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Title:
A THUMB ASSISTANCE DEVICE FOR ACUPRESSURE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2008/156247
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention relates to a thumb assistance device for acupressure that is worn on a thumb when giving a massage or performing acupressure with the thumb to allow a user to give a massage or acupressure over a long period of time while preventing pain due to tension of the joints and muscle and damage to the joints, by preventing hyper-extensibility and hyper-abduction of a thumb due to pressing.

Inventors:
LEE, Duk Yoon (674-6, Bongcheon-1dong Gwanak-gu, Seoul 151-051, KR)
Application Number:
KR2008/002402
Publication Date:
December 24, 2008
Filing Date:
April 28, 2008
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
LEE, Duk Yoon (674-6, Bongcheon-1dong Gwanak-gu, Seoul 151-051, KR)
International Classes:
A61H39/04
Foreign References:
US20050277857A1
US7089061B2
US4308860A
US20060190026A1
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KIM, Joong Hyo (649-8, Minseok Building 4fYeoksamdong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul 135-912, KR)
Download PDF:
Claims:

Claims

[1] A thumb assistance device for acupressure that is fitted onto a thumb and prevents hyper-extensibility and hyper- abduction when giving a massage or performing acupressure, the thumb assistance device comprising: a first support plate 100 that has an inner surface curved in a semicircular shape to support the upper portion of a second knuckle 720 of the thumb and is equipped with a size adjusting means 110 at the lower portion which adjusts the size of the inner circumference of the first support plate 100 according to the thickness of the second knuckle 720 of the thumb inserted; a second support plate 200 that integrally extends forward and downward at a predetermined angle θl from the front end of the first support plate 100 and has a semicircular inner side to support the upper portion of a first knuckle 710 of the thumb and a plurality of fixing holes 210 at the center portion; a third support plate 300 that integrally protrudes backward and downward at a predetermined angle θ2 from the rear end of the first support plate 100 and has a semicircular inner side to support the upper portion of a third knuckle 730 of the thumb and a bending portion 310 that bends upward at the rear end; a fingernail support plate 400 that has fixing protrusions 420 protruding from the upper center portion of a semicircular member 410, which is in close contact with the inner side of the second support plate 200, to be fitted in the fixing holes 210 formed at the center portion of the second support plate 200, and uniformly distributes a force applied to the fingernail of the first knuckle 710 of the thumb; a plurality of first anti-bending protrusions 500 that protrude at predetermined distances from each other from the upper portion of the second support plate 200 to prevent the second support plate 200 from bending upward from the first support plate 100; and a plurality of second anti-bending protrusions 600 that protrude at predetermined distances from each other from the upper portion of the third support plate 300 to prevent the third support plate 300 from bending upward from the first support plate 100.

[2] The device according to claim 1, wherein the size adjusting means 110 of the first support plate 100 includes: connecting holes 11 lthat are formed at a side of the first support plate 100; a tightening band 112 that integrally extends from the lower portion of the other side of the first support 100 plate and has carrying holes 112a at the center portion; a fixing member 113 that is open to the outside at a side and has connecting

protrusions 113a that are fitted in the connecting holes 111 at both sides of the open side; a rotary bolt 114 that is inserted in the fixing member 113 and has spiral carrying protrusions 114a which are formed on the outer circumference and inserted in the carrying holes 112a of the tightening band 112; and a turning handle 115 that is provided at the upper portion of the rotary bolt 114 to allow the user to rotate the rotary bolt 114, holding the turning handle. [3] The device according to claim 1, wherein the second support plate 200 has a cutting portion 220 that is cut according to the length of the user's thumb, at the front end. [4] The device according to claim 1, wherein the third support plate 300 includes: a band hook 320 protruding upward from the center portion; and a fixing band 330 that passes through the band hook 320 and surrounds the back of the hand and the palm with both ends fixed by Velcro 331 to closely contact the third support plate 300 to the upper portion of the third knuckle 730 of the thumb without separating from the third knuckle. [5] The device according to claim 1, wherein the angle θl between the first support plate 100 and the second support plate 200 bending downward from the first support plate 100 is in the range of 5° to 10°. [6] The device according to claim 1 , wherein the angle between the first support plate 100 and the third support plate 300 bending downward from the first support plate 100 is in the range of 10° to 20°.

Description:

Description A THUMB ASSISTANCE DEVICE FOR ACUPRESSURE

Technical Field

[1] The present invention relates to a thumb assistance device for acupressure, particularly a thumb assistance device for acupressure that is worn on the thumb to prevent hyper-extensibility or hyper- abduction of the thumb due to pressing when giving a massage or performing acupressure such that a long-time massage or acupressure is possible while preventing pain due to tension of joints and muscles and damage to the muscles. Background Art

[2] Recently, with the interest in health increasing, as a chiropractic therapy that improves the functions of muscles, joints, and internal organs by relieving their changes and reduces stress, a lot of people have a massage that is one of medical adjuvant treatments or acupressure that is a chiropractic therapy that remedies changes in the body, improve health, or cures a disease by pressing predetermined portions on the body with the thumb or the palm.

[3] The massage has been known to effectively treat insomnia, headache, blood and body fluid circulation dysfunction, physical functional disorder of muscles and joints, various types of neuralgia, dysfunction of sympathetic nerve, and functional disorder of digestive organs and urinary organs. Further, the acupressure have been known to effectively improve the function of the skin, improve blood circulation, smooth muscle tissues, correct the body frame, control internal secretion, and normalize internal organs.

[4] The massage or acupressure, for which a lot of people have for health or cure reasons, is commonly performed by the thumb, in which the thumb can easily sense the affected parts with good sensitivity and appropriately adjust pressing strength, such that the most effective treatment is possible and the thumb has a basic and important role in giving the massage or performing acupressure to the body.

[5] In the massage or acupressure, the affected part is pressed by the thumb as shown in

FIG. 1, in which the force applied by the thumb is commonly divided into three pressing forces of 2kg (low pressure), 4kg (medium pressure), and 6kg (high pressure).

[6] However, when giving the massage or performing acupressure as described above, particularly, when giving the massage or acupressure with a strong force of 6kg, hyper- extensibility (excessive extension) and hyper- abduction (excessive abduction) is applied to the thumb, causing load to be applied to the first knuckle 10, second knuckle 20, and the third knuckle 30 of the thumb, including the first joint 40, the second joint

50, the muscle, and the ligament of the thumb, thereby causing pain.

[7] In general, in giving a massage or performing acupressure, the first joint of the thumb is maintained at an angle of O 0 (hereafter, referred to as extension angle) and the second joint of the thumb is maintained at an extension angle of 20°. However, when the thumb extends or bends at an angle larger than the above angles, that is, when the hyper-extensibility is applied, pain is generated in the joints and the muscle.

[8] Further, the muscle or the ligament of the thumb may be damaged by the hyper- abduction of the second joint.

[9] Further, when the hyper-extensibility and hyper-abduction continue for a long period of time, it is difficult to give more massages or perform acupressure due to damage to the joint and ligament of the thumb.

[10] On the other hand, when the joints, muscle, and ligament of the thumb are damaged as described above, a assistance device is provided onto the thumb for physical treatment in medical institutions, such as a hospital; however, the thumb assistance device according to the related art as described above has no other function, but to fix the joints to protect the thumb, such that it can be used only for treatment.

[11] In particular, an assistance device that is worn on the thumb when giving a massage or performing acupressure as described above to allow a long massage or acupressure time while preventing damage to the joints, muscle, and ligament of the thumb due to the hyper-extensibility and hyper- abduction of the thumb pressing the body with a strong force has been strongly required in recent years. Disclosure of Invention

Technical Problem

[12] In order to overcome the problems as described above, it is an object of the present invention to provide a thumb assistance device for acupressure that is worn on a thumb when giving a massage or performing acupressure with the thumb to allow a user to give a massage or perform acupressure over a long period of time while preventing a pain due to tension of the joints and muscle and damage to the joints, by preventing hyper-extensibility and hyper- abduction of a thumb due to pressing.

[13] Further, it is another object of the invention to provide a thumb assistance device for acupressure that prevents an occupational disease of a masseur who works in a field relating to a massage or acupressure and requires giving massages or performing acupressure over a long period of time by preventing pain and damage to the joints, muscle, and ligament of the thumb.

[14] Further, it is another object of the invention to provide a thumb assistance device for acupressure having a simple structure and improved productivity. Technical Solution

[15] A thumb assistance device for acupressure fitted on a thumb and prevents hyper- extensibility and hyper- abduction when giving a massage or acupressure, includes

[16] a first support plate 100 that has an inner surface curved in a semicircular shape to support the upper portion of a second knuckle 720 of the thumb and is equipped with a size adjusting means 110 at the lower portion which adjusts the size of the inner circumference of the first support plate according to the thickness of the second knuckle 720 of the thumb inserted;

[17] a second support plate 200 that integrally extends forward and downward at a predetermined angle from the front end of the first support plate 100 and has a semicircular inner side to support the upper portion of a first knuckle 710 of the thumb and a plurality of fixing holes 210 at the center portion;

[18] a third support plate 300 that integrally protrudes backward and downward at a predetermined angle from the rear end of the first support plate 100 and has a semicircular inner side to support the upper portion of a third knuckle 730 of the thumb and a bending portion 310 that bends upward at the rear end;

[19] a fingernail support plate 400 that has fixing protrusions 420 protruding from the upper center portion of a semicircular member 410, which is in close contact with the inner side of the second support plate 200, to be fitted in the fixing holes 210 formed at the center portion of the second support plate 200, and uniformly distributes a force applied to the fingernail of the first knuckle 710 of the thumb;

[20] a plurality of first anti-bending protrusions 500 that protrude at predetermined distances from each other from the upper portion of the second support plate 200 to prevent the second support plate 200 from bending upward from the first support plate 100; and a plurality of second anti-bending protrusions 600 that protrude at predetermined distances from each other from the upper portion of the third support plate 300 to prevent the third support plate 300 from bending upward from the first support plate 100.

[21] The size adjusting means 110 of the first support plate 100, as shown in FIG. 5, includes:

[22] connecting holes 111 that are formed at a side of the first support plate 100;

[23] a tightening band 112 that integrally extends from the lower portion of the other side of the first support plate 100 and has carrying holes 112a at the center portion;

[24] a fixing member 113 that is open to the outside at a side and has connecting protrusions 113a that are fitted in the connecting holes 111 at both sides of the open side;

[25] a rotary bolt 114 that is inserted in the fixing member 113 and has spiral carrying protrusions 114a which are formed on the outer circumference and inserted in the carrying holes 112a of the tightening band 112; and

[26] a turning handle 115 that is provided at the upper portion of the rotary bolt 114 to allow the user to rotate the rotary bolt 114, holding the turning handle 115.

[27] The second support plate 200 has a cutting portion 220 that is cut according to the length of the user's thumb, at the front end, and the third support plate 300, as shown in FIG. 11, includes:

[28] a band hook 320 protruding upward from the center portion; and

[29] a fixing band 330 that passes through the band hook 320 and surrounds the back of the hand and the palm with both ends fixed by Velcro 331 to closely contact the third support plate 300 to the upper portion of the third knuckle 730 of the thumb without separating from the third knuckle 730.

Advantageous Effects

[30] According to a thumb assistance device for acupressure that is worn on a thumb when giving a massage or performing acupressure with the thumb according to the invention, it is possible to allow a user to give a massage or perform acupressure over a long period of time while preventing pain due to tension of the joints and muscle and damage to the joints, by preventing hyper-extensibility and hyper-abduction of a thumb due to pressing. [31] Further, it is possible to prevent occupational disease of a masseur who works in a field relating to a massage or acupressure and gives the massage or performs acupressure over a long period of time by preventing pain and damage to the joints, muscle, and ligament of the thumb. [32] Further, according to the invention, it is possible to improve productivity because the structure of the thumb assistance device for acupressure is simple.

Brief Description of the Drawings [33] FIG. 1 is an exemplary view illustrating giving acupressure according to the related art; [34] FIG. 2 is an exemplary view showing a thumb assistance device according to the invention; [35] FIG. 3 is an exemplary view showing a side of the thumb assistance device according to the invention; [36] FIG. 4 is an exemplary view showing the bottom of the thumb assistance device according to the invention; [37] FIG. 5 is an exploded exemplary view showing the thumb assistance device according to the invention; [38] FIG. 6 is an exemplary view showing the cross section taken along the line A-A' of

FIG. 2; [39] FIG. 7 is an exemplary view showing the cross section taken along the line B-B' of

FIG. 2;

[40] FIG. 8 is an exemplary view illustrating how the thumb assistance device according to the invention is worn on the thumb;

[41] FIG. 9 is an exemplary view showing the thumb assistance device worn on the thumb according to the invention;

[42] FIG. 10 is an exemplary view illustrating the inside of the thumb assistance device worn on the thumb according to the invention;

[43] FIG. 11 is an exemplary view showing another embodiment of a thumb assistance device according to the invention;

[44] FIG. 12 is an exemplary view illustrating wearing the thumb assistance device according to another embodiment of the invention; and

[45] FIG. 13 is an exemplary view showing another embodiment of a thumb assistance device according to the invention. Best Mode for Carrying Out the Invention

[46] Preferred embodiments of the invention are described hereafter with reference to the accompanying drawings.

[47] First, the inner surface of a first support plate 100 of a thumb assistance device is bent in a semicircular shape to support the upper portion of the second knuckle 720 of a thumb. The first support plate is equipped with a size adjusting means 110 at the lower portion which can adjust the size of the inner circumference of the first support plate according to the thickness of the second knuckle 720 of the thumb inserted therein, the size adjusting means 110 includes connecting holes 111 formed at a side of the first support plate 100 and a tightening band 112 integrally extending from the lower portion of the other side of the first support plate 100 with the connecting holes and having carrying holes 112a at the center portion.

[48] Connecting protrusions 113a that are fitted in the connecting holes 111 at a side of the first support plate protrude from both sides of a side, which is open to the outside, of a fixing member 113, and a rotary bolt 114 having spiral carrying protrusions 114a on the outer circumference which are inserted in the carrying holes 112a of the tightening band 112 is inserted in the fixing member.

[49] It is preferable to insert the rotary bolt 114 in the fixing member 113 such that it can rotate while not being separated from the fixing member 113.

[50] The rotary bolt 114 is provided with a turning handle 115 at the upper portion to allow a user to hold it and rotate the rotary bolt 114.

[51] A second support plate 200 integrally extends forward and downward at a predetermined angle θl from the front end of the first support plate 100 and has a semicircular inner side to support the upper portion of the first knuckle 710 of the

thumb. Further, the second support plate 200 has a plurality of fixing holes 210 at the center portion and cutting portion 220 at the end, which can be cut by a cutting tool 80 0, such as scissors, to adjust the length according to the length of the user's thumb.

[52] It is preferable to bend the second support plate 200, as shown in FIG. 3, downward at an angle θl within a range of 5° to 10° from the first support plate 100.

[53] A third support plate 300 integrally protrudes backward and downward at a predetermined angle θ2 from the rear end of the first support plate 100 and has a semicircular inner side to support the upper portion of the third knuckle 730 of the thumb and a bending portion 310 that bends upward at the rear end. Further, the third support plate 300 has a band hook 320 protruding upward from the center portion as shown in FIG. 11 and a fixing band 330 that passes through the band hook 320 and surrounds the back of the hand and the palm with both ends fixed by Velcro 331 to closely contact the third support plate 330 to the upper portion of the third knuckle 730 of the thumb while not being separated from the third knuckle.

[54] It is preferable to bend the third support plate 300, as shown in FIG. 3, at an angle θ2 in the range of 10° to 20° from the first support plate 100.

[55] Further, a fingernail support plate 400 is provided to uniformly distribute a force applied to the fingernail of the thumb when giving a massage or performing acupressure, which has fixing protrusions 420 that protrude from the upper center portion of a semicircular member 410 and are fitted in the fixing holes 210 formed at the center portion of the second support plate 200 to be fixed to the lower side, i.e. the inner side of the second support plate 200.

[56] It is preferable that the fingernail support plate 400 is made of a material, such as plastic, which has elasticity to uniformly distribute the force throughout the fingernail.

[57] A plurality of first anti-bending protrusions 500 that protrude at predetermined distances from each other from the upper portion of the second support plate 200, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, is formed to prevent the second support plate 200 from bending upward from the first support plate 100. Further, a plurality of second anti- bending protrusions 600 that protrude at predetermined distances from each other from the upper portion of the third support plate 300 is formed to prevent the third support plate 300 from bending upward from the first support plate 100. Mode for the Invention

[58] The thumb assistance device of the invention is worn on the user's thumb when giving a massage or performing acupressure, in which the thumb is inserted in between first support plate and the tightening band 112 of the size adjusting means 110 provided under the first support plate 100 as shown in FIGS. 8, 9, and 10.

[59] When the thumb is inserted in between the first support plate and the tightening band

112 of the first support plate 100 as described above, the first support plate 100 is positioned at the second knuckle 720 of the thumb, the second support plate 200 is positioned at the first knuckle 710 of the thumb, and the third support plate 300 is positioned at the third knuckle 730 of the thumb.

[60] Further, as described above, the user turns the turning handle 115 of the size adjusting means 110 after inserting the thumb in between the first support plate and the tightening band 112 of the size adjusting means 110.

[61] As described above, the user turns in one direction the turning handle 115 formed at the upper portion of the rotary bolt 114 that rotates in the fixing member 113 fixed to the first support plate 110 by the connecting protrusion 113a fitted in the connecting holes 111 formed at a side of the first support plate 100.

[62] As the user turns the turning handle 115 of the size adjusting means 110 as described above, the rotary bolt 114 connecting with the lower portion of the turning handle 115 and inserted in the fixing member 113 with the connecting protrusions 113a fitted in the connecting holes 111 of the first support plate 100 rotates, and the carrying protrusions 114a spirally formed on the outer circumference of the rotary bolt 114 rotate with the rotary bolt 114.

[63] Further, as the carrying protrusions 114a of the rotary bolt 114 rotate as described above, a side of the tightening band 112 that integrally protrudes from a lower side of the first support plate 100 and has the carrying holes 112a at the center portion moves upward, in which an end of the tightening band 112 is inserted in between the first support plate 100 and the fixing member 113 and the carrying protrusions 114a are fitted in the carrying holes 112a.

[64] It is preferable that a side of each carrying hole 112a at the center portion of the tightening band 112 of the size adjusting means 110 in inclined upward such that the carrying holes 112a moves up/down by the carrying protrusions 114a that are spirally formed on the outer circumference of the rotary bolt 115.

[65] As the side of the tightening band 112 moves upward by the rotary bolt 114 of the size adjusting means 110 as described above, the tightening band tightens the second knuckle 720 of the user's thumb, such that the assistance device is fixed and not separated from the thumb even through the user freely moves the hand or the fingers.

[66] Further, after wearing the assistance device on the thumb as described above, the user gives a massage or performs acupressure from the above while closely contacting the lower portion the first knuckle 710 of the thumb to the affected part of a massage- given person.

[67] As described, when a user gives a massage or performs acupressure using the assistance device on the thumb, as shown in FIG. 10, the second support plate 200 supports the upper portion of the first knuckle 710 of the thumb, the third support plate

300 supports the upper portion of the third knuckle 730 of the thumb, and the tightening band 112 of the size adjusting means 110 supports the lower portion of the second knuckle 720 of the thumb in the opposite direction of the first knuckle 710 and the third knuckle 730 of the thumb. Therefore, the hyper-extensibility of the joints and the muscle of the thumb are prevented by three point pressure principle in which pressure is applied to two points and another pressure is applied to another point in the opposite direction. That is, the second support plate 200 of the thumb assistance device prevents hyper-extensibility, that is, the first joint 740 between the first knuckle 720 and the second knuckle 720 of the thumb, from bending over the maximum extension angle of 0°, and the third support plate 300 prevents hyper-extensibility, that is, the second joint 750 between the second knuckle 720 and the third knuckle 730 of the thumb, from extending over the maximum extension angle of 10°.

[68] That is, when giving a massage or performing acupressure as described above, the second support plate 200 is prevented from bending such that the angle θl of the second support plate 200 that bends upward does not exceed 0° in which the second support plate 200 is parallel with the first support plate 100, by the force applied from the first anti-bending protrusions 500, which protrude upward at predetermined distances from the second support plate 200, to the first support plate 100. In other words, the first anti-bending protrusions 500 protruding from the upper portion of the second support plate 200 are in close contact with each other by the force applied upward from the second support plate 200 to the first support plate 100, such that the second support plate 200 is prevented from bending to 0° in which it is parallel with the first support plate 100. Accordingly, the first knuckle 710 and the second knuckle 720 of the thumb are prevented from bending over the maximum extension angle of 0° and the hyper-extensibility of the first joint 740 of the thumb is prevented.

[69] On the other hand, the second anti-bending protrusions protruding at predetermined distances from the upper portion of the third support plate 300 prevents the third support plate 300 from bending less than the angle θ2 of 10° from the first support plate 100, by the same configuration and operation as the first anti-bending protrusions 500, such that the second knuckle 720 and the third knuckle 730 of the thumb are prevented from bending over the maximum extension angle of 10°. Accordingly, it is possible to prevent hyper-extensibility of the second joint 750 of the thumb due to hyper-extensibility of the second knuckle 720 of the thumb.

[70] Further, when pressing the affected part of the person receiving the massage, the force applied to the upper portion, i.e. the fingernail of the first knuckle 710 of the thumb supported by the second support plate 200 of the assistance device prevents pain due to a force concentrated on a specific portion of the fingernail while the front end of the second support plate 200 closely contacts to an end of the fingernail, because, as

shown in FIGS. 5 to 10, the finger support plate 400, of which the fixing protrusions 420 at the center portion of the semicircular member 410 are fitted in the fixing holes 210 at the center portion of the second support plate 200, is in close contact with the entire surface of the fingernail.

[71] Further, since the bending portion 310 is provided at the rear end of the third support plate 300, it is possible to prevent pain or damage to the skin caused by the edge of the third support plate 300 that is in close contact with the wrist while pressing.

[72] On the other hand, after being worn on the thumb, as shown in FIGS. 11 and 12, the assistance device is fixed by attaching an end of the fixing band 330 passing through the band hook 320 protruding from the upper center portion of the third support plate 300 to the other end using the Velcro 331 provided on both ends of the fixing band 330, in which the end extends across the back of the hand and the other end extends across the palm, such that the third support plate 300 of the assistance device is in c lose contact with the upper portion of the third knuckle 730 of the thumb without a gap. Therefore, a stable position is maintained even though the user moves the hand, and it is possible to prevent the hyper- abduction of the third knuckle 730 of the thumb, over the maximum abduction angle of 90°.

[73] After finishing a massage or performing acupressure, as the user turns the turning handle 115 of the size adjusting means 110 at a side of the first support plate 100 of the assistance device in the opposite direction to when wearing the assistance device, a side of the tightening band 112 moves downward and then the thumb is separated from the tightening band 112. Therefore, it is possible to easily separate the thumb assistance device from the thumb as described above.

[74] According to the thumb assistance device of the invention, it is possible to give a massage or perform acupressure over a long period of time without causing pain by preventing the hyper-extensibility and the hyper-abduction of the thumb while protecting the joints and preventing the relaxation and damage to the muscle.

[75] Further, according to the thumb assistance device of the invention, it is possible to cut the cutting portion 220 formed at the front end of the second support plate 200 with a cutting tool 800, such as scissors, to fit the length of the second support plate 200 to the length of the user' s thumb of fingernail, when the length of thumb or the fingernail is smaller than that of the second support plate 200 as shown in FIG. 13.

[76] When the user cuts the cutting portion 220 of the second support plate 200 with the cutting tool 800, it is preferable to cut the front end of the fingernail support plate 400 fixed under the second support plate 200 together with the cutting portion 220.

[77] Meanwhile, though not shown in the figures, it is possible to attach fabric or cloth to the lower sides of the first support plate 100 and the third support plate 300 of the thumb assistance device, if needed, to maintain smooth contact and stable position.

[78] Further, the Velcro 331 provided at both ends of the fixing band 330 of the third support plate 300 are not limited to the Velcro 331 and may be achieved using various types that can detachably fix both ends of the fixing band.