US20130196833A1 - Handheld Extremity Flexibility Treatment Device - Google Patents

Handheld Extremity Flexibility Treatment Device Download PDF

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Publication number
US20130196833A1
US20130196833A1 US13361085 US201213361085A US2013196833A1 US 20130196833 A1 US20130196833 A1 US 20130196833A1 US 13361085 US13361085 US 13361085 US 201213361085 A US201213361085 A US 201213361085A US 2013196833 A1 US2013196833 A1 US 2013196833A1
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Prior art keywords
extremity
tissue
handle
handheld
extremity support
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Abandoned
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US13361085
Inventor
Roger Nicholas Strickland
Michael Andrew Pollock
Joseph Michael Dawson, III
Original Assignee
Roger Nicholas Strickland
Michael Andrew Pollock
Joseph Michael Dawson, III
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    • 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
    • A63B23/04Exercising apparatus specially adapted for particular parts of the body for limbs, i.e. upper or lower limbs, e.g. simultaneously for lower limbs
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B21/00Exercising apparatus for developing or strengthening the muscles or joints of the body by working against a counterforce, with or without measuring devices
    • A63B21/02Exercising apparatus for developing or strengthening the muscles or joints of the body by working against a counterforce, with or without measuring devices using resilient force-resisters
    • A63B21/023Wound springs
    • A63B21/025Spiral springs with turns lying substantially in plane surfaces
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B21/00Exercising apparatus for developing or strengthening the muscles or joints of the body by working against a counterforce, with or without measuring devices
    • A63B21/02Exercising apparatus for developing or strengthening the muscles or joints of the body by working against a counterforce, with or without measuring devices using resilient force-resisters
    • A63B21/04Exercising apparatus for developing or strengthening the muscles or joints of the body by working against a counterforce, with or without measuring devices using resilient force-resisters attached to static foundation, e.g. a user
    • A63B21/0442Anchored at one end only, the other end being manipulated by the user
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B21/00Exercising apparatus for developing or strengthening the muscles or joints of the body by working against a counterforce, with or without measuring devices
    • A63B21/40Interfaces with the user related to strength training; Details thereof
    • A63B21/4001Arrangements for attaching the exercising apparatus to the user's body, e.g. belts, shoes or gloves specially adapted therefor
    • A63B21/4011Arrangements for attaching the exercising apparatus to the user's body, e.g. belts, shoes or gloves specially adapted therefor to the lower limbs
    • A63B21/4015Arrangements for attaching the exercising apparatus to the user's body, e.g. belts, shoes or gloves specially adapted therefor to the lower limbs to the foot
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B21/00Exercising apparatus for developing or strengthening the muscles or joints of the body by working against a counterforce, with or without measuring devices
    • A63B21/40Interfaces with the user related to strength training; Details thereof
    • A63B21/4027Specific exercise interfaces
    • A63B21/4033Handles, pedals, bars or platforms
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B21/00Exercising apparatus for developing or strengthening the muscles or joints of the body by working against a counterforce, with or without measuring devices
    • A63B21/40Interfaces with the user related to strength training; Details thereof
    • A63B21/4041Interfaces with the user related to strength training; Details thereof characterised by the movements of the interface
    • A63B21/4043Free movement, i.e. the only restriction coming from the resistance
    • 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
    • A63B2023/006Exercising apparatus specially adapted for particular parts of the body for stretching exercises

Abstract

A handheld tissue stretching device combined with a retractor and release mechanism enables users to independently treat the flexibility of their extremity tissue minimizing need for upper extremity coordination and grip strength during treatment. The distance between prior handheld stretching devices and the extremity supports changes with a high degree of variability during home treatments; whereas, medical professionals monitor stretch intensity visually and manually. Patients performing home-based stretches impart variable intensity that leads to inconsistent tissue treatment resulting in increased tissue stiffness. The present inventors have discovered when the slack is automatically retracted; the distance between the users hands and the extremity support is continuously proportional to the flexibility of the extremity. This “distance matching” between the handheld stretching device and the extremity support provides a reliable, repeatable, and independent tissue treatment.

Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention relates to extremity tissue treatment. Physical therapists are trained to evaluate and treat a wide variety of musculoskeletal conditions including muscle strain, joint sprain as well as insidious onset of spine and extremity pain. Extremity treatment provided by specialists often includes passive stretching, massage and strengthening exercises. Home-based treatments including passive stretching are prescribed by medical professionals to reduce patients' long term pain. Passive stretching by medical professionals is a common treatment to increase extremity flexibility and relieve lower back pain, patellofemoral syndrome (knee pain), nerve entrapment (sciatica), plantar fasciitis, achilles tendon tightness, and various tendonopathies. Treatment regimens include a stretch intensity, duration, and frequency of each exercise. Patients perform prescribed treatments at home by using a towel, belt, or a strap such as the “stretch-out-strap” by OPTP products. Stretching to increase extremity tissue length and flexibility is referred to as “treatment”.
  • At home, many patients have difficulty performing and complying with the prescribed treatment regimen. Many patients lack the necessary upper extremity coordination and grip strength to execute needed techniques with current handheld flexibility devices. These devices often require repositioning of the hands in between stretches and sufficient grip and upper extremity strength to maintain a consistent throughout the duration of the treatment. When home based treatments are difficult, patient compliance decreases and tissue stiffness increases thereby reducing muscle-sinew tissue compliance, noted as the degree to which the muscle-sinew tissue complies to treatment. This decrease in muscle-sinew tissue compliance often leaves patients wondering what treatment regimen to follow to achieve acceptable flexibility. To determine the new treatment regimen, patients return to the clinic, have a physical therapist evaluate their tissue flexibility using a goniometer and prescribe a new flexibility treatment regimen. This can be a costly, time consuming, and often painful approach to maintaining optimal flexibility.
  • BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The known handheld tissue stretching devices do not provide a consistent treatment intensity to the user because of the constant repositioning of the stretching apparatus and hands that occurs to change treatment intensity. Treating tissue with existing handheld devices leaves the user wondering whether or not he has stretched properly. Individuals now have the option of properly treating their extremity flexibility before engaging in activities such as walking, running, sports or work activities.
  • In accordance with the invention, a handheld tissue stretching device combined with a retractor enables users to reliably and independently treat the flexibility of their extremity tissue; thereby, minimizing physical therapist intervention treatment. The present inventors have recognized that combining a handheld tissue stretching device with a retractor provides users with a repeatable and reliable method for stretching tissue.
  • Medical professionals carefully monitor treatment intensity by verbal, visual and manual inspections to provide a consistent treatment. Outside of the clinic however, handheld passive stretching devices cannot provide users with a reliable and consistent treatment. The known treatment devices have an extremity support, to engage the extremity to be treated and a link between the extremity and the user's hands. The user changes the intensity of the stretch by pulling the extremity support. Pulling the extremity increases muscle-sinew tissue length of the tissue being treated. The user has to reposition his hands on the device or move his hands relative to the extremity support to change stretch intensity. The distance between the users hands and the extremity support remains constant and the user has to reposition his hands. This repositioning is inconsistent and imparts a high degree of intensity variability during treatment leading to inconsistent tissue treatment resulting in increased tissue stiffness. The present inventors have discovered a way to increase stretch intensity consistency during self-treatment of muscle-sinew tissue. When a user increases the stretch intensity, the slack in the pliable, inelastic link, caused by pulling the extremity, is synchronously retracted by a retractor, and the distance between the users hands and the extremity support is continuously proportional to the tissue length of the extremity. This “distance matching” between the handheld stretching device and the extremity support provides a reliable, repeatable, and independent treatment method of extremity flexibility. This method of treatment ensures a consistent and purposeful treatment regimen.
  • This handheld tissue treatment apparatus with a retractor and release mechanism treats lower extremities encompassing all tissue emanating from the lower back and terminating at the phalanges. The apparatus may also treat upper extremities encompassing all tissue emanating from the scapula and terminating at the phalanges.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 depicts prior art showing a medical professional assisting a patient to treat muscle tissue using an assisted straight leg stretch. The patient is using an inelastic adjustable strap placed on the foot and the physical therapist provides overpressure and feedback to maintain knee extension while assisting with hip flexion.
  • FIG. 2 depicts one embodiment of the present invention, a handheld tissue stretching device with a retractor, a release mechanism, a pliable, inelastic link and an extremity support that is engaged with the user's extremity.
  • FIG. 3 depicts one embodiment of the present invention, a retractor is used to remove the slack 21 in the pliable, inelastic link 4 when the extremity support 3 is pulled toward the handheld tissue stretching device 1. The retractor prevents the extremity support 3 from extending 20 away from the handheld tissue stretching device 1 when providing treatment.
  • FIG. 4 depicts one embodiment of the present invention. The user is treating tissue by pulling the lower extremity from a first position 10 to a second position 17 to impart a passive stretch on the posterior lower extremity tissue.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • FIG. 1 shows the prior art practice of a medical professional treating treating extremity tissue. The user is performing a passive stretch on the posterior lower extremity by holding a strap that is releasably engaged with the extremity by wrapping the strap around the metatarsal pad of the foot. An apparatus described in the Burek patent shows a large stationary device for stretching and evaluating tissue using several measures.
  • The known portable tissue stretching devices do not properly allow the user to control the treatment intensity because of the need to reposition when increasing stretch intensity, and leave the user wondering whether or not he has stretched properly. Changes in compliance of the muscle-sinew tissue over time can demand different treatment regimens and confuse individuals. A self flexibility evaluation is complex because of tightness of specific muscle-sinew combinations, co-morbidities, and the time since last stretch. A handheld tissue stretching device with a retractor and release mechanism provides numerous benefits such as minimizing trips to the physical therapy clinic, decreasing the necessary upper extremity strength and coordination needed to stretch, decreasing the risk of activity-based injuries, increasing muscle-sinew tissue compliance, and optimizing tissue treatment intensity, duration and frequency to achieve desired extremity flexibility. Individuals now have the option to independently and reliably improve their flexibility before engaging in activities such as walking, running, sports or work activities.
  • In accordance with the invention, FIG. 2 depicts one embodiment of the invention, a handheld tissue stretching device 1 that an individual may use for treating extremity flexibility without involving another person. This device has an extremity support 3 that may be releasably engaged to the user's extremity for treatment. The extremity support 3 is connected to the handheld tissue stretching device 1 via a pliable, inelastic link 4. A retractor 5 pulls the pliable inelastic link 4 and extremity support 3 toward the handheld tissue stretching device 1. A release mechanism 6 is used to disengage the retractor and allow the user to extend the extremity support 3 away from handheld tissue stretching device 1. This device 1 enables users to treat the flexibility of their extremity tissue as needed, minimizing physical therapist intervention to prescribe a treatment regimen. Until now, compliance with home exercise treatment regimens has been relatively low due in large part to the difficulty performing the stretches. The present inventors have recognized that a handheld tissue stretching device 1 with a retractor 5 and a release mechanism 6 provides consistent extremity flexibility force and decreases the need for upper extremity coordination and strength to perform the stretch.
  • FIG. 3 shows one embodiment of a retractor. The pliable, inelastic link 4 may be pulled toward the handheld tissue stretching device 21. A release mechanism 6 when engaged with the retractor gear 23 prevents the pliable, inelastic link 4 from extending away from the handheld tissue stretching device 20. The retractor pulling force ranges from about 0.1 pounds force to about 5 pounds force. The release mechanism 6, when disengaged with the retractor gear 23 allows the pliable inelastic link 4 to be extended 20 away from the handheld tissue stretching device 1.
  • FIG. 4 shows a particular method employing one embodiment of the invention, a user stretching the posterior lower extremity. The user holds the handheld tissue stretching device 1 in his hands and engages the extremity support 3 on the metatarsal foot pad in a relaxed position 10, the user then increases the intensity of the stretch actively raising his extremity and simultaneously pulling on the handheld tissue stretching device 1 the retractor 5 pulls the extremity support 3 toward the handheld stretching device 1 and removes the occurring slack in the pliable, inelastic link 4 as the tissue being treated is lengthened. The plantar fascia tissue 11, the achilles tendon 12, the calf musculature 13, the popliteal fossa 14, the hamstring muscle group 15, and the lower back muscles and sinew 16 begin to lengthen as the user pulls the extremity to the second position 17. A shorter distance between the extremity support 3 and the handheld tissue stretching device 1 corresponds directly to lengthening the tissue of the posterior lower extremity: plantar fascia tissue 11, the achilles tendon 12, the calf musculature 13, the popliteal fossa 14, the hamstring muscle group 15, and the lower back 16. The user may disengage the release mechanism 6 from the retractor gear 23 to extend 20 the extremity support 3 away from the handheld tissue stretching device 1 and allow the user to lower the extremity to the support surface.
  • Treatment is performed when the handheld tissue stretching device 1 and user's extremity is engaged with an extremity support 3. A pliable, inelastic link 4 is used to connect the extremity support 3 to the handheld tissue stretching device 1. The handheld tissue stretching device 1 has a retractor 5 that retracts 21 the pliable, inelastic link 4 as the extremity support 3 moves toward the handheld tissue stretching device 1. Minimizing this distance enables users to eliminate continuous and variable hand re-positioning on the handheld tissue stretching device 1 in order to change the intensity of the flexibility treatment. This “distance matching” between the handheld stretching device 1 and the extremity support 3 provides a reliable, repeatable, and independent treatment of extremity tissue flexibility.
  • In a particular embodiment of the invention, the user improves the extremity flexibility number 2 when performing a passive stretch 17 on the lower posterior tissue by bending the contralateral lower extremity. The present inventors have shown immediate improvements in the ease of performing the stretch explained by bending the contralateral extremity. This bending of the contralateral extremity allows the extremity being stretched to become more perpendicular to the support surface. When the ipsilateral extremity becomes more perpendicular to the floor, the pulling force required between the handheld tissue stretching device 1 and the extremity support 3 is reduced because the downward component of the weight does not have to be overcome by the pulling force. Reducing the pulling force using this method enables users to maintain stretch intensity and requires less upper body and hand strength. A flexibility method requiring less grip strength is desirable for persons with upper extremity weakness and coordination deficits.
  • This handheld tissue treatment apparatus with a retractor and release mechanism treats lower extremities encompassing all tissue emanating from the lower back and terminating at the phalanges. The apparatus may also treat upper extremities encompassing all tissue emanating from the scapula and terminating at the phalanges.

Claims (5)

    We claim:
  1. 1. A human tissue stretching apparatus, apparatus comprising
    a first end wherein said first end comprises an handle,
    a second end wherein said second end comprises an extremity support capable of releasably engaging a human extremity,
    a pliable, inelastic link connecting said handle to said to extremity support,
    a retractor, wherein said retractor pulls said extremity support toward said handle and prevents said extremity support from extending away from said handle.
  2. 2. Apparatus of claim 1 comprising a release mechanism, wherein said release mechanism enables said extremity support to be extended away from said handle.
  3. 3. A handheld tissue stretching apparatus, apparatus comprising
    a first end, wherein said first end comprises a handle,
    a second end, wherein said second end comprises an extremity support capable of releasably engaging a user's extremity,
    a pliable inelastic link, wherein said pliable inelastic link connects said handle with said extremity support,
    a retractor, wherein said retractor pulls said extremity support toward said handle and prevents said extremity support from extending away from said handle, and
    a release mechanism, wherein said release mechanism enables said extremity support to be extended away from said handle.
  4. 4. A method for treating extremity tissue flexibility using a handle connected to an extremity support via a pliable inelastic link, method comprising,
    holding said handheld tissue stretching apparatus,
    engaging extremity to be treated to said extremity support,
    pulling said extremity support toward said handle,
    moving said handle toward said extremity support synchronously retracting said pliable, inelastic link.
  5. 5. Apparatus of claim 1, wherein said retractor pulling is within the range of 0.1 pounds force and 5 pounds force.
US13361085 2012-01-30 2012-01-30 Handheld Extremity Flexibility Treatment Device Abandoned US20130196833A1 (en)

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Cited By (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20150360067A1 (en) * 2014-06-11 2015-12-17 Douglas M. Davis Vault Shaped Miniature Trampoline
US9974993B1 (en) * 2015-06-11 2018-05-22 Michael Pollock Stretching apparatus and method of use

Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US6149559A (en) * 1999-06-16 2000-11-21 Mackey; Teri R Variable resistance exercise device
US6659922B1 (en) * 2003-04-21 2003-12-09 Jao-Hsing Tsai Resistance adjustment mechanism for easy pull exerciser
US20050124471A1 (en) * 2000-12-29 2005-06-09 Wilkinson William T. Total body exercise machine with adjustable railings and/or adjustable incline
US20060201450A1 (en) * 2005-03-10 2006-09-14 Elizabeth Jordan Therapeutic use for a retractable leash
US20100016132A1 (en) * 2008-05-29 2010-01-21 Flynn Thomas S Multipurpose Modular Exercise and Fitness Apparatus

Patent Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US6149559A (en) * 1999-06-16 2000-11-21 Mackey; Teri R Variable resistance exercise device
US20050124471A1 (en) * 2000-12-29 2005-06-09 Wilkinson William T. Total body exercise machine with adjustable railings and/or adjustable incline
US6659922B1 (en) * 2003-04-21 2003-12-09 Jao-Hsing Tsai Resistance adjustment mechanism for easy pull exerciser
US20060201450A1 (en) * 2005-03-10 2006-09-14 Elizabeth Jordan Therapeutic use for a retractable leash
US20100016132A1 (en) * 2008-05-29 2010-01-21 Flynn Thomas S Multipurpose Modular Exercise and Fitness Apparatus

Cited By (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20150360067A1 (en) * 2014-06-11 2015-12-17 Douglas M. Davis Vault Shaped Miniature Trampoline
US9707427B2 (en) * 2014-06-11 2017-07-18 Douglas M. Davis Vault shaped miniature trampoline
US9974993B1 (en) * 2015-06-11 2018-05-22 Michael Pollock Stretching apparatus and method of use

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