US 2159654 A
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May 23, 1939. DE FOREST B. CATLIN 2,159,654
I OSTEOPATHIC APPARATUS FOR TREATMENT OF THE BACK Filed Oct. e, 1956 Patented May 23, 1939 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE OSTEOPATHIC APPARATUS FOR TREAT- MENT OF THE BACK De Forest B. Catlin, Wollaston, Mass.
. Application October 6, 1936, Serial No. 104,211
This invention relates to improvements in an osteopathic device for treating the spinal column of the back.
It is an object of my invention to provide a device that may be used to produce nerve inhibition by localized pressure, muscular relaxation andlocalized spinal extension or traction of the spinal column.
A further object of my invention resides in the provision of a pair of arcuate shaped supports spaced apart in such amanner that in use the weight of the body will be supported through the transverse processes of the vertebrae resting on the supports and the spinous processes will be received in the space between the supports. A still further object of my invention relates to the provision of a specially shaped head rest .movably supported on the arcuate supports or suspended from a support at the head whereby the upperpart of the-spinal column and the neck may be subjected to treatment at the same time as the lumen region of the. spine.
Fig. 1 is a side elevation of the table partially shown in section; Fig. 2 is a plan view of the table;
Fig. 3 is a cross section on the plane indicated 3-3 in Fig. 1 and illustrating a portion of the l back in section;
. Fig. 4 is a diagrammatic View illustrating the cooperation of the spinal column and supports;
Fig. 5 is aside elevation of a head rest; Fig. 6 is an end elevation of the head rest as it is carried by the supports; and
Fig. '7 is a detail view of another form of head rest.
Any suitable table I0 may be used and legs l2 may be provided if desired. A block I 4 may be fixed to the table by screws It as illustrated. An arcuate or semicircular support I8 is positioned on opposite sides of the block I4 and may be fixed in position by the bolts 20. The supports l8 may be cushioned by the pieces of rubber hose or tubing 22 which are retained by the metal strips 24. The strips 24 are fixed at their 5 ends by fastening elements 26.
The table may be further provided with side bars 28 and an overhead bar 30 at the head of the table. The foot of the table may have an extension 32 hinged at 34 and provided with 50 legs 36. A foot rest 31 the top of which is approximately on a level with the top of the arched supports is also shown.
A head rest is desirable. In one form the head rest comprises a block 40 adapted to rest on the 5 spaced cushions 22 of the supports. The block fixation occurs between the vertebrae.
49 has a depending extension 42 adapted to be received between the supports and to hold the head rest in proper alignment. On its upper side the block 40 has a pair of spaced members 44 shaped to fit the upper part of the spinal column and neck. The headrest in this form is slidable to various positions along the arched supports, and receives the neck of the patient at the same time as the upper portion of the back is resting against the forward portion of the arch supports. In another form a band 46 is suspended by hooks 48 from the cross-bar 30 and will serve to support the neck of the patient on a level with the top of the arched support and the top of the foot rest.
The spinal column or backbone is the articulated series of vertebrae connected by ligaments and separated by more or less elastic intervertebral fibrocartilages or discs which form the supporting axis of the body and protection for the spinal cord. The vertebrae comprise: cervical (7), thoracic (12), lumbar (5), sacral (5 fused together) and coccygeal or caudal (4). A
'typical vertebra has a median dorsal spinous process or neural spine which projects from the summit of the neural arch and constitutes the bony projection which may be felt along the back bone, while other projections called transverse processes project laterally from each side of the neural arch. Manual osteopathic treatment of the back involves pressure applied by the fingers to these processes or projections of the vertebrae to correct subluxations or displacements. Since there are several layers of muscles extending over the transverse processes and in heavy bodies particularly, it'is diflicult to apply sufiicient pressure at the desired points.
Medical men are coming more and more to the conclusion that if the spinal column is kept active and flexible and the intervertebral discs remain flexible cushions so as to preserve a proper circulation of blood that many of the body ailments will be escaped and signs of old age will not be present so early in life. If the circulation of the blood is interfered with calcium forms and It is also found that the discs between the vertebra often become wedge-shaped by being thinner than normal at the anterior or inner edge, producing the bent over back of old age.
By the use of my apparatus, it is believed that much better results may be obtained than by manual Osteopathy. The patient first sits on the table or suitable seat and rests the lower part of the back against the spaced apart arcuateshaped members or supports. The spinous processes or median projections rest in the space while the transverse processes through the overlying muscles rest on the supports. As pressure is brought to bear fixation occurs tending to straighten the vertebrae and to form a fulcrum for bending the spinal column and separating the adjacent vertebrae as the back is bent over the supports.
It should be understood that a primary advantage of my apparatus is the ability to produce fixation of any desired portion of the spinal column and then to produce extension or traction tending to separate the adjacent vertebrae. For example, localized spinal traction may be produced in the thoracic region which is impossible to obtain with prior devices such as the so called spinal tractors which will produce traction first throughout the cervical region in which the vertebrae are more readily separable. It is therefore important that the back support of my apparatus should not be wider than the vertebrae of the spinal column for if the weight of the body rests on a wider surface sufficient pressure to produce fixation will be more difficult to attain and the traction will not be localized.
By grasping the parallel bar over the head, by bringing the feet up and by resting the feet on the parallel bar at the foot of the apparatus the fulcrum of pressure may be shifted throughout the length of the spinal column and the entire weight of the body may be brought to bear to produce a wide range in effective pressure. It is found highly desirable to use a head rest as the body is brought to a horizontal position with the feet on the foot support and the back on the arched supports. The spinal extension or traction assists in increasing the circulation of blood and tends to restore normal flexibility to the intervertebral discs. The body may also be relaxed while so supported and the patient may find this position more comfortable than while lying on a mattress. The apparatus may be readily used at home after the proper use has been demonstrated as no skilled attention is required and the patient may suit his use of the apparatus to his own needs and desires by shifting the point of pressure or fulcrum and by varying the pressure as above described.
1. An osteopathic device for treatment of the back comprising a pair of arcuate supports disposed in vertical parallel planes and suitably spaced apart so that in use the spine will be received in the space between the supports and the transverse processes of the vertebrae will overlie and transmit the weight of the body to the supports, the curvature of the supports being greater than the normal curvature of the spine so as to provide support for only a small section of the back at one time.
2. An osteopathic device for treatment of the back comprising a table having a seat portion at one end thereof, a pair of arcuate supports on said table at the other end thereof disposed in vertical parallel planes and suitably spaced apart so that in use the spine will be received in the space between the supports and the transverse processes of the vertebrae will overlie and transmit the weight of the body to the supports, the curvature of the supports being greater than the normal curvature of the spine so as to provide support for only a small section of the back at one time.
3. An osteopathic device for treatment of the back comprising a table, a pair of semicircular supports on said table disposed in vertical parallel planes and suitably spaced apart so that in use the spine will be received in the space between the supports and the transverse processes of the vertebrae will overlie and transmit the weight of the body to the supports.
4. A device as described in claim 1 and a head rest movably carried by said supports.
5. A device as described in claim 1 and a head rest movably carried by said supports, said head rest having a pair of spaced members shaped to fit the upper part of the spinal column and the neck.
6. An osteopathic apparatus for treatment of the back comprising a table, a raised support for the feet at the foot of the table, a raised cross-bar at the head of the table adapted to be grasped by the hands and disposed at a level above the foot support and an intermediate back support for exerting pressure against the spinal column comprising a pair of laterally spaced and longitudinally arched supports.
'7. An osteopathic apparatus for treatment of the back comprising a frame having a seat portion at one end and a pair of longitudinally arched back supports at the other end, said supports being laterally spaced apart, a raised foot support at the foot of the table beyond the seat and a raised cross-bar at the head of the table whereby a patient may rest his back on the back supports while grasping the cross-bar with his hands and may vary the pressure against his back by shifting his feet from the floor, to the width of the spinal column whereby localized pressure and traction may be produced on the spinal column. Y
- DE FOREST B. CATLIN.