US3548810A - Therapeutic chair - Google Patents

Therapeutic chair Download PDF

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Publication number
US3548810A
US3548810A US3548810DA US3548810A US 3548810 A US3548810 A US 3548810A US 3548810D A US3548810D A US 3548810DA US 3548810 A US3548810 A US 3548810A
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Prior art keywords
frame
leg
chair
segment
patients
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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.)
Expired - Lifetime
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Ludolf J Hoyer
John R Caldwell Jr
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VALHI Inc
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Ludolf J Hoyer
John R Caldwell Jr
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61HPHYSICAL THERAPY APPARATUS, e.g. DEVICES FOR LOCATING OR STIMULATING REFLEX POINTS IN THE BODY; ARTIFICIAL RESPIRATION; MASSAGE; BATHING DEVICES FOR SPECIAL THERAPEUTIC OR HYGIENIC PURPOSES OR SPECIFIC PARTS OF THE BODY
    • A61H1/00Apparatus for passive exercising; Vibrating apparatus ; Chiropractic devices, e.g. body impacting devices, external devices for briefly extending or aligning unbroken bones
    • A61H1/02Stretching or bending or torsioning apparatus for exercising
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61HPHYSICAL THERAPY APPARATUS, e.g. DEVICES FOR LOCATING OR STIMULATING REFLEX POINTS IN THE BODY; ARTIFICIAL RESPIRATION; MASSAGE; BATHING DEVICES FOR SPECIAL THERAPEUTIC OR HYGIENIC PURPOSES OR SPECIFIC PARTS OF THE BODY
    • A61H2201/00Characteristics of apparatus not provided for in the preceding codes
    • A61H2201/01Constructive details
    • A61H2201/0119Support for the device
    • A61H2201/0138Support for the device incorporated in furniture
    • A61H2201/0149Seat or chair

Description

United States Patent [72] Inventors LudolfJ-Hoyer 2620 Bewon St. 8, Oshkosh, Wis. 54901; John R. Caldwell, Cottonwood Lake, Wlndom, Minn. 56101 21 AppLNo. 793,295

[22] Filed [45 Patented Jan. 23, 1969 Dec. 22, 1970 [54] THERAPEUTIC CHAIR the aforesaid 3,463,145 8/1969 Whitaker ABSTRACT: A therapeutic chair contoured to support a patient in a reclining position and tiltable forwardly and rearwardly about a first horizontal axis on a spring base, said chair being comprised of a torso-supporting segment and a leg-supporting segment pivotally connected together at a second horizontal axis located between the patients knee and hip joints. A motor driven actuating mechanism serves to pivot leg-supporting segment upwardly and downwardly about said second horizontal axis to thereby alternately shift the patients weight rearwardly and forwardly with the result that the chair rocks back and forth on said first horizontal axis. The patients blood circulation is stimulated by the rocking movement of the chair and the raising and lowering of his legs by the pivotal movement of the aforesaid leg-supporting segment with respect to the torso-supporting segment.

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THERAPEUTIC CHAIR BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The therapeutic chair of this invention is particularly characterized by a body-supporting frame which may be oscillated in such a way as to not only rock the patients entire body back and forth to stimulate blood circulation by the simple gravity effect of an oscillating bed, but also to produce movement at the patients knee and hip joints with resultant exercising of the patients leg and back muscles. The controlled manipulation of the patients leg and lower back muscles has the particular advantage of stimulating nerves and producing rolling pressure on blood vessels and consequently improving hood circulation in a manner not heretofore possible with previously known therapeutic beds and chairs.

These basic objectives are realized by utilizing an elongated, spring-supported frame tiltable back and forth as a unit on a first horizontal axis by oscillating a.leg-supporting segment of the frame upwardly and downwardly about a pivotal connection with a torso-supporting segment of the frame. Motor driven actuating means serves to raise the pivotal leg segment of the frame, thereby shifting the patients weight rearwardly and causing the entire frame assembly to tilt rearwardly about the first horizontal axis. As the patients legs are lowered by pivoting the leg-supporting segment of the frame downwardly with the aforesaid actuating means, his weight shifts forwardly and chair tips back to a forward position, assisted by the recoil action of the spring base.

As a particularly advantageous feature of my improved therapeutic chair, the aforesaid leg segment of the frame is pivotally connected to the torso segment along a second horizontal axis which will lie between the patients knee and hip joints when a patient is resting in the chair. Because of this particular location of the pivotal joint between the two segments of the chair frame, the upward and downward pivotal movement of the leg-supporting'segment will produce the desired knee and hip joint movement and muscle flexing in the patients legs.

As a further beneficial aspect of my invention, the chair frame is contoured to include a seat rest portion and an upwardly inclined backrest which cooperate to support the patient in such a reclined position that he does not slide back and forth longitudinally of the chair as it rocks forwardly and rearwardly.

These and other objects and advantages of my invention will become readily apparent as the following description is read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein like reference numerals-have been used to designate like elements throughout the several views.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side elevation view of the therapeutic chair of this invention in its forwardly tilted, leg-lowered position;

FIG. 2 is a side elevation view of the chair of FlG. l with the leg segment raised and the chair tipped rearwardly;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary view showing the spring base for the chair.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The therapeutic rest device of this invention has been particularly designed with a view towards treating and relieving the circulatory problems encountered by elderly and bedridden patients. As is well known, persons in such categories are likely to develop blood circulation difficulties, especially in the limb extremities, as a result of being confined to a bed or rest chair for extended periods of time with inadequate exercise. Beds which oscillate back and forth in such a way as to alternately raise and lower the patients head and feet to thereby stimulate blood circulation by the well-known gravity effect are in widespread use. My improved therapeutic rest device uniquely combines with this known oscillating bed effect the added benefits of leg and back muscle flexing through the use of a support frame which raises and lowers the patients legs independently relative to his torso. The shifting muscles exert pressure on the patients blood vessels to stimulate blood circulation in a manner not possible with previously available therapeutic chairs and beds. l have been able to achieve these particular therapeutic effects by utilizing a rest device in the form of a lounge chair generally indicated by reference numeral l in FIGS. l and 2, and having compound pivot points, the arrangement of which will now be described in detail with reference to FIGS. 1 and 2.

Therapeutic chair 1 has an elongated, body-supporting frame 2 comprised of a rear, torso-supporting segment 3 and a forward, leg-supporting segment 4. A pad or mattress 6 extends over the whole length of frame 2 and serves to comfortably cushion the patient. Frame 2 includes a plurality of horizontal braces 8 and longitudinally extending braces Q which lend sufficient strength and rigidity to the chair structure to permit it to satisfactorily support the weight of a patient. Frame 2 is preferably contoured so that a patient resting in chair 1 will assume a comfortable, reclining position in the manner shown. To this end, torso-supporting frame segment 3 is comprised of a lower, seat portion It) and a backrest portion 12 which inclines upwardly therefrom and terminates at its upper end at a head rest 13. Head rest 13 preferably inclines forwardly from backrest 12 at a slightly greater angle to the horizontal in order that the patients head will be supported in a comfortable, substantially upright position. Leg-supporting segment 4 of frame 2 is comprised of two frame sections M and 15 which intersect at an obtuse angle. When a patient is resting in chair I, his knee will be positioned over point 16 at which leg-support sections M and 15 intersect, and the patients knee will be slightly bent with his thigh and lower leg conforming to leg-support sections M and 15 at the angular disposition shown in FIG. 1. By contouring the torso and legsupporting segments 3 and 4 of frame 2 in the aforesaid manner, the patient is supported in a comfortable, reclining position with his knees slightly bent 'and his back elevated. When so supported in such a comfortable manner, the patient will be induced to relax, thereby enhancing the circulation stimulating effects of chair 1 as it oscillates in the manner hereinafter described.

In order that chair 1 may be oscillated back and forth to achieve the therapeutic effects of a rocking motion, frame 2 is supported on spring members 18 and 19. As may best be seen with reference to FIG. 3, in the preferred embodiment of my invention, springs 18 and 19 are in the form of coil springs having rearwardly extending spring or lever arms 20 and 21. Springs 18 and 19 are firmly secured to a swivel dome 22 which is rotatably mounted on bearing collar 23 of base stand 24 for rotary movement about a vertical axis through pivot point 25. To rigid side bars 26 and 27 of frame 2 are welded mounting sleeves 28 and 29 into which spring arms 20 and 21 may be slidably inserted. Mounting sleeves 23 and 29 are held in place on spring arms 20 and 21 by set screws 30 and safety bolts 32, the latter serving to prevent sleeves 28, 2? and spring arms 20, 21 from sliding apart. Seat portion 10 of frame 2 may be adjustably positioned on springs 18 and 19 to properly support and accommodate persons of varying height and weight by loosening set screws 30 and sliding sleeves 28 and 29 to the desired position on arms 20 and 21.

It will be readily apparent that the rearward shifting of the patients weight or center of gravity with respect to springs 18 and 19 will cause spring arms 20 and 21 to be deflected downwardly, thereby permitting the entire chair frame 2 to tilt rearwardly about a substantially horizontal axis 34 passing through the fulcrum defined by spring supports 18 and 19. In order to shift the patients weight rearwardly and forwardly so as to cause chair 1 to rock back and forth on spring arms 20 and 21 about axis 34, l have provided mechanical means for raising and lowering leg-supporting frame segment 4 relative to torso-supporting frame segment 3. Referring now to FIG. 1, it will be seen that section 15 of leg-supporting frame segment 4 is pivotally connected to torso segment 3 of frame 2 at points 36 which define a second horizontal axis about which leg segment 4 may be oscillated upwardly and downwardly. For this purpose, I utilize actuating means which preferably takes the form of a gear reduction motor 38 connected through a gear box 40 to a crank arm 42 and connecting rod 44. Gear box 40 houses a speed reducing gear train of conventional design which transmits power from motor 38 to a rotary output shaft 41 upon which crank arm 42 is rotatably mounted. Crank arm 42 and connecting rod 44 are pivotally connected together at point 43, "and connecting rod 44 is attached at its inner end to bracket 46 rigidly secured to seat portion of frame segment 3. Motor 38 is rigidly mounted to the underside of frame section 14 of leg-supporting segment 4. It will thus be seen that as crank arm 42 rotates with output shaft 41, it will raise and lower leg-supporting frame segment 4 by exerting leverage thereon through connecting rod 44 and torso-supporting frame segment 3.

Connecting rod 44 has a plurality of mounting holes 48 therein by means of which its point of connection to support bracket 46 may be varied to thereby adjust the effective lever arm length of connecting rod 44 and change the degree of elevation of leg segment 4.

Drive motor 38 has been located at the position shown on outermost section 14 of leg-supporting frame segment 4 so as to minimize the potentially objectionable motor noise within the hearing of the patient. Motor 38 could be supported at other locations, such as from the underside of back rest 12 where there is considerable space available, with the necessary linkage mechanism extending from reduction gear output shaft 41 to pivotal frame segment 4. However, motor 38 would then be directly under the head of the patient where the discernible motor noise would be annoying. Also, drive arrangements other than the crank arm and connecting rod mechanism shown could, of course, be utilized to move legsupporting frame segment 4 up and down. For example, gear reduction motor 38 could be utilized to drive a system of pulleys over which cables would be directed in such a way as to raise and lower leg segment 4.

In operation, the patient will assume a reclining position on chair 1 in the manner shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, and start motor 38, preferably by a hand switch attached to an extension cord. In FIG. 1, crank arm 42 and connecting rod 44 are shown in the positions which they will be in when leg segment 4 is in its downwardly disposed position. As crank arm 42 rotates through the upper 180 portion of its arc in the direction shown by the arrow in FIG. 1, it will exert a leverage force on connecting rod 44 and thereby push gear motor 38 and leg segment 4 attached thereto upwardly about pivot point 36 to the raised position shown in FIG. 2. As crank arm 42 swings downwardly through the lower half of its arcuate cycle, leg segment 4 will be returned to the lowered position shown in FIG. 1. The raising of leg segment 4 to the position shown in FIG. 2 will elevate the patients legs with the result that the patients weight and center of mass will be shifted rearwardly, thereby causing the entire chair frame 2 to tilt or rock rearwardly as a unit about horizontal axis 34 as spring arms 20 and 21 are deflected downwardly to the position shown in FIG. 2. The rotation of crank arm 42 to the position shown in FIG. 1 will serve to lower leg segment 4, thereby shifting the patients weight forwardly again and causing chair frame 2 to tilt forwardly to the position of FIG. 1. The recoil action of springs 18 and 19 exerting a return force on chair frame 2 assists in rocking chair 1 forwardly. When the patients legs are elevated with chair 1 rocked rearwardly in the position of FIG. 2, his feet and lower legs will be higher than his heart, and with chair 1 tilted forwardly in the position of FIG. 1, the reverse will be true. Thus, the overall oscillating action of chair 1 upon horizontal axis 34 increases and stimulates blood circulation through the effect of gravity as the patients legs are raised and lowered relative to this heart. In addition, the raising and lowering of leg segment 4 about axis 36 located between the patients knees and hips will produce movement at the hip and knee joints. This causes shifting and sliding in muscle components of the leg, thigh and lower back with consequent nerve stimulation and rolling pressure on blood vessels. The shifting and sliding of leg muscles in opposite directions as the patients legs are raised and lowered causes the blood vessels in the patients legs to be dilated during each oscillating cycle. The intermittent dilation of the leg vessels is similar to that which occurs when a person is walking, and greatly assists in the return flow of blood from the lower legs to the patients heart. Persons suffering from peripheral arterial insufficiency are thus subjected to the additional therapeutic effect of vasomotor nerve stimulation from muscle flexing and the resultant dilation of blood vessels -in the legs. This advantageous feature of my improved therapeutic chair is achieved by the raising and lowering of leg segment 4 about the pivot point 36, which also serves to shift the patients weight rearwardly and forwardly in such a way as to cause entire chair frame 2 to rock back and forth on axis 34. l have found that a 3 minute oscillating cycle time for each revolution of crank arm 42 is quite satisfactory. This, of course, requires a speed reducing gear train in gear box 40 that revolves output shaft 41 at a very slow rate.

It is to be noted that the particular, lounge chair contour of frame 2 not only supports the patient in a comfortable and relaxed position, but also holds the patient so that he does not slide back and forth lengthwise of chair frame 2 as it oscillates forwardly and rearwardly. This advantage is, of course, realized by the particular angular disposition of back rest 12 with respect to seat portion 10. The discomfort of skin sliding pressure on the support chair or bed commonly encountered in oscillating beds is thus avoided.

We claim: a 1. A therapeutic rest device for stimulating a person's blood circulation comprising:

an elongated, body-supporting frame tiltable forwardly and rearwardly about a first substantially horizontal axis, said frame being comprised of a torso-supporting segment and a leg-supporting segment pivotally connected together at a second substantially horizontal axis; and

actuating means connected to said leg-supporting segment and operative to raise and lower said leg-supporting segment relative to said torso-supporting segment in pivotal movement about said second horizontal axis, the elevating of the patients legs as said leg-supporting segment is pivoted upwardly serving to shift the patients weight rearwardly thereby causing said entire frame to tilt rearwardly about said first horizontal axis, and the lowering of the patients legs as said leg-supporting segment is pivoted downwardly by said actuating means serving to shift the patients weight forwardly and thereby tilt said frame forwardly about said first horizontal axis.

2. A therapeutic rest device as defined in claim 1 wherein:

said frame is in the form of a lounge chair with said torsosupporting segment consisting of a seat portion and a back rest portion upwardly inclined therefrom; and

and said leg-supporting segment is pivotally connected to the forward end of said seat rest portion.

3. A therapeutic device as defined in claim 2 wherein: said leg-supporting segment is comprised of two sections rigidly secured to each other at an obtuse angle to which the patients lower leg and thigh will conform with the patients knee supported in a slightly bent position at the point of intersection between said two leg sections.

4. Therapeutic rest device as defined in claim 2 wherein: said second horizontal axis is so located on said frame as to be positioned between the knee and hip joints of a patient reclining in said lounge chair.

5. A therapeutic rest device as defined in claim 1 wherein: said frame is supported on spring means deflcctable by said rearward shifting of the patients weight to permit the rearward tilting of said frame about said first horizontal axis, the return action of said spring means assisting in tilting said frame forwardly as the patients weight is shifted forwardly.

6. A therapeutic rest device as defined in claim 2 wherein: said actuating means comprises a gear reduction motor having 7. A therapeutic rest device as defined in claim 6 wherein: said gear reduction motor is mounted on said leg-supporting segment at a location remote from the portion of said torsosupporting segment on which the patient's head will be resting so that the noise from said motor will not be objectionable to the patient.

US3548810A 1969-01-23 1969-01-23 Therapeutic chair Expired - Lifetime US3548810A (en)

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Cited By (11)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3758156A (en) * 1970-10-07 1973-09-11 A Zawadzki Automatic rocker and glider
US4640546A (en) * 1984-02-06 1987-02-03 Henry Aguilar Rocker-recliner chair
US5039164A (en) * 1989-09-05 1991-08-13 Omni Products International, Inc. Chairs having swivel and rocker features
US6827401B2 (en) 2001-10-17 2004-12-07 La-Z-Boy Incorporated Leaf spring rocker mechanism for a reclining chair
US20070051690A1 (en) * 2005-09-08 2007-03-08 Hidding Douglas J Cap with visible tamper-indicating seal
US20080082027A1 (en) * 2006-10-02 2008-04-03 Rle Corporation Therapeutic device for inducing blood pressure modulation
US20080249437A1 (en) * 2006-10-02 2008-10-09 Vbpm, Limited Liability Corporation (Llc) Therapeutic Device For Inducing Venous Blood Pressure Modulation
US7537285B2 (en) 2005-09-08 2009-05-26 Stewart Laverne L Device that automatically rocks a rocking a chair and similar articles
US20110077563A1 (en) * 2009-09-30 2011-03-31 Family Co., Ltd. Chair type massage machine
USD689723S1 (en) * 2010-02-01 2013-09-17 Steelcase, Inc. Base for seating unit
USD775845S1 (en) 2015-11-30 2017-01-10 Bret Christopher Reilly Zero gravity chair

Cited By (13)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3758156A (en) * 1970-10-07 1973-09-11 A Zawadzki Automatic rocker and glider
US4640546A (en) * 1984-02-06 1987-02-03 Henry Aguilar Rocker-recliner chair
US5039164A (en) * 1989-09-05 1991-08-13 Omni Products International, Inc. Chairs having swivel and rocker features
US6827401B2 (en) 2001-10-17 2004-12-07 La-Z-Boy Incorporated Leaf spring rocker mechanism for a reclining chair
US20070051690A1 (en) * 2005-09-08 2007-03-08 Hidding Douglas J Cap with visible tamper-indicating seal
US7537285B2 (en) 2005-09-08 2009-05-26 Stewart Laverne L Device that automatically rocks a rocking a chair and similar articles
US20080082027A1 (en) * 2006-10-02 2008-04-03 Rle Corporation Therapeutic device for inducing blood pressure modulation
US20080249437A1 (en) * 2006-10-02 2008-10-09 Vbpm, Limited Liability Corporation (Llc) Therapeutic Device For Inducing Venous Blood Pressure Modulation
US20110077563A1 (en) * 2009-09-30 2011-03-31 Family Co., Ltd. Chair type massage machine
US8827938B2 (en) * 2009-09-30 2014-09-09 Family Inada Co., Ltd. Chair type massage machine
USD689723S1 (en) * 2010-02-01 2013-09-17 Steelcase, Inc. Base for seating unit
USD690143S1 (en) * 2010-02-01 2013-09-24 Steelcase, Inc. Base for seating unit
USD775845S1 (en) 2015-11-30 2017-01-10 Bret Christopher Reilly Zero gravity chair

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Owner name: KEYCON INDUSTRIES, INC. 4835 LBJ FREEWAY, DALLAS,

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:KEYSTONE CONSOLIDATED INDUSTRIES, INC., A CORP OF DE.;REEL/FRAME:004473/0742

Effective date: 19851009

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Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:KEYCON INDUSTRIES, INC., A CORP OF NEV.;REEL/FRAME:004533/0100

Effective date: 19860220

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Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:LLC CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:004765/0052

Effective date: 19870811