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Publication numberUS3601123 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 24, 1971
Filing dateMay 16, 1969
Priority dateMay 16, 1969
Publication numberUS 3601123 A, US 3601123A, US-A-3601123, US3601123 A, US3601123A
InventorsHarold A Mcfarland
Original AssigneeH C Burton
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Dynamic cervical support
US 3601123 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Appl. No. Filed Patented Assignee DYNAMIC CERVICAL SUPPORT 13 Claims, 5 Drawing Fi U.S. C1

Int. Cl Field of Search References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,102,069 12/1937 Hanicke 2,818,063 12/1957 Smithetal 128/75, [ZS/DIG. 23 A6lh 1/02 128/75, 76, 87

2,820,455 1/1958 Hall 128/87 3,364,926 1/1968 Alderson 128/75 FOREIGN PATENTS 1,276,078 12/1961 France 128/75 1,286,288 12/1962 France 128/75 Primary Examiner-Richard A. Gaudet Assistant Examiner-J. Yasko Attorney-B. Deon Criddle ABSTRACT: A cervical support wherein traction is constantly maintained even though the wearer has almost full normal mobility of his head and wherein increased traction can be readily obtained on a temporary basis. A head frame is universally connected to upwardly biased, telescoping members, the lower ends of which are adjustably fixed to the small ends of tapered springs. The large ends of the tapered springs are anchored to a shoulder harness. A removable and adjustable chin member cooperates with the head frame to provide full support for the wearers head in an attitude of flexion or extension as necessary for best treatment of the wearers cervical disease.

PATENTEU AUB24I97I V 3,801. 123

INVENTOR. HAROLD A. MC FARLAND ATTORNEY DYNAMIC CERVICAL SUPPORT BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION l. Field of the Invention This invention relates to cervical supports and particularly to such supports intended for use where either continuous or intermittent traction may be required. It is particularly advantageousfor the treatment of chronic degenerative disease of the spine and neck, where surgery is not indicated.

2. Prior Art The advantages and uses of cervical supports have long been known and there have been many attempts at producing a support that is comfortable to the user. There have also been attempts to devise a support that will allow some degree of mobility to the wearers head, while still providing the requisite traction. U. S. Pat. No. 2,820,455, for example, shows a support that is adjustable to hold a wearers head at different predetermined angles and that will allow the wearer to turn his head to look to the right or the left.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION To the best of my knowledge there has not heretofore been a cervical support that can be easily positioned to give full head support and yet be readily removed without first undoing buckles or other cumbersome connectors, that will provide a continuous minimum traction while allowing nearly full mobility of the wearers head, and that will provide increased traction when, and for such period of time as may be desired by the wearer.

Principal objects are to provide a comfortable, easily positioned and easily removed cervical support that will provide desired mobility, continuous light traction during head movements and increased traction as desired by the wearer.

With such a cervical support, it is much easier to treat many common ailments such as chronic degenerative arthritis and degenerative disc diseases of the neck (cervical spondylosis), or unrelenting hyperextension injuries of the cervical spine.

Principal features of the invention include a U-shaped shoulder frame that can be easily positioned by the wearer, an adjustable head support carried by the shoulder frame and adapted to support the back of a wearers head; and a removable chin support that cooperates with the head support to provide full head support for the wearer. Tapered springs on the shoulder frame support spring-biased telescoping members that are pivotally connected to the head support, so that both a continuous light traction and an increased traction, applied when the wearer desires, can be obtained, and so that the wearer will have extensive head mobility while in traction.

Additional objects and features will become apparent from the following detailed description and drawings disclosing what is presently contemplated as being the best mode of the invention.

THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the cervical support of the invention;

FIG. 2, an exploded perspective view, showing the relationship of the parts;

FIG. 3, a side view, with the support in place on a wearer;

FIG. 4, a view like FIG. 3, but with the wearers head raised; and

FIG. 5, a view showing the cervical support with the wearers head turned to the right.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION Referring now to the drawing:

In the illustrated preferred embodiment, the invention includes a generally U-shaped shoulder frame 10, with the legs a of the shoulder frame being curved to fit from the back over to the front of a wearer and with the web 10b of the shoulder frame being adapted to rest comfortably against his upper back. Both the legs and the web are preferably padded to insure the comfort of a wearer.

A tapered spring 11 is secured to the top surface of each leg 10a by a washer 12 that fits over the large lowermost coil of the spring, a bolt 13 that extends through the washer 12, a plate 14 that is secured as by a bolt, not shown, or rivets, or welding to the leg and a nut 15 arranged to fit beneath the plate 14 and the leg 10a and to receive the bolt 13 as it is inserted downwardly through a hole provided therefor in plate 14. Plate 14 has a central raised portion to accommodate positioning of the nut 15 and to fit snugly within the large lowermost coil to hold it centered on the leg.

A cylinder 16 is fixed, by welding or the like, to the small upper coil of each tapered spring, and a setscrew 16a is threaded through the wall of the cylinder to lock a lower, outer telescoping member 17 in place.

An expansion spring 18 is fitted inside each telescoping member 17 and acts against the bottom of the wall of an associated upper inner telescoping member 19 that reciprocates and turns within the member 17. Another, light compression spring 18a fits within spring 18 and extends through a hole in the bottom of cylinder 16 and terminates in a coil 18b so that the spring cannot be easily pulled from the cylinder l6.

A pin 20 extends diametrically through holes provided therefor in the wall of each member 19 and between the upper coils of the associated spring 18a to hold the spring in the upper member 19. The spring 18 then acts to constantly bias the upper member up, away from the shoulder frame and the tapered spring 11 and the spring 18a keeps the telescoping member 19 from being forced out of member 17 by the spring 18.

Each upper member has a hole therein to receive the ball end of a swivel mounting 21, the other end of which is secured to one side of the head frame 22.

Head frame 22 is formed as an open collar, with forwardly extending arms and shaped generally to conform to the back of a wearers head above the occipital nerve area, and is preferably padded, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 3-5, to insure the comfort of the wearer.

The swivel mountings 21 are each attached at a location slightly to the rear of the foremost tips of the arms of the frame, and a plurality of attachment holes 21a are provided in each arm to allow the head frame to be adjusted to the comfort of each wearer.

protrude outwardly from adjacent the ends of a curved rigid or substantially rigid chin support 26. At the ends of the chin support flanges 27 extend outwardly and upwardly so that when the lugs 25 are inserted in selected slots 24, the flanges extend beneath and alongside the arms of the head frame 22. The cantilevered weight, of the chin support then causes it to pivot about the lugs 25, thereby bringing the flanges into engagement with the bottom of the head support.

The chin support 26 is also padded and is shaped to comfortably fit beneath and to support the wearers chin, and a flexiblechin strap 28 has its ends fixed to the ends of the chin support so that it forms a loop that will fit against the front of a wearers chin to hold it in place. Because the slots 24 at each tip of the frame are of different lengths, selective positioning of lugs 25 therein will determine the distance between the back of the head frame and the front of the chin support and this distance can be adjusted to fit the size of the wearers head. If desired, chin strap 28' can be made adjustable, or, it can be adjustably connected to the chin support so that it can be readily adjusted to fit a particular wearer.

If desired, flexible boots 29 can be secured to the bottom of cylinders 16 and plates 14, to thereby serve as covers for the tapered springs 11. The boots serve only to improve the esthetic appearance of the cervical support and do not affect its operation.

In using the cervical support of the invention, it is necessary to first separate the chin support and chin strap from the head rest. This is done by grasping the chin rest, raising it slightly to move the flanges 27 down and away from the head support and pulling the lugs 25 from the slots 24. Then the shoulder frame can be easily positioned on the wearers shoulders such that the lower back of his head is engaged by the head frame 22. Thereafter, the lugs 25 are again positioned in slot 24 and the chin support is pushed toward the head frame and is rotated until the flanges 27 engage the bottom of the head frame, the wearers chin rests on the chin support 26 and the chin strap 28 holds his chin against slipping off the chin support.

The head frame and chin support provide comfortable support for both the back and the front of a wearer's head. The swivel mountings 21 allow the user to raise and lower his head, with the head frame and chin support pivoting as an integral unit. Similarly the head frame and chin support turn as a unit when the wearer turns his head to the right or left. The tapered springs 11 yield to allow such turning and will also expand or compress to allow for tilting of the wearers head.

The expansion springs 18 provide a continuous light traction bias forcing the head frame and chin support away from the shoulder frame and the tapered springs 11' Thus, a wearer's head is continuously subjected to the light traction application, regardless of the position it may be in.

in addition, if momentary or short time additional traction is desired it is only necessary for the user to lift or shrug his shoulders. This raises the shoulder frame and allows the tapered springs to additionally apply an increased reactionary traction force through the head frame and chin support to the wearers head.

As previously noted, the lower telescoping members are locked to cylinders 16 by setscrews 16a. Thus, by loosening the setscrews the positions of the lower members, relative to the cylinders, can be set and the cervical support can be further adjusted to the comforts and traction needs of the wearer. Indicator marks can be placed on member 17 to allow the wearer to more easily adjust the approximate traction for maximum comfort or to allow a doctor to set an approximate desired traction for a patient.

While it is realized that other embodiments may be hereafter developed and that changes can be made, the cervical support as herein disclosed is believed to be fully typical of the invention as set forth in the following claims.

lclaim:

l. A cervical support comprising a generally U-shaped shoulder frame including arms curved to fit over a wearers shoulders and having an apex adapted to be at the top of a wearer's shoulders and a web connecting the arms and adapted to fit comfortably against the upper back of a wearer,

a head frame, open at the front and having arms curved so as to extend along the sides of a wearer's head and joined at the rear of the arms to provide support for the back of the head;

spring means including a free-standing spring having one of ends fixed to the apex of each of the arms of the shoulder frame and the other of its ends swivelly connected to opposite sides of the head frame, whereby the head frame is supported above the shoulder frame and is universally movable relative thereto; and

chin support means connected to the arms of the head frame and extending forwardly thereof to provide support for a wearer's chin.

2. A cervical support as in claim 1, wherein the chin support means includes a substantially rigid chin support adapted to be cantilevered from the head frame and to extend beneath the chin of a wearer; and

a flexible chin strap connected to the chin support and adapted to fit around the chin of a wearer.

3. A cervical support as in claim 2, wherein the chin support means furtherincludes a pair of lugs 25 extending outwardly of the chin support at opposite sides thereof; and

a pair of flanges 27 extending outwardly of the chin support at opposite sides thereof; and

wherein the head frame has slots therein to receive the lugs,

whereby the cantilevered weight of the chin support means moves the flanges into engagement with the head frame.

4. A cervical support as in claim 1, wherein the springs comprise a pair of expansion support springs.

5. A cervical support as in claim 4, wherein the spring means, further includes other small expansion springs having less strength than the support springs;

means securing one end of each of the small expansion springs to an end of a support spring; and

means pivotally connecting the arms of the head frame to the other ends of the small expansion springs.

6. A cervical support as in claim 5, wherein the expansion support springs are tapered and have their large ends connected to the shoulder frame.

7. A cervical support as in claim 6, wherein the means securing one end of the small expansion springs to the support springs is adjustable to very the height to which the small expansion springs extend above the support springs.

8. A cervical support as in claim 7, wherein the means securing one end of the small expansion springs to the support springs comprises a cylindrical member fixed to the top of each support spring; a lower telescoping member 17 slidable within the cylinder member; releasable means for locking the relative positions of the lower telescoping member and the cylindrical member;

an upper telescoping member telescoping into the lower telescoping member and pivotally connected to the head frame;

an expansion spring in the lower telescoping member arranged to bias said upper telescoping member out of said lower telescoping member; and

a compression spring arranged to prevent full separation of the upper and lower telescoping members.

9. A cervical support as in claim 3, wherein the spring means includes a pair of expansion support springs each connected at one end to an arm of the shoulder frame intermediate the length of the arm.

10. A cervical support as in claim 9, wherein the spring means, further includes other small expansion springs having less strength than the support springs;

means securing one end of each of the small expansion springs to an end of a support spring; and

means pivotally connecting the arms of the head frame to the other ends of the small expansion springs.

11. A cervical support as in claim 10, wherein the expansion support springs are tapered and have their large ends connected to the shoulder frame.

12. A cervical support as in claim 11, wherein the means securing one end of the small expansion springs to the support springs is adjustable to vary the height to which the small expansion springs extend above the support springs.

13. A cervical support as in claim 12, wherein the means securing one end of the small expansion springs to the support springs comprises a cylindrical member fixed to the top of each support spring;

a lower telescoping member slidable within the cylindrical member; releasable means for locking the relative positions of the lower telescoping member and the cylindrical member;

an upper telescoping member telescoping into thelower telescoping member and pivotally connected to the head frame;

an expansion spring in the lower ranged to bias said upper telesco lower telescoping member; and

telescoping member arping member out of said

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3776224 *Feb 24, 1972Dec 4, 1973Medical Dev CorpDynamic cervical support
US4219193 *Nov 3, 1977Aug 26, 1980Newman Joseph WSimultaneous neck strengthener, neck protector, neck rehabilitator
US4643174 *Jun 15, 1984Feb 17, 1987Tohru HoriuchiAdjustable cervical spine corset and truck corset
US4827915 *Sep 21, 1988May 9, 1989Gorsen Robert MSpring loaded cervical collar
US4955368 *Jul 19, 1988Sep 11, 1990Dieter HeimannCervical collar
US5121741 *Aug 24, 1990Jun 16, 1992Bremer Medical Inc.Shaped halo vest
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US7371222 *Oct 18, 2004May 13, 2008Biocybernetics InternationalCervical support system
US7442176Dec 29, 2005Oct 28, 2008Milun CojbasicDynamic cervical support brace
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Classifications
U.S. Classification602/18, 128/DIG.230
International ClassificationA61F5/055
Cooperative ClassificationY10S128/23, A61F5/055
European ClassificationA61F5/055