BEVICS FOR PRODUCING SLSCTElCAL
James E. Keegaa, Jr., Hollywood, Fla., assigBor to
Heialcke Instrument Co., Inc., Hollywood, Fla., a cor-
poration of Florida
Filed Nov. 29, 1961, Ser. No. 156,364
3 Claims. (CL 128—423)
This invention relates generally to electrical muscle therapy and more specifically to a programmed sequence for muscle therapy.
All bodily movement is accomplished by the contraction of muscle fibers. The contractions develop tension in the tendons in order to pull one bony attachment of the muscle toward the other. At times, tension is maintained at exactly the level required to hold a fixed relationship between the two points of bony anchorage.
Paralysis results either when the muscle is damaged or destroyed or when the nervous system is affected in such a fashion as to completely prevent a stimulating impulse from reaching the muscle or else the nervous system allows impulses to reach the muscle under poorly controlled conditions making coordinated movement difficult or impossible.
The most common method of managing a paralysis problem, after all medical and surgical efforts have been exhausted, is the application of a mechanical device in the form of a brace to substitute crudely for the lost function.
Additionally, apparatus has been developed to exercise a muscle to a rather limited extent. However, such apparatus available at the present time is bulky and nonportable and usually stimulates only a single muscle and, to my knowledge, has not met with any great therapeutic success.
According to medical theory, if a muscle is synthetically stimulated to produce its correct function, the brain will become re-educated to take over the normal function and control. Therefore, if a portable unit is available which can stimulate the use of a muscle or sets of muscles in proper time relation in the sequence required for the particular muscles involved, persons who have lost partial mental control over these muscles or who have suffered deterioration of muscle fibers will be able to receive continual therapy unavailable from any presently known means.
Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide an apparatus and a method of stimulating a muscle or muscles more or less directly in order to control the contraction strength and thus provide a natural function for therapeutic purposes.
Another object of this invention is to provide apparatus for producing sequential programming of synthetic exterior muscle stimulation.
Yet another object of this invention is to provide apparatus for creating an electrical muscle stimulation having a variable control of the muscle reflex time.
Still another object of this invention is to provide apparatus for synthetic muscle stimulation which is actuated in accordance with an inter-related body movement.
A further object of this invention is to provide apparatus having the bove stated attributes which is light in weight and may be worn continually by a person using it.
A still further object of this invention is to provide portable apparatus for providing continuing therapeutic synthetic muscle stimulation for restoring mental control for the normal functions of the muscle.
Another object of this invention is to provide apparatus for producing sequential programming between an
tagonistic muscles in a proper time relation required for normal function of the muscles.
One specific application is herein described as illustrative of the present invention, but it is understood that the 5 invention is not limited to this specific example and is to be considered applicable to other bodily muscle stimulations.
The illustrative example of the invention as used in muscle stimulations for the purpose of therapeutics in 10 walking is described hereinafter and will be understood by those familiar with the art when taken in conjunction with the drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is an elevation view showing the stimulating electrodes secured adjacent to the particular leg muscles 15 together with the electrical leads to the power source, controls and the foot switch;
FIG. 2 is a schematic showing of the control switch located in the heel of the shoe;
FIG. 3 is a schematic of the electrical circuitry and 20 controls used for a single muscle stimulation;
FIG. 4 is a schematic of the electrical circuitry used for a dual muscle stimulation with sequential programming between the muscles;
FIG. 5 is plan view of a control switch carried by the 25 electrode clamping device;
FIG. 6 is a sectional view of the switch of FIG. 5, taken on line 6—6 of FIGURE 5; and
FIG. 7 is a side elevation of the switch of FIG. 6. Referring now specifically to the drawings, FIG. 1 30 shows the leg 11 of a patient having the electrodes attached thereto. These electrodes may be of any shape and of a type which will supply stimulation in a wellknown manner, one such type being sponge electrodes. Electrode 13 is located over the common peroneal nerve 35 and may be secured to the leg by means of strap 15. Electrode 17 is located over the tibialis anterior and is held in position by means of strap 23.
Leads 25 and 27 connect the electrodes 13 and 17 respectively, to the power source and control unit 30 which *° may be conveniently supported by means such as a belt. A control switch member 37 is inserted into the heel of the shoe and is connected to the power source and control unit 30 by means of leads 33 and 35 for purposes which will become apparent as the description proceeds.
The heel switch 37 is a normally open switch which may be fitted within the heel portion of the shoe so that pressure exerted by the heel will close the switch. Two contact members 47 and 49 are connected to the leads 33 50 and 35 respectively whereby the switch 37 may close the control circuit.
The electrodes 13 and 17 when located as shown in FIG. 1 will counteract foot drop when activated. Alternate placement of the electrodes as indicated at 13a and g- 17a would innervate the peroneus longus and the peroneus brevis to provide eversion.
Turning now to FIG. 3, there is illustrated schematically the electrical controls for use with the device when only a single electrode is to be used for purposes of therapeutics. In FIG. 1, therefore, the device as used with FIG. 3 would include the electrode 13 and the electrode 17 together with the foot switch and the controls as illustrated in FIG. 3. The foot switch 37 is illustrated schematically as a gg means of completing the circuit across terminals 47 and 49. A source of D.C. voltage is provided across terminals 51 and 53 the voltage supply being of a portable type such as a mercury cell battery which may be connected to the circuit by means of the manual on-off switch 55.