US 3029810 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
v. l.. MARTIN 3,029,810
BACK BRACE Filed Aug. l, 1960 FZ5? 2. INVENTOR .num
April 17, 1962 ATTORNEY 3,029,810 Patented Apr. 17, 1962 3,029,810 BACK BRACE Verner L. Martin, Mount Hope, W. Va. Filed Aug. 1, 1960, Ser. No. 46,693 3 Claims. (Cl. 12S- 78) This invention relates to improvements in back braces.
The spinal column of the human body, with its articulative vertebrae is notoriously susceptible to disability through either physical injury or advancing age, or both, and the primary object of this invention is the provision of a back brace that will provide supplementary support for the spinal column and relieve and aid in the recovery from weakness or impairment of the human spinal column.
It has been determined that after a person reaches full maturity, that the height of the person will decrease approximately one-half inch in each succeeding ten years. For instance, assuming that at full maturity, say thirty years of age, a person is six feet in height he will be approximately five feet eleven inches at fty years of age and five feet ten inches at the age of seventy years. Due to the inherently exible nature of the spinal column, much of the stress and strain accompanying the aging decrease of height will take place in the spinal column, so that at the age of seventy years approximately a ten percent maladjustment of the spinal column will have occurred. This contraction of the spinal column has a radical eect upon the nervous system and blood circulating system, and accounts for much of the suffering from arthritis, osteoporosis, and rheumatism during the stages of advanced age. My invention has been found to be particularly important in relieving this stress and strain that is caused upon the spinal column by advanced age.
A further object is the provision of a back brace that is vertically adjustable, so that it may be adjusted to fit persons of various height.
A further object is the provision of a back brace that permits free lateral pivotal movement.
Other objects and advantages of this inventio-n will be apparent during the course of the following detailed description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawing, forming a portion of this specification and in which drawing:
FIG. l is a perspective view. of 4my improved back brace having a single supporting strut.
FIG. 2 is `a side elevation of the supporting strut.
FIG. 3 is an enlarged vertical sectional view taken substantially on the line 3-3 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a strut segment.
FIG. 5 is a perspective View or" a modified form of back brace having a pair of supporting struts.
In the drawing, wherein for the purpose of illustration is shown a preferred and modified form of the invention, and wherein similar reference characters designate corresponding parts throughout the several views, the letter A may generally designate the strut means of the back brace, B upper body attaching means, and C lower body attaching means.
The strut means A preferably includes a lower portion having a hip contacting segment 12 and an upper portion 13 having an arm pit contacting segment 15. The upper portion 13 is telescopically adjustable with respect to the lower portion 10, and attaching means 16 is provided interconnecting the upper and lower portions for axial pivotal movement of one portion with respect to the other.
The lower portion 10 preferably includes a tubular rod 17 having a passageway 18 therein. A plurality of openings 20 are provided in a spaced-apart position longitudinally of the rod 17 for positioning of the upper portion 13 with respect thereto, as will be subsequently described. The lower portion of the rod 17 is preferably attened as at 21, and the hip contacting segment 12 attached thereto by means of rivet 23. This attachment permits canting of the hip contacting segment 12 with respect to the rod 17 such as will occur when the upper torso of the person wearing the back brace is inclined to the front or back.
The hip contacting segment 12 is preferably concavoconvex to fit the general contour of thev hip portion of the human body.
The upper portionl 13 preferably includes a tubular rod 26 having an outer diameter'the same or slightly less than the diameter of the passageway 18 of the rod 17, so that the rod 26 is freely slidable within the passageway 18 of the rod 17. The lowermost portion of the rod 26 is provided with a plate 2S for securement thereto of the attaching means 16, as will be subsequently described.
The armpit contacting portion 15 is preferably of a semi-circular shape to generally conform to the armpit contour and fits beneath and contacts the armpit of the wearer. Rivets 30 may be provided for securing the armpit contacting portion 15 to the rod 26. Each end of the armpit contacting portion 15 is preferably provided with a slot 32 for attachment thereto of a shoulder encircling strap 33. The armpit contact portion 1S may be provided with any suitable padding 35i for cushioning the same against the armpit of the wearer, as is well known in the art.
The attaching means 16 preferably includes an inverted cup shaped segment 37 that is of substantially the same diameter as the rod 26 and is freely slidable within the passageway 18 of the rod 17. The cup shaped segment 37 is interconnected to the plug 28 of the rod 2d by means of a rivet 39, the rod 26 being freely axially pivotal with respect to the lcup shaped segment 37. The cup shaped segment 37 is provided with openings 40 which are of the same size as the openings 20 of the rod 17, so that when the open-ings 20 and 40 are properly aligned an attaching pin 42 may be passed therethrough, anchoring the cup 37 in a iixed position with respect to the rod 17.
In the form of the invention shown in FIG. 1 the upper body attaching means B preferably includes a breast strap 44 having a buckle 45. This strap is securely positioned about the chest of the person' wearing the back brace. The chest strap 44 isy secured to the rod 17 of theV strutpmeans A by means of rivets 46. The strap 33 of the strut means A will encircle one of the shoulders of the wearer and a strap 47 is provided upon the chest strap 44 for encircling the other shoulder of the wearer. A strap 48 interconnecting the straps 33 and 47 may be provided for maintaining these straps in juxtaposition upon the shoulder of the wearer.
The lower body attaching means C preferably includes a waist encircling strap 50 having a buckle 51. strap is securely positioned about the waist of the person wearing the back brace. Hip segment 12 is secured to the waist encircling strap 50, and suitable padding 52 may be provided upon the segment 12 so that the same will not irritate the wearers body.
In the fitting of the back brace upon a persons body, the attaching pin 42 is removed and the upper and lower portions of the strut means A telescopically adjusted so that the armpit engaging segment 15 fits within the armpit of the wearer and the hip segment 12 rests upon the hip of the wearer. The pin 42 is then inseited through the aligned openings 20 and 40, the straps 33 and 47 positioned about the shoulders of the wearer, and the straps 44 and 50 tightened. The strut means A will now provide supplementary support to the spinal column of the wearer, yet permits' forward and rearward bending of the body by means of the pivotal interconnection of the hip contacting segment 12 and the ThisV rod 17, and permits lateral turning movement of the wearer through interaction of the attaching means 16.
Inasmuch as weakness or impairment of the spinal column, particularly in persons of advanced age, usually occurs primarily in either the right or left hand side, dependent upon whether the person is right-handed or left-handed, the weakness usually occurring in the side that is used the most, the form of the invention as shown in FIG. l includes only a single supporting strut for providing supplementary support to the weakened side.
In cases of injury, and in some cases of natural impairment of the spinal column, it is desirable to provide supplementary support to the spinal column on both sides of the body, and in such cases a pair of strut means are provided, one disposed to either side of the body. The strut means A of the modiiication shown in FIG. 5 are identical to that previously described with respect to FIG. 1, and identical reference characters have therefore been applied to these struts. In the modification the upper body attaching means B is provided with a pair of straps 56 and 57 that are interconnected by means of buckles 58 and 59. This double buckle arrangement is provided so that the strut means A may be properly positioned beneath the armpits of persons of various girth. Additionally, a strap 60 may be provided interconnecting the strap 56 and the strap 48 for further support.
In FIG. 5, instead of the rivet type of attachment of the upper body attaching means B to the strut means A as shown in FIG. 1, I may provide a looped attaching means 61.
The lower body attaching means C of the modication shown in FIG. 5 preferably includes a pair of straps 62 and 63 that are interconnected by means of buckles 64 and 65, these two straps being provided for the same reasons as above recited with respect to the upper body attaching means B, namely to permit proper positioning of the strut means A upon persons of varying girth.
Various changes may be made to the forms of the invention herein shown and described without departing from the spirit of the invention or the scope of the following claims.
1. A back brace including a pair of spaced apart body encircling strap means; strut means secured to said strap means, said strut means including a pair of telescopically extensible and retractable portions, attaching means for interconnecting said pair of telescopically extensible and retractable portions so that they form a rigid strut of predetermined length, said attaching means including pivot means' secured to one of said telescopically extensible and retractable portions and attached to the other of said telescopically extensible and retractable portions, said pivot means supporting said pair of telescopically extensible and retractable portions for free axial rotation with respect to each other, an armpit contacting segment rigidly secured to one of said telescopically extensible and retractable portions, said armpit contacting segment being secured to one of said spaced apart strap means, a hip contacting segment, pivot means interconnecting the other of said telescopically extensible and retractable portions from the one to which said armpit contacting segment is rigidly secured and said hip contacting segment for pivotal movement of said telescopically extensible and retractable portions about said hip contacting segment, the axis of rotation of said last mentioned pivot means being normal to the axis of rotation of said first mentioned pivot means, said hip contacting segment being secured to the other of said spaced apart strap means from the one to which said armpit contacting segment is secured; and shoulder strap means secured to Said strut means, said pair of spaced apart strap means and said shoulder strap means supporting said strut means upon a wearers body.
2. A back brace as specified in claim 1 wherein a single strut means is provided for mounting adjacent one side of a wearers body, said shoulder strap means comprising a shoulder strap attached to the armpit contacting segment of said single strut means and positioned for encircling one of the wearers shoulders, a shoulder strap attached to said strap means to which said armpit contacting segment is secured and positioned for encirclement of the other shoulder of the wearer, and a strap interconnecting said shoulder straps for maintaining the same in juxtaposition upon the wearers shoulders.
3. A back brace as speciiied in claim 1 wherein one of said pair of telescopically extensible and retractable portions comprises a hollow tubular rod having a passageway therein and the other of said portions comprises a rod having an external diameter substantially the same as the diameter of the passageway of said iirst mentioned portion, said attaching means comprising a segment of substantially the same external diameter as said second mentioned portion, pin means interconnecting said second mentioned portion and said last mentioned segment in a substantially xed axial relationship with said second mentioned portion being freely axially pivoted with respect to said last mentioned segment, and pin means for fxxedly securing said last mentioned segment in juxtaposition Within the passageway of said irst mentioned portion.
References Cited in the tile of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 596,839 Bassett Jan. 4, 1898 916,080 Wilkinson Mar. 23, 1909 1,316,915 Meyer Sept. 23, 1919 2,687,129 Talkish Aug. 24, 1954 2,886,031 Robbins May 12, 1959