuits therefor
    • A61N1/02Details
    • A61N1/04Electrodes
    • A61N1/0404Electrodes for external use
    • A61N1/0472Structure-related aspects
    • A61N1/0484Garment electrodes worn by the patient
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61NELECTROTHERAPY; MAGNETOTHERAPY; RADIATION THERAPY; ULTRASOUND THERAPY
    • A61N1/00Electrotherapy; Circuits therefor
    • A61N1/02Details
    • A61N1/04Electrodes
    • A61N1/0404Electrodes for external use
    • A61N1/0472Structure-related aspects
    • A61N1/0492Patch electrodes
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61NELECTROTHERAPY; MAGNETOTHERAPY; RADIATION THERAPY; ULTRASOUND THERAPY
    • A61N1/00Electrotherapy; Circuits therefor
    • A61N1/18Applying electric currents by contact electrodes
    • A61N1/32Applying electric currents by contact electrodes alternating or intermittent currents
    • A61N1/321Electromedical belts
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61NELECTROTHERAPY; MAGNETOTHERAPY; RADIATION THERAPY; ULTRASOUND THERAPY
    • A61N1/00Electrotherapy; Circuits therefor
    • A61N1/18Applying electric currents by contact electrodes
    • A61N1/32Applying electric currents by contact electrodes alternating or intermittent currents
    • A61N1/36Applying electric currents by contact electrodes alternating or intermittent currents for stimulation
    • A61N1/36003Applying electric currents by contact electrodes alternating or intermittent currents for stimulation of motor muscles, e.g. for walking assistance
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B2213/00Exercising combined with therapy
    • A63B2213/004Exercising combined with therapy with electrotherapy
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B23/00Exercising apparatus specially adapted for particular parts of the body
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B23/00Exercising apparatus specially adapted for particular parts of the body
    • A63B23/02Exercising apparatus specially adapted for particular parts of the body for the abdomen, the spinal column or the torso muscles related to shoulders (e.g. chest muscles)
    • A63B23/0205Abdomen
    • A63B23/0211Abdomen moving torso with immobilized lower limbs
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B23/00Exercising apparatus specially adapted for particular parts of the body
    • A63B23/035Exercising apparatus specially adapted for particular parts of the body for limbs, i.e. upper or lower limbs, e.g. simultaneously
    • A63B23/12Exercising apparatus specially adapted for particular parts of the body for limbs, i.e. upper or lower limbs, e.g. simultaneously for upper limbs or related muscles, e.g. chest, upper back or shoulder muscles
    • A63B23/14Exercising apparatus specially adapted for particular parts of the body for limbs, i.e. upper or lower limbs, e.g. simultaneously for upper limbs or related muscles, e.g. chest, upper back or shoulder muscles for wrist joints
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B23/00Exercising apparatus specially adapted for particular parts of the body
    • A63B23/035Exercising apparatus specially adapted for particular parts of the body for limbs, i.e. upper or lower limbs, e.g. simultaneously
    • A63B23/12Exercising apparatus specially adapted for particular parts of the body for limbs, i.e. upper or lower limbs, e.g. simultaneously for upper limbs or related muscles, e.g. chest, upper back or shoulder muscles
    • A63B23/16Exercising apparatus specially adapted for particular parts of the body for limbs, i.e. upper or lower limbs, e.g. simultaneously for upper limbs or related muscles, e.g. chest, upper back or shoulder muscles for hands or fingers
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B24/00Electric or electronic controls for exercising apparatus of preceding groups; Controlling or monitoring of exercises, sportive games, training or athletic performances

Definitions

  • This invention relates in general to certain new and useful improvements in electro muscle stimulation in which selected muscles of the body can be stimulated to augment exercising and to improve muscle health, and improve neuropathways which control muscles of the body. More specifically, the present invention provides a unique hand grip exerciser having connection to belt placed around selected arm or other body muscles for augmenting the exercise of those muscles with electrical stimulation. In addition, the present invention provides unique belt arrangements in which the electrodes contained on the belt are constructed so that the number of electrodes can be reduced without sacrificing the efficiency of operation of the apparatus.
  • the conventional apparatus is not portable in the sense that there is a separate exercising apparatus apart from the actual muscle stimulating section. In this way, it is necessary for the user to transport the exercising device, if the latter is portable, as well as the stimulating apparatus.
  • a device for administering electro-muscle stimulation in the nature of a belt, which can be attached to the individual, and which belt contains a number of electrodes which are again positioned with respect to selected muscles of the human body in order to provide the electro-stimulation to the desired regions of the body.
  • the belt, or similar device is worn so that the positionable electrodes are effectively strategically placed upon a patient's body to stimulate a target group of muscles, or specific muscles, or muscle groups.
  • the belt is designed to be snugly wrapped around a portion of the patient's body containing the muscles which are to be stimulated. Electrodes on the belt will then be transcutaneously placed in contact with these muscles .
  • the present invention relates to a self- contained complete and compact muscle stimulator apparatus which can be operated by a user to augment the user's exercising activities.
  • the apparatus is also effective and can be operated without exercising by merely using the muscle stimulator.
  • the invention will be applicable to muscle stimulation in combination with exercising activity, although it is obviously effective without such exercising activity.
  • the invention relies upon the attachment of an encircling band or belt adapted to be used about a selected portion of the user's body. That selected portion may adopt, for example, the torso, such as an area encircling the abdomen, or any one of the limbs of the human body, such as the legs or arms thereof.
  • the belt or other fabric member is provided with electrode means comprised of at least one positive electrode and one negative electrode. In actuality, there will be a plurality of positive electrodes and at least one negative electrode. In order to create a current path through the targeted muscle, it is usually necessary to have a positive electrode in combination with a negative electrode of substantially the same size or surface area.
  • the stimulating current will pass from the positive electrode to the negative or return electrode through the targeted muscle.
  • the product of the invention utilizes electrical stimulus to electrically augment abdomen exercises and normal hand, wrist, forearm, and upper arm exercises.
  • the purpose of this invention is also to augment and enhance natural exercise and encourage maximum muscle contraction, as well as a wide range of motion. It further facilitates the precise development of isolated muscle groups which may have become weak or have suffered a loss of neuromuscular function.
  • the invention operates on a principle that muscle fibers will grow in response to repeated contractions against a load, or through electrical stimulation.
  • a repetitive contraction over a substantial period of time will reduce toxic build-up and improve oxidative capacity and blood supply of the fibers.
  • repetitive contractions of muscles over a period of time not only reduces toxic buildup, but improves oxidative capacity and this, in turn, enhances a more speedy recovery and healing time.
  • the apparatus of the invention uses a muscle stimulation apparatus which is compact and self-contained. As a result, it can be carried with an individual and used in almost any location.
  • the apparatus employs the generation of a continuous electrical stimulus in response to the use of a gripping device.
  • This gripping device is responsive to pressure arising out of the gripping action of an individual, and this controls and regulates the intensity of the electrical output. This output is then directed to the electrodes on the band or other applicator.
  • the gripping device is replaced by a compressive device, which is responsive to compressive movements of the individual.
  • a compressive device which is responsive to compressive movements of the individual.
  • the output stimuli to the muscles is regulated by a sliding potentiometer.
  • a sliding potentiometer any means to vary the stimulus to the muscles in response to movement of the muscles could be employed.
  • the electrodes on the belt are located in a pattern which matches a group of muscles of either the abdomen or the arms and legs. As the user exercises in one direction, stimulation is applied while contracting the muscles. As the user exercises in an opposite direction, stimulation is decreased.
  • the present also provides a unique electrode construction in which the size of the electrode can be expanded or reduced in order to accommodate a different sized individual, or for that matter, to achieve a different electrode arrangement. More specifically, an electrically conductive skin may be disposed over an electrically conductive plate and provide electrical communication through that skin. By adjusting the position of the skin with respect to the plate, the size of the electrode can be adjusted accordingly.
  • Figure 1 is a schematic view of a prior art stimulating apparatus in accordance with the present invention
  • Figure 2 is a prior art schematic arrangement of electrodes on a belt of the type worn in electric stimulation, such as that illustrated in U.S. Patent No. 6,876,833;
  • Figure 3 is a plan view of an electrode pattern arrangement in which a pair of negative electrodes are consolidated in accordance with the present invention
  • Figure 4 is a schematic wave diagram of the voltage applied with an electrode pattern of the type shown in Figure 3 ;
  • Figure 5 is a schematic plan view of another form of electrode consolidation in accordance with the present invention.
  • Figure 6 is a schematic plan view of still a further electrode pattern showing electrode consolidation in accordance with the present invention.
  • Figure 7 is a schematic plan view, showing still a further embodiment of a consolidated electrode pattern arrangement
  • Figure 8 is a schematic plan view of yet another form of electrode pattern arrangement in accordance with the present invention.
  • Figure 9 is a somewhat fragmentary perspective view, showing a pliable and compressible hand-grippable device, in accordance with the present invention.
  • Figure 10 is a schematic plan view, showing the gripping of the device of Figure 9 when the latter has been compressed by the hand of a user;
  • Figure 11 is a plan view of a belt forming part of the apparatus of Figures 9 and 10;
  • Figure 12 is a somewhat schematic plan view of the details of construction of a slide potentiometer arrangement used in the hand-grip apparatus of Figures 9 and 10;
  • Figure 13 is a vertical sectional view taken along line 13-13 of Figure 12;
  • Figure 14 is a plan view of an individual using the muscle stimulating apparatus of the invention while in a crunch position;
  • Figure 15 is a plan view of the individual of Figure 14 when in the rest or reclined position
  • Figure 16 is a fragmentary plan view of an individual in an upright position and wearing an abdomen belt containing a slide potentiometer in accordance with the invention
  • Figure 17 is an enlarged plan view showing the details of the slide potentiometer in the belt of Figure 16;
  • Figure 18 is a perspective view of an electrode arrangement with the surface area thereof being increased in accordance with the invention.
  • Figure 19 is an elevational view comprised of Figures 19A and 19B and showing the electrode arrangement of Figure 18 being increased in surface area.
  • a device for administering electro-muscle stimulation as shown in U.S. patent No. 6,341,237 dated January 22, 2002, and a device for applying variable electro-muscle stimulation is shown in my U.S. patent No. 6,876,883 dated April 5, 2005.
  • Each of those devices were not necessarily small and compact and were not fully self-contained.
  • the apparatus comprised large, fixed structures which were not relatively mobile, thereby, causing the user to use the device at a fixed location. The difficulties of constraining an individual to use a system at a fixed location were described above.
  • the present invention overcomes this and related problems in the use of an exercising device, which is completely self- contained, compact and easily transportable, which can be carried with an individual for use at a selected time.
  • this device may assume various embodiments, one such embodiment is hereinafter described in connection with Figures 9 -12.
  • FIG. 1 discloses a prior art device
  • an extremity cuff embodiment 20 having a belt 22 with a first positive electrode 24 and a second positive electrode 26, along with a negative so-called "return" electrode 28.
  • a first voltage adjustment control 30 and a second adjustment control 32 both for applying first and second positive voltages.
  • the device is fixed, because it is used with an external exercise apparatus, and is also connected to a voltage/current source 34, as also shown in Figure 1. In this sense, the device is not completely portable and, moreover, must be used only in relation to a fixed source of electrical power.
  • the apparatus is a highly transportable and constitutes a complete unit for treatment of neuromuscular conditions which may arise as a result of disease or injury to nerve fibers supplying a muscle or from other conditions.
  • This apparatus operates with electrical stimulus to electrically augment normal hand, wrist, forearm, and upper arm exercise. It also facilitates development of specific muscle groups which have either become weak or have a loss of neuromuscular function.
  • the device of the present invention in this embodiment is embodied in the use of a gripping device 40, as specifically shown in Figures 9-12.
  • This gripping device is comprised of a pliable and compressible silicone rubber hand shaped material mass 42 that is preferably fitted to a user's hand. In any event, it should be comfortably fitted and bio-mechanically correct in design for gripping purposes.
  • the gripping device 40 is sized to fit within the user's hand. However, it could be arranged with the mass being in the form of a gripping device which is fitted around the user's fingers and then held in the palm of the hand 44 of the user. In either case, it can be observed that the gripping device essentially well conforms to the user's hand allowing for exercising of the hand, or, for that matter, the individual fingers.
  • the material forming the hand grip should have the properties which allow elastic compressibility and return to its original size and shape when released.
  • One of the materials which could be used in the compressible gripping device is similar to that currently used in stress relievers, such as hand exercise balls.
  • other materials including silicone, foams and the like, such as urethane foams, or the like.
  • the gripping device 40 may be connected to and is provided with a jack receptacle 48 (one of which is an active electrode and the other a return electrode) for connection through a cable set 50 to a pair of electrodes 52 contained on a belt 54 and one of which is active and the other a return electrode.
  • the device is wrapped about the forearm of the individual .
  • the electrodes 52 provide the output of electrical stimuli to the muscles. Regulation of the electrical signal is achievable with a moveable device, preferably in the nature of a gripping device 40, including a sliding potentiometer, as an integral and complete unit .
  • a stimulation signal control mechanism 56 controls the electrical signal and may include, for example, the aforesaid sliding potentiometer. However, any moveable device or instrument capable of detecting variable pressure applied by the user, and which, in response, controls electrical current output may be used for this purpose.
  • the stimulation control mechanism 56 is hereinafter described in more detail.
  • the hand-gripping device 40 is also provided with another jack receptacle 58 which receives a cable set 60 connected to an electrical muscle stimulator unit 64.
  • This muscle stimulator unit will also physically contain therein a battery 66, which may be either rechargeable or replaceable, as desired. If desired, the stimulator unit 64 could be constructed in a very small, compact unit and actually physically affixed to the gripping device 40. In either case, the electrical current necessary for operation of the device is provided by the battery 66.
  • the belt 54 is more fully shown in Figure 11 of the drawings.
  • the belt can be wrapped about the forearm of a user and releasably secured in that position.
  • another belt having components similar to that shown in Figure 11 could be employed and would also be releasably secured about the user in a desired position.
  • an electrode 52 can be mounted on a slide 70, so that the latter may be shiftable along the band to a desired position.
  • the band is also conventionally provided with a fiber fastening attachment strip 72, as well as an opposite and cooperating fiber fastening attachment strip 74, all as best show in Figure 11.
  • the stimulator control mechanism is shown in the enlarged views of Figure 11 and Figure 12 and comprises a sliding potentiometer 70 similar to the potentiometer 56 which is placed internally within the gripping device.
  • a compressive pressure is applied to the device, the slide of the potentiometer is actuated, that is, pushed inwardly, reducing electrical resistance generated by the stimulator.
  • This produces an increase in electrical stimulus to the electrodes 52, resulting in muscle contraction.
  • the slide potentiometer then increases the resistance, resulting in a decrease of stimuli to the electrodes.
  • the slide potentiometer comprises a moveable rod 72 connected to a plate 74 and which is arcuately shaped to essentially conform to a gripping palm of a user.
  • the moveable rod 72 is biased outwardly from a coil 82 by a spring 76 which receives the arm 72, or otherwise, an extension of that arm.
  • the spring 76 will always bias the arm 72 outwardly, that is, to the left as shown in Figure 12, against the action of a gripping force.
  • a backstop 78 arranged to receive the end of the arm 72 forming part of the sliding potentiometer and stop the movement at that point .
  • a concurrent electrical stimulus is directed to the muscles responsible for performing a specific activity, such as that of gripping.
  • the stimulus becomes quantitatively coupled with the gripping force which may be applied by the participant.
  • the electrodes 52 are placed on the muscles that are causing this action.
  • muscle response is magnified to even slight voluntary muscle activity.
  • the neuromuscular pathways become facilitated, or retrained.
  • the user has the capability of controlling the amplitude and duration of stimuli to the effected muscles. This also provides for psychological and physiological advantages, in that the participant takes an active role in any type of rehabilitation.
  • Figure 9 illustrates the use of the electro-augmented gripping device augmenting exercise of the forearm by gripping. However, the same principles may be applied with exercise involving the biceps and triceps.
  • the cuff 54 is applied to the upper arm and the electrodes 52 are placed over the biceps .
  • the user actuates the biceps by exerting arm flexion, the user simultaneously applies pressure to the gripping device delivering electro-stimulation to the biceps.
  • the user relaxes the biceps by extending the arm, the user simultaneously releases the pressure of the gripping device thereby decreasing the stimulation to the biceps .
  • the cuff 54 is applied to the upper arm and the electrodes 52 are placed over the triceps.
  • the user actuates the triceps by exerting arm extension, the user simultaneously applies pressure to the gripping device delivering electro-stimulation to the triceps.
  • the user relaxes the triceps by flexing the arm, the user simultaneously releases the pressure of the gripping device thereby decreasing the stimulation to the triceps.
  • Electro-augmented exercise is unique in that, with respect to muscle development, the muscles become more fully contracted to a further level than is possible using only voluntary contraction or through normal exercise.
  • FIGs 14 and 15 show a muscle stimulating apparatus 90 in accordance with the present invention, which is used about the abdomen of the individual for applying electro-stimulation to muscles in the abdomen.
  • the exerciser 92 would initially assume a rest or reclined position, as shown in Figure 15, and from that, move to a partial sit-up position where the shoulders are moved off of a floor or supporting surface to that, as shown in Figure 14. When assuming this latter position, rectus abdominus and oblique muscles are exercised.
  • the belt 90 is shown on an upright individual 94 in Figure 16. In this case, and in the case of the belt 90 used on the abdomen, the construction would be similar to that shown in Figures 9-11 of the drawings.
  • the muscle stimulator apparatus would also include an electro-stimulus control device 94 similar to that used in a hand-gripping mechanism of the type previously described. In this case, the control device 94 is more fully illustrated in Figure 17 of the drawings.
  • This control apparatus similarly includes a sliding potentiometer 96 of similar construction to that used in the hand-grip apparatus and would include an arm 98 similar to the arm 72 biased against a contraction by means of a spring 100 similar to the spring 76.
  • the remaining details of construction of the sliding potentiometer mechanism are similar to those previously described in connection with the hand-gripping apparatus and are, therefore, not described in any further detail herein.
  • the positional detecting device may adopt any form which is capable of causing the generation of an electrical signal in response to the movement of the abdomen.
  • This detecting device has a transducer which will govern the intensity of the stimulation generated by the generator therefor
  • a slide potentiometer in which the potentiometer operates as a transducer. That transducer communicates the angular position of the abdomen and regulates the stimulation applied by the generator. As the user performs a crunch, the distance between the lower and upper abdominis rectus muscles becomes shorter, providing a means of actuating a stem of a slide potentiometer, and this will regulate the current intensity .
  • Another detecting device which may be used is one which senses the electrical activity of the contracting and relaxing muscles. As a crunch is performed, instrumentation will deliver a signal responsive to that activity to a computer. In this way, an appropriate electrical stimulus is monitored and a responsive signal can be generated.
  • the present invention has shown two forms of abdominal exercising stimulators, which are only exemplary of the number of embodiments which can be employed.
  • any moveable member which moves within a potentiometer, or a coil, and in response to movement of a muscle, can generate the desired response.
  • the source of power may be conveniently applied to the device itself, or, if desired, it can be connected to a separately disposed source of power.
  • the invention also provides a method and a belt having a uniquely designed electrode arrangement and a method of consolidating the number of electrodes in a belt, as for example, in an abdominal belt, or a belt to be disposed about the limbs of a user.
  • One conventional form of belt is illustrated in Figure 2 of the application and is described in and illustrated in Figure 2 of my U.S. patent No. 6,876,883 dated April 5, 2005, and in my co-pending U.S. continuation patent application Serial No. 11/046,496, filed January 28, 2005, for a Method For Applying Variable Electro-Muscle Stimulator And System Therefor.
  • Electrodes which may be more suited for consolidation are those associated with the return electrodes located generally in a horizontal arrangement in the belt.
  • the conventional arrangement as shown in U.S. patent No. 6,876,883, is also more fully illustrated in Figure 2 of the present drawings, as aforesaid.
  • a belt 90 having 4 positive electrodes and 3 negative electrodes connected in the manner as shown in Figure 2 herein.
  • these electrodes are identified by reference numerals herein, they are sometimes identified by letter codes.
  • the letter codes also used in the identification of these electrodes is also set forth below: ..europaetus LLOE Left Lateral Oblique
  • Electrodes crushed K.L.U_J. Right lateral Oblique BCAR Balance Control for Upper
  • the electrodes which are most suited for consolidation are three of the negative electrodes along the mid-horizontal line of Figure 2 passing through the belt. Thus, by referring to Figure 2, the normal electrode arrangement is shown.
  • FIG. 2 By referring to the prior art illustration of Figure 2, there are three normal return electrodes 96, 100 and 102. There are four positive electrodes, such as the left lateral oblique electrode 98 (also identified as “LLOE”) , and the right lateral oblique electrode 104 (sometimes referred to as “RLOE”), the lower rectus abdomen electrode 94 (sometimes referred to as ⁇ LRAE”) and the upper rectus abdomen electrode 92 (sometimes identified as "URAE”) .
  • the left lateral oblique electrode 98 also identified as "LLOE”
  • RLOE right lateral oblique electrode 104
  • ⁇ LRAE lower rectus abdomen electrode
  • URAE upper rectus abdomen electrode 92
  • the return electrode 100 is sometimes referred to as the left rectus/oblique electrode (or “LROE”) and the return electrode 96 is sometimes referred to as the central umbilical electrode (“CUE”), and the latter return electrode, namely 102, is referred to as the right rectus oblique electrode (“RROE”).
  • the balance control 106 is a balance control for the right and left oblique electrodes (sometimes referred to as “BLOE”), and the balance control 108 is for the upper and lower abdominus rectus (sometimes referred to as "BCAR”) .
  • the central umbilical return electrode CUE would be located at a point proximate the umbilical region, the return, electrode LROE would be placed proximal the left rectus/oblique junction, and the right return electrode RROE would be placed proximate the right rectus/oblique junction.
  • one of the simplest ways to consolidate electrodes would be to consolidate the return electrodes 100 LROE and 102 RROE into the electrode CUE. In this way, there will be a single return electrode located at the umbilical region in Figure 2.
  • the electrodes 100 and 102 could be consolidated with the CUE electrode 96 into a single return electrode 110, as shown in Figure 3.
  • the two channels identified by the balance controls will share one common return.
  • these consolidated electrodes necessarily must be of sufficient size to disburse any increased concentration of electrical stimulus.
  • the vertical electrodes constitute the previously identified upper rectus abdominus electrode 92 and the lower abdominus rectus electrode 94, which would constitute a second channel with the balance control 108.
  • the electronic stimulator unit is designed to alternately stimulate the set of vertical electrodes and the muscles in contact therewith and then the lateral electrodes and the set of lateral muscles in contact therewith. While the vertical electrodes are being stimulated, the lateral electrodes are off. In like manner, while the lateral electrodes are being stimulated, the vertical electrodes are off .
  • a current sufficient for operation of these electrodes is set forth in Figure 4. It can be observed that biphasic symmetrical square wave pulses, which alternate between the vertical and horizontal sets of electrodes, are used. It can also be observed by reference to Figure 4 that there is a first wave form 116 having current pulses 118, and a second wave form 120 having current pulses 122. The current pulses 118 are offset from the current pulses 122. Thus, the stimulation between vertical and lateral electrode pairs alternates at a high frequency. In fact, this frequency is sufficiently high that there is a perception by the user that the vertical and lateral muscles are being simultaneously stimulated.
  • each active electrode has the same surface area, and the return electrodes would be twice that of each active electrode, where two active electrodes are sharing the same return electrode .
  • FIG. 5 Another embodiment of the invention utilizing alternate channels also involves further elimination of the upper abdominus rectus electrode 94.
  • a return electrode 96 which is a common return electrode for the right oblique active electrode 104 and the left lateral oblique active electrode 98, which would constitute a first channel, with the balance control 106.
  • the central umbilical return electrode 96 and the lower rectus abdominis active electrode 126 constitute channel 2.
  • the vertical balance control 108 is eliminated in this embodiment.
  • the tri-electrode 131 essentially comprises the three conductive sections, such as the sections 130, 132, and 133, and all of which are insulated by electrically insulative materials 134. This effectively insulates each of the three electrodes, left rectus oblique electrode 100, the right rectus oblique electrode 102, and the central umbilical electrode 96.
  • This new consolidated return electrode may vary in transverse size, depending upon the extent of the muscles which are to be stimulated.
  • a smaller size electrode may be limited to extend only across the rectus abdominus muscle, while a larger sized tri-electrode may extend across the rectus abdominus and further make partial contact with the oblique muscles bilaterally.
  • the electrode 132 will serve as a return for channel 1, and the electrode sections 130 and 133 will serve as a return for the channel 2.
  • the current flow for channel 1 is oriented in a perpendicular direction to the current flow of channel 2.
  • FIG. 7 provides a four-electrode belt. This involves the elimination of the upper rectus abdominus electrode 92 in Figure 6. More emphasis is normally placed in stimulation of the lower rectus abdominus rather than the upper rectus abdominus . The lower rectus abdominus is more difficult to exercise and typically becomes a neglected area. With less emphasis on the upper rectus abdominus, the positive upper rectus abdominus electrode can be eliminated, and this also affords additional room to adjust the location of the central return electrode 131. Thus, the central return electrode can be located at a further distance from the positive lower rectus abdominus electrode. This will avoid the discomfort or stinging sensation of edge effect caused by close proximity of these electrodes .
  • FIG. 8 This configuration, as shown in Figure 8, is quite similar to the configuration as shown in Figure 2. However, in this case, the upper rectus abdominus electrode 92 has been eliminated. In this case, there is more room to adjust the central umbilical electrode 96. This results in a six-electrode configuration.
  • Current diverter or balance control 106 is also used in this arrangement for channel 1, as in the previous arrangements. However, the balance control 108 for channel 2 is eliminated.
  • the first channel, such as channel 1 would include the left lateral oblique electrode 98 and the right lateral oblique electrode 104, as well as the return electrodes 100, 102 and balance control 106.
  • the second channel would actually constitute the return electrode 96 and the active electrode 94.
  • the balance control 108 is eliminated.
  • the balance controls provide a method to reduce the number of channels or units necessary to perform the functions of the belt.
  • the electrodes would not normally lie directly over the muscles which require stimulation. Moreover, it is known that a larger electrode provides a more comfortable stimulation, and this disperses the concentration of current, thereby, diminishing any sharp and stinging sensation which would be experienced with a smaller electrode. A larger electrode also has a greater contact area, stimulating a greater number of neuro-muscular receptors. This combination of a more dispersed current and stimulation of a greater number of neuro-muscular receptors provides for a more comfortable and efficient stimulation.
  • FIGS 18 and 19 of the drawings One such arrangement is shown in Figures 18 and 19 of the drawings and which allows for adjustment of the size of the electrode.
  • an electrode base 150 which is affixed onto a belt, such as in Figure 3, and may be formed of a flexible material, such as a carbon base, and which is adapted to be applied to the skin of a user over a muscle to be stimulated.
  • Facewise disposed over the base 150 is a conductive skin 152, or so-called "pad”, as shown in Figure 18.
  • the pad can be shifted partially to the right with respect to the base 150. In this way, the size of the electrode is made larger.
  • This arrangement is also shown in Figure 19A, in which the pad 152 is placed directly on the base pad 150.
  • the pad 152 is offset partially with respect to the base 150.
  • a lead cable 154 on the electrode base 150 provides a method for adjusting the size of the electrode. This is highly useful in adjusting the surface area of the electrode to stimulate oblique muscles, since they vary greatly in size, with different waist sizes.
  • This embodiment effectively consists of a conductive base affixed to a garment, and the conductive pad is located over the base. The area size of the electrode can thereby be adjusted by positioning the placement of the pad electrode with respect to the base.
  • the conductive pads also provide an economical advantage, in that the pads are disposable and utilize a method of affixing the pads to the base through an adhesive coupled with a conductive gel.
  • the disposable pads do not require the use of snaps, or other fasteners, or connective cables or leads .
EP05857826A 2004-11-05 2005-11-02 Exercise augmenting self-contained electro-stimulator and method Withdrawn EP1812103A2 (en)

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US62507104P 2004-11-05 2004-11-05
US67651405P 2005-05-02 2005-05-02
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US9174046B2 (en) 2011-01-25 2015-11-03 Cedric Francois Apparatus and methods for assisting breathing
WO2014038049A1 (ja) * 2012-09-06 2014-03-13 システム・インスツルメンツ株式会社 トレーニング装置
KR101687768B1 (ko) * 2015-01-15 2016-12-20 순천향대학교 산학협력단 악력 및 손목운동용 재활장치
CN108310636A (zh) * 2018-02-12 2018-07-24 广州日建医疗科技有限公司 一种多点式肌肉刺激器
WO2023058166A1 (ja) * 2021-10-06 2023-04-13 日本電信電話株式会社 握力増強装置、握力増強方法、及びプログラム

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US5052375A (en) * 1990-02-21 1991-10-01 John G. Stark Instrumented orthopedic restraining device and method of use
US5573088A (en) * 1994-05-10 1996-11-12 Daniels; John J. Controllable resistance device and force dampener, and vehicle utilizing the same
US6341237B1 (en) * 1999-10-25 2002-01-22 Arthur F. Hurtado Device for administrating electro-muscle stimulation and method of use
US7162305B2 (en) * 2002-10-23 2007-01-09 The Hong Kong Polytechnic University Functional electrical stimulation system

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WO2006121463A3 (en) 2007-12-13

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