US20140057758A1 - Device for strengthening, improving range of motion, improving flexibility in ankle joints and rehabilitating injured ankle joints - Google Patents

Device for strengthening, improving range of motion, improving flexibility in ankle joints and rehabilitating injured ankle joints Download PDF

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Publication number
US20140057758A1
US20140057758A1 US13795774 US201313795774A US2014057758A1 US 20140057758 A1 US20140057758 A1 US 20140057758A1 US 13795774 US13795774 US 13795774 US 201313795774 A US201313795774 A US 201313795774A US 2014057758 A1 US2014057758 A1 US 2014057758A1
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resistance
wall
mechanism
device
base
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US13795774
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Anthony Mack
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Anthony Mack
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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
    • A63B23/08Exercising apparatus specially adapted for particular parts of the body for limbs, i.e. upper or lower limbs, e.g. simultaneously for lower limbs for ankle joints
    • 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
    • A63B21/00058Mechanical means for varying the resistance
    • A63B21/00069Setting or adjusting the resistance level; Compensating for a preload prior to use, e.g. changing length of resistance or adjusting a valve
    • 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
    • A63B21/0407Anchored at two end points, e.g. installed within an apparatus
    • A63B21/0414Anchored at two end points, e.g. installed within an apparatus with both ends stationary during the actual exercise, i.e. moving only at intermediate locations
    • 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
    • A63B21/0407Anchored at two end points, e.g. installed within an apparatus
    • A63B21/0428Anchored at two end points, e.g. installed within an apparatus the ends moving relatively by linear reciprocation
    • 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
    • A63B21/055Exercising 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 extension element type
    • A63B21/0552Elastic ropes or bands
    • 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
    • A63B21/4034Handles, pedals, bars or platforms for operation by feet
    • 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
    • A63B23/03508For a single arm or leg
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B71/00Games or sports accessories not covered in groups A63B1/00 - A63B69/00
    • A63B71/06Indicating or scoring devices for games or players, or for other sports activities
    • A63B71/0619Displays, user interfaces and indicating devices, specially adapted for sport equipment, e.g. display mounted on treadmills
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B22/00Exercising apparatus specially adapted for conditioning the cardio-vascular system, for training agility or co-ordination of movements
    • A63B2022/0094Exercising apparatus specially adapted for conditioning the cardio-vascular system, for training agility or co-ordination of movements for active rehabilitation, e.g. slow motion devices
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B22/00Exercising apparatus specially adapted for conditioning the cardio-vascular system, for training agility or co-ordination of movements
    • A63B22/18Exercising apparatus specially adapted for conditioning the cardio-vascular system, for training agility or co-ordination of movements with elements, i.e. platforms, having a circulating, nutating or rotating movement, generated by oscillating movement of the user, e.g. platforms wobbling on a centrally arranged spherical support
    • A63B2022/185Exercising apparatus specially adapted for conditioning the cardio-vascular system, for training agility or co-ordination of movements with elements, i.e. platforms, having a circulating, nutating or rotating movement, generated by oscillating movement of the user, e.g. platforms wobbling on a centrally arranged spherical support specially adapted for using with a single foot or hand
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B71/00Games or sports accessories not covered in groups A63B1/00 - A63B69/00
    • A63B71/06Indicating or scoring devices for games or players, or for other sports activities
    • A63B2071/0694Visual indication, e.g. Indicia
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B22/00Exercising apparatus specially adapted for conditioning the cardio-vascular system, for training agility or co-ordination of movements
    • A63B22/18Exercising apparatus specially adapted for conditioning the cardio-vascular system, for training agility or co-ordination of movements with elements, i.e. platforms, having a circulating, nutating or rotating movement, generated by oscillating movement of the user, e.g. platforms wobbling on a centrally arranged spherical support
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B2210/00Space saving
    • A63B2210/50Size reducing arrangements for stowing or transport
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B2220/00Measuring of physical parameters relating to sporting activity
    • A63B2220/50Force related parameters
    • A63B2220/51Force
    • 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
    • A63B24/0062Monitoring athletic performances, e.g. for determining the work of a user on an exercise apparatus, the completed jogging or cycling distance

Abstract

The present invention comprises a device for strengthening, improving range of motion and/or improving flexibility in ankle joints and/or rehabilitating injured ankle joints. The device comprises structure or frame, at least one resistance mechanism connected to the structure or frame and a support platform connected to the at least one resistance mechanism for supporting the patient's foot. Rotating, flexing, inverting and/or everting the foot connected to the ankle of interest, which results in pressure applied to the support platform by the subject foot, increases and/or decreases the tension in the at least one resistance mechanism. A variety of stretches and/or strengthening and/or rehabilitating exercises may be performed with the device. The support platform is suspended within frame on the at least one resistance mechanism and, as a result, the support platform may be rotated, flexed, inverted and/or everted in an infinite number of directions.

Description

    RELATED APPLICATION
  • [0001]
    This application claims benefit of provisional application 61/693,600, filed Aug. 27, 2012, entitled Rehabilitation Device for Strengthening and Improving Range of Motion in Joints, which is also hereby incorporated in its entirety.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    1. Field of the Invention
  • [0003]
    The invention relates generally to a device for strengthening and/or improving the range of motion and/or flexibility of a patient's ankle joint. The device may be used to prevent and/or treat ankle injuries. The device facilitates a variety of stretches, strength building exercises and rehabilitating exercises.
  • [0004]
    2. Description of the Related Art
  • BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0005]
    The present invention comprises a device for strengthening, improving range of motion and/or improving flexibility in ankle joints and/or rehabilitating injured ankle joints. The device comprises structure or frame, at least one resistance mechanism connected to the structure or frame and a support platform connected to the at least one resistance mechanism for supporting the patient's foot. Rotating, flexing, inverting and/or everting the foot connected to the ankle of interest, which results in pressure applied to the support platform by the subject foot, increases and/or decreases the tension in the at least one resistance mechanism. A variety of stretches and/or strengthening and/or rehabilitating exercises may be performed with the device. The support platform is suspended within frame on the at least one resistance mechanism and, as a result, the support platform may be rotated, flexed, inverted and/or everted in an infinite number of directions.
  • [0006]
    The figures and the detailed description which follow more particularly exemplify these and other embodiments of the invention.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0007]
    FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of one embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0008]
    FIG. 2 illustrates a top partial view of one embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0009]
    FIG. 3 illustrates a partial cutaway view of one embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0010]
    FIG. 4 illustrates a bottom cutaway view of one embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0011]
    FIGS. 5A and 5B illustrate side views of one embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0012]
    FIGS. 6A and 6B illustrate front and rear views, respectively, of one embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0013]
    FIG. 7 illustrates a side view of one embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0014]
    FIG. 8 illustrates a partial cutaway view of one embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0015]
    The invention may be more completely understood in consideration of the following detailed description of various embodiments of the invention in connection with the accompanying drawings, which are as follows.
  • [0016]
    While the invention is amenable to various modifications and alternative forms, specifics thereof are shown by way of example in the drawings and described in detail herein. It should be understood, however, that the intention is not to limit the invention to the particular embodiments described. On the contrary, the intention is to cover all modifications, equivalents, and alternatives falling within the spirit and scope of the invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION, INCLUDING THE BEST MODE
  • [0017]
    A device 10 for strengthening, improving range of motion and/or flexibility, and/or rehabilitating an injured ankle joint comprises a frame 12, at least one resistance mechanism 14 connected to a frame 12, and a support platform 16 connected to the at least one resistance mechanism 14 for supporting the foot connected to the ankle joint of interest.
  • [0018]
    The device 10 may be used to prevent an ankle injury by improving the strength, range of motion and/or flexibility of the ankle joint, and muscles, tissues, tendons, etc., facilitating movement of the ankle joint. The device 10 may be further used to rehabilitate an injured ankle joint, e.g., and without limitation, a sprained ankle.
  • [0019]
    The frame 12, in some embodiments, comprises a base 20 with a first major surface 22 that faces upward and a second major surface 24 that faces downward. Base 20 can be of any suitable shape, but in some embodiments, such as the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, base 20 comprises a rectangular shape. The skilled artisan will readily recognize alternate shapes for the base 20 which will provide equivalent results and function, for example and without limitation, a square. Each of the equivalent base 20 shapes are within the scope of the present invention.
  • [0020]
    The rigid structure 12 further comprises at least two opposing side walls 30 a, 30 b extending upwardly from the base 20, as shown in FIG. 1. In at least the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, the two opposing side walls 30 a, 30 b extend upwardly from the first major surface 22 of the base 20 at or substantially near opposite sides. In some embodiments, the two walls 30 a, 30 b are generally parallel to one another. In embodiments such as the embodiment of FIG. 1, two additional opposing walls, a front wall 30 c, and a rear wall 30 d extend upwardly from the first major surface of the base 20. In some embodiments front and rear walls 30 c, 30 d are generally parallel to one another. In the illustrated embodiment, the side walls 30 a, 30 b are arranged substantially perpendicularly to the front and rear walls 30 c, 30 d, though other configurations are certainly possible and within the scope of the present invention. In at least one embodiment, the number of opposing walls extending upwardly from the base 20 is equivalent to the number of sides of the base 20. Thus, in the illustrated embodiment, the number of sides of the base 20 is four and the number of opposing walls 30 a, 30 b, 30 c and 30 d is also four.
  • [0021]
    Frame 12 may be, as illustrated in FIG. 1, a rigid non-collapsible structure. In alternative embodiments, the frame 12 may comprise sides 26 that are either removeable and/or collapsible to facilitate storage and/or transport by reducing the size and footprint of the disassembled or collapsed frame 12. Frame may be constructed of one or more of the following materials: wood, molded plastic, metals such as aluminum.
  • [0022]
    FIGS. 2 and 3 illustrate alternate embodiments for collapsible frame 12. FIG. 2 illustrates a top view of device 10 comprising frame 12 having a rectangular shape with four sides and, as in FIG. 1, four opposing walls 30 a, 30 b, 30 c, 30 d. Each of the opposing walls 30 a, 30 b, 30 c, 30 d further comprise one, or two or more, hinges 100 attached to the first major surface 22 of base 20 and to the corresponding opposing wall 30 a, 30 b, 30 c, 30 d. This allows the opposing walls 30 a, 30 b, 30 c, 30 d to be folded downward toward the first major surface 22 of base 20, thus collapsing the profile of the device 10 for storage and/or transport. The skilled artisan may recognize that one hinge 100 for each opposing wall 30 a, 30 b, 30 c, 30 d may suffice, or that more two or more hinges 100 may be preferred. Each such configuration is within the scope of the present invention.
  • [0023]
    According to this alternative embodiment, when the device 10 is required for use, opposing walls 30 a, 30 b, 30 c, 30 d are rotated on the hinge(s) 100 away from the first major surface 22 of base 20 and locked in place by methods well known to the skilled artisan. In this manner, collapsible walls 30 a, 30 b, 30 c, 30 d are capable of rotational collapse, wherein the walls lie substantially flat against the first major surface 22 of base 20 and locking deployment, wherein the opposing walls rise at an angle, preferable a right angle though other angles will also work, above the first major surface 22 of base 20.
  • [0024]
    FIG. 3 illustrates another type of hinging and locking mechanism 110 that may be used to allow collapsible rotation and locking deployment of the collapsible walls 30 a, 30 b, 30 c, 30 d. Here, mechanism 110 comprises a first end 112 and a second end 114, wherein first end 112 is secured, by fasteners such as for example and without limitation screws or nuts and bolts, to the first major surface 22 of base 20 and second end 114 is secured to the proximate opposing wall, as illustrated in the partial cutaway of FIG. 3, rear wall 30 d to render rear wall 30 d in the illustrated deployed locked position. Wall 30 a is illustrated in the deployed locked position, but in dashed lines. Mechanism 110 further comprises a central pivot 116 allowing rotation of the mechanism's first end 112 and second end 114 around pivot 116. This configuration is well known in the art, being used in many applications including, e.g., card tables and the like. Releasing the central pivot 116 allows the pivot 116 to move, as opposing wall 30 a, for example, is rotated downward toward the first major surface 22 of base 20. The same process is repeated for each of the remaining opposing walls to achieve the stored, substantially flat, profile for device 10. One or more hinging and locking mechanism 110 may be employed for each collapsible wall 30 a, 30 b, 30 c, 30 d.
  • [0025]
    Returning now to FIG. 1, at least one resistance mechanism 14 is connected to each of the opposing walls 30 a, 30 b, 30 c and 30 d, and the support platform 16 is connected to the at least one resistance mechanism 14. In at least one embodiment, the at least one resistance mechanism 14 is removably and adjustably connected to each of the walls 30 a, 30 b, 30 c and 30 d. In at least one embodiment, the at least one resistance mechanism is adjustable, as further described supra, thereby allowing the user to adjust, i.e., increase or decrease, the amount of tensional resistance achieved between the subject wall 30 a, 30 b, 30 c, 30 d and the support platform 16. As the treatment on the joint progresses, more resistance can be added to increase the amount of tension in the device to facilitate gains in strength, flexibility, etc.
  • [0026]
    As illustrated, the at least one resistance mechanism 14 comprises resistance bands of known tension. The resistance mechanism 14 thus may be stretched or tightened in order to increase the resistance between support platform 16 and the relevant opposing wall to which resistance mechanism 14 is connected. Similarly, resistance mechanism 14 may be loosened in order to decrease the resistance between support platform 16 and the relevant opposing wall to which resistance mechanism 14 is connected. The resistance mechanism 14 may comprise color schemes to indicate relative tensional resistance to aid in quickly setting up the device 10. For example, lighter duty resistance mechanisms 14 may be desired for younger patients or the elderly. These lighter duty resistance mechanisms may comprise a certain identifying color, e.g., green. Medium duty resistance mechanisms 14 may comprise a different color scheme, e.g., purple. Heavy duty resistance mechanisms 14 for advance work may comprise a still different color scheme, e.g., red.
  • [0027]
    In addition to varying degrees of resistance capability in the resistance mechanisms 14, the resistance of a given resistance mechanism, e.g., a resistance band, may be modified by loosening or tightening the mechanism 14. Markings may be placed on resistance mechanisms 14 to indicate general resistance levels on the individual mechanisms 14. This will aid in accuracy and precision in training resistance levels and help in documenting the progress of the patient as treatment progresses.
  • [0028]
    In at least the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, the at least one resistance mechanism 14 comprises at least one resistance mechanism 14 connected to front opposing wall 30 c and at least one resistance mechanism 14 connected to rear opposing wall 30 d. Further, at least two resistance mechanisms 14 may be connected to side opposing wall 30 a as well as to side opposing wall 30 b . These resistance mechanisms 14 are connected at a first end to support platform 16 and, at a second end, to the relevant opposing wall 30 a, 30 b, 30 c, 30 d. As illustrated, three resistance mechanisms 14 are connected at the first end to support platform 16 and at the second end to each side opposing wall 30 a, 30 b.
  • [0029]
    The skilled artisan will now readily recognize an alternative number of resistance mechanisms 14 to utilize for connecting and suspending the support platform 16 in the described manner, each equivalent alternative being within the scope of the current invention.
  • [0030]
    Alternatively, as shown in FIG. 4, a bottom cutaway view through base 20, the resistance mechanisms 14 may be molded or otherwise fixed to the underside of the support platform 16 and further adjustably and releasably attached to the relevant walls 30 a, 30 b, 30 c, 30 d.
  • [0031]
    With this arrangement and system, support platform is suspended by the resistance mechanisms 14 above the first major surface 22 of base 20.
  • [0032]
    In at least one embodiment, the support platform 16 is attached to the first end of resistance mechanism 14 and suspended between the walls 30 a, 30 b, 30 c, 30 d. In at least one embodiment, the support platform 16 has a toe end 16 a and a heel end 16 b opposite the toe end. In some embodiments, the supporting platform 16 may be ergonomically configured. The supporting platform may include straps or other retaining devices 36 to keep the body part in a desired position relative to the supporting platform. Support platform 16 may further comprise a heel support 120 for positioning foot on platform 16 and providing placement fixation on platform 16.
  • [0033]
    Resistance mechanisms 14 are connected to opposing walls 30 a, 30 b, 30 c, 30 d by apertures 130 therethrough. As illustrated in FIG. 1, front and rear opposing walls 30 c, 30 d each comprise a substantially vertical series of four apertures 130. The resistance mechanisms 14 are threaded through the apertures 130. If a change in resistance is desired for resistance mechanisms 14, they may be repositioned in the apertures 130 to either tighten or loosen the resistance mechanism 14 between support platform 16 and walls 30 c, 30 d. Equivalent aperture 130 patterns will reveal themselves to the skilled artisan, each of which is within the scope of the present invention.
  • [0034]
    Opposing side walls 30 a, 30 b of FIG. 1 provide three pairs of apertures 130, wherein the pairs are each arranged substantially in a vertical configuration. This allows securing, tightening and/or loosening of each of the resistance mechanisms 14 connected between the support platform 16 and walls 30 a, 30 b. Again, equivalent aperture 130 patterns will reveal themselves to the skilled artisan, each of which is within the scope of the present invention.
  • [0035]
    For example, FIGS. 5A and 5B illustrate side opposing walls 30 a, 30 b, respectively. In this embodiment, a pattern of three sets of four vertically arranged apertures 130 are provided. And, in the embodiment of FIGS. 6A and 6B, two sets of four vertically arranged apertures 130 are illustrated through the front and rear walls, respectively, with two apertures 130 disposed therebetween.
  • [0036]
    In certain embodiments, e.g., that of FIG. 1, the resistance mechanisms 14 may be positioned, then essentially tied off with a knot 140 which is larger in diameter than aperture 130 as is well known in the art. Knot 140 may be undone in order to reposition resistance mechanism 14, then reknotted to secure resistance mechanism in its new position.
  • [0037]
    Alternatively, instead of knot 140, clamps or the equivalent may be engaged on the resistance mechanisms 14, wherein the clamps are located on the outer surface of the frame and are larger than the aperture 130 so that the clamps are prevented from moving through the aperture 130 when resistance is applied by the clamped resistance mechanisms 14. In this alternative embodiment, the clamps may be easily released allowing the user to either tighten or loosen the resistance mechanism 14 and then reclamped when the desired resistance is achieved.
  • [0038]
    FIG. 7 illustrates an alternative repositioning key mechanism for opposing wall 30 b. Here, at least one key mechanism 200 is provided. Key mechanism comprises at least one aperture 130′, wherein the at least one aperture 130′ receives the resistance mechanism 14 for securing therein as described above in connection with FIG. 1 et seq. At least one access aperture 210 is in operative communication with the at least one aperture 130′. At least one access aperture 210 comprises an aperture size that is larger than the at least one aperture 130′, wherein the aperture size of the at least one access aperture 210 is sufficiently large to accommodate the resistance mechanism's knot 140 or the alternative releasable clamp therethrough. This allows the resistance mechanism 14 to be readily and easily positioned, then slid into aperture 130′ where resistance mechanism 14 is secured by knot 140 or clamp.
  • [0039]
    As illustrated in FIG. 7, three key mechanisms 200 are provided, wherein each key mechanism 200 comprises four apertures 130′ in substantially vertical alignment. Each of the four apertures 130′ are in operative communication with the adjacent aperture(s) 130′ by a channel 220 which allows sliding movement and repositioning of the resistance mechanisms 14 therethrough, with subsequent securement of the repositioned resistance mechanism 14 in one of the apertures 130′. Each key mechanism 200 further comprises at least one access aperture 210. In each of the three illustrated key mechanisms 200, the access aperture 210 is illustrated in a different position relative to the apertures 130′. Thus, a single access aperture 210 may be used for the individual key mechanisms 200. Alternatively, more than one access aperture 210 may be used for individual key mechanisms. A preferred embodiment may comprise having one access aperture 210 for each of the at least one apertures 130′ in each key mechanism. This arrangement allows the operator or user to easily position or reposition resistance mechanisms 14 within the key mechanism 200 without unknotting or otherwise undoing the securing mechanism used to secure the resistance mechanism 14 with aperture 130′.
  • [0040]
    Returning now to FIG. 4, a visible light emitting device 300 may be disposed on the underside of the support platform 16 which is capable of emitting light in a line directed toward at least one of the walls 30 a, 30 b, 30 c, 30 d. The contact point of the light with the wall allows the user, and/or healthcare provider and/or trainer, to determine how much rotation, flexion, eversion etc., that the support platform 16 is undergoing. This also aids in tracking progress of the training and/or treatment over time. To aid in this tracking, a grid of vertical and horizontal lines may be provided on at least one of the walls 30 a, 30 b, 30 c, 30 d, preferably the wall that is receiving the emitted light beam from the light emitting device 300. Thus, the movement of the light along the grid may be used to determine relative motion, flexibility, etc., during a session as well as track progress over multiple sessions. The grid may be further numbered to facilitate ascertaining reference points, e.g., by identifying numbered cells or intersection points of the grid lines. The grid may be permanently affixed to the subject wall 30 a, 30 b, 30 c, 30 d or a removable grid may be used that may facilitate note taking and removal after the session is complete and placed in the patient's records for later review. This grid is best illustrated in FIG. 8.
  • [0041]
    A preferred mounting location for light emitting device 300 is on the toe area 16 a of support platform 16. This focuses the light beam on the front wall 30 c whereupon the grid described above may be disposed.
  • [0042]
    Rehabilitation device 10 has an initial state and at least one active state. When a person places a body part such as a hand or foot onto the support platform without any weight, the device is in the initial state. When the person rotates the injured joint within the device, the device is in an active state where tension from the resistance bands increases depending on the movement of the injured joint. For example, ankle joints can be worked in the sagittal plane (dorsiflexion, plantarflexion), frontal plane (inversion, eversion) and the horizontal plane (abduction, adduction) or motions can be combined to work more function tri-plane motions of the foot for pronation (dorsiflexion, abduction, eversion) and supination (plantarflexion, adduction, inversion). The resistances bands can be adjusted at any level to modify the specific amount of tension the patient or caregiver needs for the targeted goal of rehabilitation. All of the ankle planes can be performed with any specific thickness of band and the amount of tension can be adjusted to the band. The lever arm of the resistance bands can be lengthened or shortened to allow it to be closer to the axis of rotation.
  • [0043]
    In addition, the resistance mechanisms 14 may be positioned in apertures 130 or 130′ so that the resistance mechanisms 14 for opposing side walls 30 a, 30 b are substantially at the same height, rendering the support platform 16 in an attitude that is substantially flat. In other cases, the support platform 16 may be presented to the patient with an attitude or positioning that is tilted in one direction, e.g., with an inversion or an eversion attitude. This may be achieved by lowering the resistance mechanism 14 positioning and height on one of the side walls, 30 a, 30 b, by using a lower set of apertures 130, 130′, while maintaining the resistance mechanisms 14 position and height on the other side wall. This causes the support platform 16 to take on tilted position and allows the user to focus on one particular side or area of the ankle.
  • [0044]
    This device allows the patient and caregiver a safe, controlled environment for tissue healing of the foot and ankle. Muscles, tendons, ligaments, capsules and cartilage of the knee, lower leg, ankle and foot can be rehabilitated for various diagnosed injuries or impairments. Muscles and tendons of the anterior lower leg superficial to deep include: tibialis anterior, extensor digitorum longus, extensor hallusis longus, and fibularis tertius. The lateral compartment is composed of the fibularis longus and fibularis brevis. Muscles of the posterior lower leg include: gastrocnemius, soleus, plantaris, popliteus, flexor hallucis longus, flexor digitorum longus, and tibialis posterior.
  • [0045]
    Common ligaments that will benefit from applied modified tension include: anterior inferior tibiofibular ligament, anterior talofibular ligament, calcaneofibular ligament, deltoid ligament and the plantar fascia.
  • [0046]
    Whatever the desired rehabilitation goal, the patient and caregiver have many options when applying exercise. The device will improve coordination, increase muscle recruitment, improve range of motion, decrease edema, allow for safe tissue repair, inhibit pain, improve circulation, improve endurance, increase strength and improve balance.
  • [0047]
    The device will also assist in the stimulation of cellular metabolism for the production of type 1 collagen and glycosaminoglycan. This new tissue will assist in repairing damaged tissue and increase the tensile properties required by every day function tasks. The device is easily adjustable to modify tension to allow the correct exercise dosage. This will allow the correct healing to take place. All muscles, tendons, ligaments, capsules, cartilage of the ankle and foot will be allowed to start healing with low resistance repetitive motion around a normal physiological axis. In some embodiments, the device can be used to assist in neurological adaptation and nerve stimulation.
  • [0048]
    In some embodiments, at least the base 20 comprises a suitable material or surface features that allow for increased stability and prevent unintended movement of the base. In at least one embodiment, the second surface 24 of the base comprises a tacky layer of material, a rubberized surface, and/or a plurality of surface features that prevent unintended movement of the base. In some embodiments, the base 20 is permanently or removably fixed to another structure, such as the floor or a weight bench.
  • [0049]
    Although all four walls 30 a, 30 b, 30 c, 30 d are the same height in FIG. 1, in some embodiments, the walls may have different heights. For instance, where the device is used for ankle joints, wall 30 b at the toe end of the support platform 16 may have a greater height than wall 30 a at the heel end of the support platform 16. The different heights allows the foot to be placed on support platform 16 at a more comfortable angle. This is best illustrated in FIGS. 5A and 5B.
  • [0050]
    In some embodiments, the at least one resistance mechanism includes a strain gauge or other suitable measuring device that measures the amount of tension in the at least one resistance mechanism. In some embodiments, an analog or digital indicator of the tension is mounted on the frame 12. In some embodiments, the analog or digital indicator is in communication with a strain gauge. The digital indicator helps the patient and/or a caregiver to determine (and record) the progress of the injured joint as well as providing specific targets for the current and upcoming therapeutic sessions.
  • [0051]
    The present invention should not be considered limited to the particular examples described above, but rather should be understood to cover all aspects of the invention. Various modifications, equivalent processes, as well as numerous structures to which the present invention may be applicable will be readily apparent to those of skill in the art to which the present invention is directed upon review of the present specification.

Claims (20)

    What is claimed is:
  1. 1. A device for exercising an ankle joint, the device comprising:
    a frame comprising a base, the base having a first major surface;
    at least two opposing side walls extending upwardly from the base, the two walls comprising a first wall and a second wall opposite and parallel to the first wall;
    a front wall extending upwardly from the base;
    a rear wall extending upwardly from the base, the rear wall opposite and parallel to the front wall;
    at least one resistance mechanism adjustably and releasably attached to each of the first and second walls, and to the front wall and the rear wall; and
    a support platform for supporting a patient's foot thereon, the support platform connected to each of the resistance mechanisms and suspended between the first wall and the second wall and between the front wall and the rear wall, wherein force applied to the support platform increases or decreases the tension in the at least one resistance mechanism.
  2. 2. The device of claim 1, further comprising the first wall, second wall, front wall and rear wall being rigidly connected to the base of the frame.
  3. 3. The device of claim 1, further comprising the first wall, second wall, front wall and rear wall being collapsible.
  4. 4. The device of claim 3, further comprising:
    at least one hinge connecting the first wall to the first major surface of the base;
    at least one hinge connecting the second wall to the first major surface of the base;
    at least one hinge connecting the front wall to the first major surface of the base; and
    at least one hinge connecting the front wall to the first major surface of the base.
  5. 5. The device of claim 3, further comprising:
    at least one hinging and locking mechanism connecting the first wall to the first major surface of the base;
    at least one hinging and locking mechanism connecting the second wall to the first major surface of the base;
    at least one hinging and locking mechanism connecting the front wall to the first major surface of the base and
    at least one hinging and locking mechanism connecting the rear wall to the first major surface of the base,
    wherein the at least one hinging and locking mechanism comprises a first end and a second end with a central pivot disposed therebetween.
  6. 6. The device of claim 1, further comprising at least one aperture through each of first wall, second wall, front wall and third wall, wherein the at least one resistance mechanism is releasably and adjustably secured.
  7. 7. The device of claim 1, further comprising at least one key mechanism 200, wherein the at least key mechanism further comprises:
    at least one aperture;
    a channel in operative communication with each of the at least one apertures;
    at least one access aperture in operative communication with the at least one aperture and channel.
  8. 8. The device of claim 1, further comprising a visible-light emitting device attached to the support platform.
  9. 9. The device of claim 8, further comprising the visible-light emitting device light beam emission directed toward the front wall.
  10. 10. The device of claim 1, further comprising a grid disposed on at least one of the first and second walls, front wall and rear wall.
  11. 11. The device of claim 9, further comprising a grid disposed on the front wall.
  12. 12. The device of claim 8, further comprising the visible-light emitting device light beam emission directed toward one of the first wall, second wall, front wall and rear wall.
  13. 13. A method for exercising and/or rehabilitating a patient's ankle joint, comprising:
    providing a frame comprising a base, the base having a first major surface;
    providing at least two opposing side walls extending upwardly from the base, the two walls comprising a first wall and a second wall opposite and parallel to the first wall;
    providing a front wall extending upwardly from the base;
    providing a rear wall extending upwardly from the base, the rear wall opposite and parallel to the front wall;
    providing at least one resistance mechanism adjustably and releasably attached to each of the first and second walls at a positional height above the base, and to the front wall and the rear wall;
    providing a support platform for supporting a patient's foot thereon, the support platform connected to each of the resistance mechanisms and suspended between the first wall and the second wall and between the front wall and the rear wall, wherein force applied to the support platform increases or decreases the tension in the at least one resistance mechanism;
    positioning the patient's foot on the support platform; and
    instructing the patient to move the foot to engage and manipulate the ankle joint by applying directional pressure to the support platform and engaging at least one of the resistance mechanisms.
  14. 14. The method of claim 13, further comprising positioning each of the at least one resistance mechanisms attached to the first and second walls at substantially the same height above the base.
  15. 15. The method of claim 13, further comprising positioning the at least one resistance mechanism attached to the first wall at a lower positional height above the base than the positional height of the at least one resistance mechanism attached to the second wall above the base.
  16. 16. The method of claim 13, further comprising positioning the at least one resistance mechanism attached to the second wall at a lower positional height above the base than the positional height of the at least one resistance mechanism attached to the first wall above the base.
  17. 17. The method of claim 13, further comprising positioning the support platform in an everted position relative to the patient's ankle.
  18. 18. The method of claim 13, further comprising positioning the support platform in an inverted position relative to the patient's ankle.
  19. 19. The method of claim 13, further comprising instructing the patient to move the foot in at least one of the sagittal plane, frontal plane and the horizontal plane.
  20. 20. The method of claim 19, further comprising instructing the patient to move the foot to perform at least one of dorsiflexion, plantarflexion, inversion, eversion, abduction, and/or adduction.
US13795774 2012-08-27 2013-03-12 Device for strengthening, improving range of motion, improving flexibility in ankle joints and rehabilitating injured ankle joints Abandoned US20140057758A1 (en)

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US201261693600 true 2012-08-27 2012-08-27
US13795774 US20140057758A1 (en) 2012-08-27 2013-03-12 Device for strengthening, improving range of motion, improving flexibility in ankle joints and rehabilitating injured ankle joints

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US13795774 US20140057758A1 (en) 2012-08-27 2013-03-12 Device for strengthening, improving range of motion, improving flexibility in ankle joints and rehabilitating injured ankle joints
PCT/US2013/056812 WO2014035976A3 (en) 2012-08-27 2013-08-27 Device for rehabilitating ankle joints
EP20130832094 EP2887917A2 (en) 2012-08-27 2013-08-27 Device for rehabilitating ankle joints
CA 2883293 CA2883293A1 (en) 2012-08-27 2013-08-27 Device for strengthening, improving range of motion, improving flexibility in ankle joints and rehabilitating injured ankle joints
US15335169 US20170043211A1 (en) 2012-08-27 2016-10-26 Device and method for strengthening and rehabilitating the ankle joint

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Publication number Publication date Type
WO2014035976A2 (en) 2014-03-06 application
EP2887917A2 (en) 2015-07-01 application
WO2014035976A3 (en) 2014-11-06 application
CA2883293A1 (en) 2014-03-06 application

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