Using ATV winch to help Mom with sciatica...please read
My mother has just developed a fairly serious case of sciatica, which is a condition where you have some serious leg pain as the result of a pinched sciatic nerve. One of the exercises she does in physical therapy is simply the therapist holding onto her foot and pulling away from her hips as she lays on her back on a table. To replicate this exercise at home they have recommended an inversion table (where you turn upside down and hang from your feet), but since she's not too keen on this idea I'm trying to figure out how to replicate this exercise...which is where the idea of a remotely operated winch comes in.
I don't really have a wide range of knowledge when it comes to what equipment is out there that can help me accomplish this goal, but I'm not too shabby at designing things and since I just installed a superwinch on my grizz this is the first idea I've come up with.
Basically I'm imagining using some kind of winch whose rope would be worked through a pulley system that would end attached to a shoe which Mom would put on, lie down and use the remote switch to gently stretch the leg.
- Winch (if an ATV winch) would be powered by a 12v car battery hooked up to a trickle charger
- Safety mechanisms would include...
- a light switch dimmer inline between the 12v battery and the winch so speed can be adjusted.
- possibly using one of those stretchy rubber exercise resistance bands in the line segment to regulate and ease the pulling
- a remote power cut off switch paired with the remote 'in/out' switch
Honestly I could just go ahead and make this system myself, and I'm fairly sure it would work, but I thought I'd bounce this idea off a mechanically minded community to see if there are any ideas how I could improve on the design.
Since I'm only familiar with ATV winches at this point that's what I've imagined using. But if anyone is aware of a 110v based winch that would be more appropriate, that would surely help in simplifying powering the system since it'll be located indoors. Only requirement for the winch would be that it would need both an in and out function operated by a remote switch. And since the winch would only need to pull between 10-20 lbs it wouldn't need to be nearly as beefy as the ATV type.
Sorry for the long write up here but I'm certainly glad for your time and open to your opinions and suggestions.