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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-24-2016, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
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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.
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-24-2016, 09:01 PM
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Sounds easier / safer to just hang by her feet on the inverted table....

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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-25-2016, 02:30 AM
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Obviously your way will work, be alot of hub bub with wires, pulleys, winch rope etc but take the redneck appeareance out it will function perfectly.

Yes they do make 110v winches/hoists and imo would be the easier option here


Think I personally would look at an electric actuator or electric motor and installed a cammed lever on side table. It'd work on same principal of windshield wipers. Harder to fabricate but would be cleaner install when your done.
Just Google motorized inversion table and there's basically 2 prominent designs you can copy..

Last edited by Uncledaddy; 01-25-2016 at 02:33 AM.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-25-2016, 02:53 AM
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Crazy guy at work had a bad back too. Used a winch at work in same fashion. Couldn't move the next morning. Buy the table
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-25-2016, 04:48 AM
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Buy a table,......no way would I attempt to use a winch for this.

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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-25-2016, 06:42 AM
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Could build a set of stocks and clamp ones head in it, then tie winch to feet and stretch them out?
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-25-2016, 06:55 AM
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A rope pulley and sand bags would accomplish what you are trying to do.

I know you mean well but I would never connect a winch to human body part, even with redundant safety mechanisms.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-25-2016, 07:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diverod View Post
A rope pulley and sand bags would accomplish what you are trying to do.

I know you mean well but I would never connect a winch to human body part, even with redundant safety mechanisms.
^^^^^ His hearts in the right place but.....I can't see in any way this could be safe.....The winch thing that is.

Last edited by Fastatv; 01-25-2016 at 08:01 AM.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-25-2016, 07:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toonces View Post
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....
My identical pain was removed by simply doing stomach crunches. Start slow and ez, just shoulder blade lifts, 10 a day for a week then 20 for another week and so on till one can do 50 at a shot. This will take care of the muscle imbalance between the stomach and back muscles, this imbalance is the cause of all the leg pain. Luck.

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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-25-2016, 08:01 AM
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I'd use a rope and a pulley mounted to the wall and have her or someone else pull on the rope. The winch is just to dangerous. Especially considering that most wireless remotes on winches have very little control over how short of a pull they can have.

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