US 2976868 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 28, 1961 WEISSENBERG 2,976,868
BACK-SUPPORTING APPARATUS Original Filed 001;. 5, 1953 Y fikwa BY- 4 I BACK-SUPPORTING APPARATUS Frances Weissenberg, Darlington Apt. 1210, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico Original application Oct. 5, 1953, Ser. No. 384,543,
now Patent No. 2,904,039, dated Sept. 15, 1959. Divided and this application Feb. 26, 1959, Ser. No. 795,854
1 Claim. (Cl. 125-71) This invention relates. to a body supporting apparatus and more particularly to an apparatus which effects stretching of the spine of a person when the latter assumes a reclined position while being supported by such an apparatus.
This application is a division of my copending application Serial No. 384,043, filed October 5, 1953, now Patent No. 2,904,039.
Aches and pains of the back are a common complaint often voiced by a person who has either been confined to a bed for a prolonged period or is in a state of nervous tension brought on by excessive work or play. In either case the source of the pain can frequently be localized in the lumbar spinal or lower back region of a person.
Heretofore, where such aches and pains were of a pathological nature requiringhospitalization of the person, it was a common practice to place the person in a traction device to effect stretching of the spine and thereby give relief to this particular area of the body. However, in the various types of traction devices used, little or no stretching of the spine occurred in the lumbar spinal (or low back) region, thereby affording unsatisfactory relief to the person wherein the discomfort was localized in this particular region.
In instances where these aches and pains are caused by reason of nervous tension, it is important that the distressed person relax physically, if possible, in such a way that the weight of the upper body carried by the lumbar spine, which is the cause of discomfort, be diminished and thus effect distribution of such weight over other areas of the body. One method of producing this desired relaxation and effecting proper weight sup port throughout the body would be to cause the person to be immersed in a tank or vessel filled with water. However, because of physical and environmental limitations, it is often not possible for a person to pursue this form of relief.
Thus, it is one of the objects of this invention to provide an apparatus which will simulate the effect, as to pressure distribution, experienced by a person when immersed in a tank of Water.
It is a further object of this invention to provide an apparatus which effectively stretches the spine of a person in the lumbar spinal region while the person is reclining on the apparatus.
It isa further object of this invention to provide an apparatus by which a stretching of the lumbar region alone is provided while the remaining parts of the spine are in a relaxed state.
It is a further object of this invention to provide backstretching means which may be effectively used by a person whether bedridden or sitting in a chair.
It is a still further object of this invention to provide a back-stretching device which does not interfere with the free movement of the extremities or neck of the person using the device and does not require the use of uncomfortable straps and braces to retain the person in proper position on the device.
, 2,975,858 Patented Mar. 28, 1961,
It is a still further object of this invention to provide an apparatus which is adapted for home, office, or hospital use.
It is a still further object of this invention to provide an apparatus which is simple in construction, effective in operation, and inexpensive to produce.
Further and additional objects will appear from the description, accompanying drawings, and appended claim.
in accordance with one embodiment of this invention, a back-stretching device is provided comprising a base for disposition in a substantially horizontal position, and a back-contacting member slidably mounted on the base for movement therewith and independently thereof; said member being adapted to normally assume a predetermined rest position with respect to said base. The back-contacting member is adapted to move independently away from its normal rest position carrying with it the back of a person reclining thereagainst, while the persons pelvis and legs remain in place. Thus. a beneficial stretching of the lumbar region of the spine is effected. Means is provided on the apparatus for automatically returning the back-contacting member to its normal rest position when the back of the person, using the apparatus is out of contact with the member.-
For a more complete understanding of this invention, reference should be made to the drawings wherein:
Fig. lis a side elevational view of one embodiment of an apparatus embodying the subject invention;
Figs. 2 and 3 are similar to Fig. l but showing the apparatus in two tilted positions;
Fig. 4 is a top plan View of the apparatus shown in Fig. 2; and
Fig. Sis a left side elevational view of one form of the apparatus taken along line 55 of Fig. 1.
In Figs 1 through 5, one form of the improved backstretching apparatus is shown incorporated in a reclinable chair 45. The chair comprises a back frame 46 which is pivotally connected at point 47 to the side or arm resting members 48 of the chair. Pivotally connected to the back-frame 46 for movement about point or axis 47 is. a seat frame 50. Pivotally connected to the seat frame 50 for movement about axis. 53 is a leg-supporting frame 51. The back-supporting frame 46 is substantially rectangular in form and has the elongated side sections 46a thereof interconnected to one another at each end by smaller end sections 46b. Pivotally connected to the lower end section 46b for movement thereabout as an axis is a bell crank lever member 54 having one leg 54a thereof interconnected by an elongated cross member 54b which is adapted to engage an adjustable stop 55, the latter being secured to the side members 48. When the back, seat, and leg-supporting frames have been moved to the partially reclined position C, shown in Fig. 2, by the person sitting in the chair, the bell crank member 54 will contact the stops 55 and will cause the bell crank member to remain in a fixed position, while the back frame 46 continues to pivot about point 47 in a clockwise direction until it reaches a fully reclined position, whereupon the sides 46a of the frame 46 contact a back stop 66 mounted on and extending transversely between the opposing surfaces of the side members 48. Pivotally connected to bell crank member 54 at point 56 is a pair of elongated arms 57 which are interconnected at their upper end by a cross member 58, the latter having the ends thereof adapted to be disposed Within suitable elongated slots 60 formed in the side sections 46a of the frame 46. The cross member 58 is afiixed to a back cushion 6'1 and causes the latter to slide relative to the frame 46 while the back-supporting frame 46 moves between positions C and D, see Figs. 2 and 3. The front or lower end of the cushion 61 is connected to a cross member 62 which has the ends thereof slidably mounted within elongated slots 63 formed in the frame sides 46a and in longitudinally spaced relation with respect to slots 69. When the frame 46 pivots from position C to position D, the arms 57 cause the cushion 61 to move away from the seat section 50, or in a direction to the right, as viewed in Figs. 2 and 3; the amount of stretching of the lumbar spinal or lower back region afforded the person sitting in the chair, is determined by the extent to which the cushion 61 slides to the right relative to the frame 46. The seat and leg-supporting frames 50 and 51 are provided with cushions 64- and 65, respectively, which are mounted in fixed relation thereon. When the back-supporting frame 46 moves from position C to position D, the back and leg-supporting frames 50 and 51 are urged upwardly by arms 63 and 7%, respectively, thereby providing greater comfort to the occupant of the chair by effecting change of the weight distribution of the occupant and thus relieving any pressure in the lower back region. To move the back-supporting frame 46 back to its normal upright or erect position, as seen in Fig. 1, a pair of return springs 71 are provided, one at each side of the chair, which are adapted to engage the lower cross member 46b at one end and a cross stop bar 66 at the other end. A third stop bar 72 is mounted on and extends between the side members 48 and is adapted to engage the underside of the seat-supporting frame 56 when the back, seat, and leg-supporting frames are in their normal position, as seen in Fig. 1.
While the back, seat, and leg-supporting frames are shown in this instance to be secured directly to the side members 48, it is to be understood, that, if desired, the first or primary axis 47 might be supported by auxiliary arms, not shown, which, in turn, are pivotally connected to the side members and thereby permit the frames to swing or slide relative to the members 48. Furthermore, it is within the contemplation of this invention that the members 48 be of such a design that they can be rocked by the person sitting in the chair.
Thus it will be seen that a back-stretching apparatus has been disclosed which is adapted to effect, particularly, stretching of the lumbar spinal region of a person. The device is simple in construction, effective in operation, and inexpensive to produce,
While one embodiment of this invention is shown above, it will be understood, of course, that the invention is not to be limited thereto, since many modifications may be made, and it is contemplated, therefore, by the ap- 4 pended claim, to cover any such modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of this invention.
An apparatus for supporting a person when sitting in either substantially erect or reclined positions and effecting stretching of the spine of such a person when the latter is in such a substantially reclined position, said apparatus comprising side members, a back frame pivotally mounted on said side members formovement about a first axis, a seat frame pivotally mounted for movement about said first axis, a leg frame pivotally mounted on said seat frame for movement about a second axis spaced from said first axis, a first lever having one end thereof pivotally connected to said back frame for movement about a third axis disposed beneath said first axis and the other end of said first lever being in slidable engagement with said seat frame, a second lever having one end thereof pivotally connected to said first lever intermediate the ends thereof and the other end thereof pivotally connected to said leg frame at a point spaced from said second axis, a third lever having the ends thereof offset with respect to one another, said third lever being pivotally connected intermediate the offset ends thereof for rotation about said third axis, a fourth lever having one end thereof pivotally connected to one of the olfset ends of said third lever and having the other end of said fourth lever slidably engaging said back frame at a point spaced from said seat frame and on the opposite side of said first axis with respect to said third axis, an adjustable stop mounted on said side members for contacting the other free ofi'set end of said third lever, only when said back frame is pivoted in one direction about said first axis, to effect relative movement of the slidably engaging end of said fourth lever in a direction away from said seat frame, and a slidable back-contacting member mounted on said back frame for movement therewith and independently thereof and operatively connected to the slidably engaging end of said fourth lever to efiect slidable independent movement of said back-contacting member with respect to said back frame.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,427,053 Hampton Sept. 9, 1947 V I FOREIGN PATENTS 789,138 Great Britain Jan. 15, 1958