Designing Rehabilitation Equipment for an Upper Limb (arm)

In summary, the student is creating a device to help rehabilitation for upper limb injuries. He has a problem with resistance, so he is thinking of using a torsion spring. He is also thinking about mechanically adjustable equipment.
  • #1
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Before I ask my question, here's a little introduction of myself. I am a college student studying in Bioengineering, so I've been tasked to create an equipment to help rehabilitation for upper limb (any point of the upper limb, doesn't have to be the entire upper limb).

So I have this initial Idea that I'd be creating a device that hugs onto your forearm and biceps, allowing for rotation at the Antecubital area (The opposite side of the elbow). Therefore allowing the user to do bicep curls, however I'm facing a problem, I need to give the device adjustable resistance.

Here's what I came up with
1 - Inserting a huge torsion spring the middle of the equipment, using a sliding mechanism on the forearm & bicep pieces to adjust the active length of the torsion spring to adjust resistance
2 - Using cables or elastics to adjust resistance the pieces can give
3 - Scrap the idea of resistance and just give a piece that rotates for exercise

Any advice on calculations, design ideas or insights into this would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
 
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  • #2
Think safety. I suggest you not use elastics, they are unreliable. Their frequent sudden failure can cause injuries, up to and including broken bones.

If you must use elastics, keep them enclosed and use many parallel elements for redundancy. Think about doing curls with the weight not held in your hand, but instead lifted via an elastic band that you are holding. When the band fails, where is all that stored energy dissipated... in your face, in your groin?
 
  • #3
Tom.G said:
Think safety. I suggest you not use elastics, they are unreliable. Their frequent sudden failure can cause injuries, up to and including broken bones.

If you must use elastics, keep them enclosed and use many parallel elements for redundancy. Think about doing curls with the weight not held in your hand, but instead lifted via an elastic band that you are holding. When the band fails, where is all that stored energy dissipated... in your face, in your groin?
Though it won't really pose much danger being that my equipment is a "Bicep curler", still, thanks for the advice. I think it is important that equipment not fail on you while at work.

Anyway, is there any mechanically adjustable equipment out there? I thought of a torsion spring, but my lecturer told me that no matter where you press on the spring part that are sticking out, it will always be the same resistance.
 

1. How does upper limb rehabilitation equipment work?

Upper limb rehabilitation equipment works by targeting specific muscles and joints in the arm to help improve range of motion, strength, and coordination. This is typically achieved through a combination of resistance exercises, repetitive movements, and functional tasks.

2. What are the benefits of using rehabilitation equipment for the upper limb?

The benefits of using rehabilitation equipment for the upper limb include increased muscle strength, improved range of motion, enhanced motor control, and improved functional abilities. It can also help prevent muscle atrophy and joint stiffness.

3. What factors should be considered when designing rehabilitation equipment for the upper limb?

When designing rehabilitation equipment for the upper limb, factors such as the specific injury or condition being treated, the target muscles and joints, and the level of assistance or resistance needed should be considered. The equipment should also be adjustable to accommodate different arm lengths and sizes.

4. Are there any risks or precautions to be aware of when using upper limb rehabilitation equipment?

As with any form of exercise, there are some risks associated with using upper limb rehabilitation equipment. It is important to use the equipment correctly and under the guidance of a trained professional to avoid injury. Patients with certain medical conditions or injuries may also need to take extra precautions when using the equipment.

5. How can rehabilitation equipment for the upper limb be adapted for different levels of ability?

Rehabilitation equipment for the upper limb can be adapted for different levels of ability by adjusting the amount of resistance or assistance provided, changing the angle or position of the equipment, and using different types of grips or attachments. It is important for the equipment to be customizable to meet the needs of each individual patient.

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