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Publication numberUS3605731 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 20, 1971
Filing dateNov 3, 1969
Priority dateNov 2, 1968
Publication numberUS 3605731 A, US 3605731A, US-A-3605731, US3605731 A, US3605731A
InventorsTigges Wilhelm
Original AssigneeTigges Manfred
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Device for support,correction and treatment of the human spinal column
US 3605731 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Sept. 20, 1971 w. TIGGES 3,605,731

DEVICE FOR SUPPORT, CORRECTION AND TREATMENT OF THE HUMAM SPINAL COLUMN Filed Nov. 5, 1969 4 Sheets-Sheet l Filed NOV. 3 1969 Sept. 20, 1971 w T|GGE$ 3,605,731


DEVICE FOR SUPPORT, CORRECTION AND TREATMENT OF THE HUMAM SPINAL COLUMN Filed Nov. 5, 1969 4 Sheets-Sheet 5 Sept. 20, 1971 w TIGGES 3,605,731.


United States Patent 015cc 3,605,731 Patented Sept. 20, 1971 3,605,731 DEVICE FOR SUPPORT, CORRECTION AND TREATMENT OF THE HUMAN SPINAL COLUMN Wilhelm Tigges, Fischenich, near Cologne, Germany, as-

slgnor to Manfred Tigges, Fischenich, near Cologne, Germany Filed Nov. 3, 1969, Ser. No. 870,541 Claims priority, application Germany, Nov. 2, 1968, P 18 06 685.8; Dec. 23, 1968, P 18 16 588.3 Int. Cl. A61h 1/00 U.S. Cl. 128-24 15 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE As an abdominal and back supporting belt, an elastic band with ends respectively adjustably secured to disconnectable halves of a shield-like abdominal plate; and, on the inside of a central back region defined between two sewn-in, flexible vertical stiffening ribs, an array of elongated body contact support elements pivotally carried and extending transversely to a vertical spring strip centrally secured on the back region. The vertical spacing of the elements, corresponds to the inter-vertebral disc spacing, with some freedom to change spacing as well as pivoting with body movement. Each element has at opposite ends contact pads adapted to engage the musculature on either side of individual vertebra. Back spacing lace adjustment and pad shape varying means are disclosed.

The present invention is concerned with a device for the support, correction and treatment of the human spinal column by means of a broad elastic belt firmly tensioned about the body.

Spinal column diseases are among the most wide spread of the diseases of civilization. Lumbago, aching sacrum and other sorts of back pains, ischial discomforts and disorders, with pains radiating into the hips, the knees and even into the calves, are for the most part a consequence of a disease or of wear or degeneration of the intervertebral discs. Hour-long unchanging loading of the spinal column due to lack of movement in sitting, also standing or walking on flat hard concrete pavements, lead to a premature deterioration of these discs, so that the bony vertebrae touch one another, with the result that frequently nerves become pinched between the vetrebrae leading to very intense pain.

In consequence of the lack of movement the musculature of the spinal column loses strength or tone, and at the same time with bad posture and weakened abdominal muscles, there is not only lost that pressure normally advantageously exercised by the intestines upon the inner side of the spinal column, but also the weight of the entrails also pulls upon the spinal column. The pains occurring with these diseased conditions make the patient still more cautious in his movement, leading to a further aggravation of the disease condition. To all of these conditions, here sketched only in .gross outline, are to be attributed the fact that spinal column maladies are not only very painful for the individual, but also economically cause a rather great loss through high treatment costs and a very high rate of invalidism. The prior treatment methods of chiropractic, baths, heat, massages, corsets or belts of all sorts and, above all, medications, diminish the pain of the patient only for a short time without being truly effective against the disease itself. Corsets or bindings promote indeed a certain posture, but they cannot prevent the spinal column from deflecting upon loading toward the side of the least resistance. On the other side the muscles weaken, and thus lead in end effect to a worsening of the disease picture. Stiff plates or shells have also been used for stabilization of the dorsal vertebrae,

with a disadvantageous effect corresponding to that of corsets and bindings. Reference is here made primarily to the illnesses conditioned upon or arising through posture damage and the mentioned degeneration, although obviously similar considerations also apply for accidentally caused spinal column damage.

The basic object of the invention is to provide a device with which these wide spread disease phenomena of the spinal column can be treated in such fashion that not only the symptoms of disease, namely the pains, are lessened, but at the same time the disease is cured. Moreover, as the inventive device is to be used by human beings, who because of occupational conditions or on other grounds must fear such ailments of the spinal column, the device ought to prevent the onset of the illness. In general the device in accordance with the invention when worn ought to be externally invisible, and not only should not impede the users freedom of motion, but also restore to the patient his earlier freedom of movement.

For the attainment of these and other objects immediately apparent as desirable to the professional man, in accordance with the present invention there is provided a broad elastic belt firmly tensionable about the body, having an array of individual support elements arranged on the inner side belt back along at least a part of the spinal column and formed correspondingly to the individual vertebrae and laterally bracing against the muscles next to the spinal column, with the spacing of the elements from one another approximately equal to the thickness of the inter-vertebral discs. Advantageously the belt has an elastic reinforcing band running along on its lower edge.

Although the basic concept of the invention, namely the use of an ancillary spinal column formed from individual pliable elements for support of the spinal column and for massage of the back musculature, is applicable upon all parts of the total spinal column with advantage, in the particularly disclosed embodiment of the invention, the belt and the support elements are arranged for application in the region of the dorsal vertebrae and of the sacrum, since apparently the majority of and the worst injuries to the spinal column arise in this region. Also damages to the remaining parts of the spinal column right up to the cervical vertebrae frequently originate through damage in the region of the dorsal vertebrae and of the sacrum, or at least can be overcome through wearing of an inventive device embracing that region. Hence particular consideration will be given to this embodiment without thereby intending any limitation of the scope of the invention.

Turning away from the above-described prior practices, which effected rarely an alleviation of pain but never an actual curing of the malady, the present invention provides a device wherein the individual support elements themselves likewise form what might be termed an elastic auxiliary spinal column to support the afilicted spinal column. Further, in consequence of their design in accordance with the invention the support elements furnish a continuing massage on the muscle bands of the spinal column, so that the spinal column itself after a short time of use of the inventive device, even regains its original inherent tension forces. The pains originating from the disease disappear after a short time. Accordingly the user of the device is not impeded in his freedom of movement; on the contrary an ill person upon use of the device within a short time loses his anxious fear of pain upon movement and therefore ceases to limit his movement. The inventive construction at the same time presses the abdomen back into its original correct place, so that the intestines exert the requisite internal pressure against the spinal column, without this belt restricting the user.

The continuous massage of the back muscles through the supporting elements of the inventive device improves the blood supply in this tissue, hence also leads to a strengthening of this tissue and to an improvement of the circulation which also becomes apparent in the blood flow of the legs.

The inventive device, also outstandingly suited for pregnant women as a support corset, prevents a development of spinal column damage during pregnancy. With prophylatic use of the inventive device, the develipment of spinal column damages is guarded against. Furthermore the posture damage so frequently to be observed with children and young people can be overcome in proper time through use of the device.

In a further elaboration, it is noted that the support elements are secured on the belt with a degree of pivoting and through a spring metal carrier strip or the like resilient element formed parallel to the natural curvature of the spinal column.

Further, pivot pins for at least some of the elements are engaged in elongated holes in the carrier strip, so that individual support elements through sliding displacement Within the elongated hole as well as the pivoting permitted to all, adjust themselves exactly corresponding to the vertebrae of the user and can slip or move to and fro during use in order to exclude all stiffness, as well as moving relative to one another in a certain degree following and accommodating every motion of the user While yet exerting their supportive effect upon the spinal column. As a position restoring bias device, and for furthering the massaging effect of the individual elements, a rubber strip is disposed between the elements and the plate and anchored to the latter.

In the embodiment, each individual support element, considered in plan view, has a bowed or bridge-like shape with the underside of the bridge at opposite ends provided with pad-like contact formations respectively applied on sides of the spinal column against the back musculature, while the vertebra itself projects into the bow of the bridge." To fit the shape of the back of the individual user, supplementary pad elements are attachable to the contact formation for changing of the height, width, and/or rounding of the overall bridge-like form of any support element; such supplementary elements preferably provided in the form of a simple modular or construction kit system, so that they may be disposed according to need on the support elements. The pad formations and the supplemental elements are preferably designed so that the latter are removable, being secured, for example, by means of a rubber ring.

To increase the desired therapeutic effect, it is requisite that the spinal column be restrained in that motion tending towards danger, and to completely attain this result the device particularly at its lower end must have firm contact with the spinal column, which is obtained through an inwardly extending supporting tongue on the lowest support body.

For the functioning of the device, the belt is of essential significance according to a given disease picture. The invention therefore provides for the belt, on its outer side behind the support elements, an adjustable lacing device the ends of which are secured on vertical stiffening rods near the side margins of the back, so that the device can be fitted to the body circumference which varies in individual cases.

Also a prominent feature of the invention is the inclusion of a shield-shaped abdominal plate of leather or like material, divided into halves provided with hook type buckle components to serve as a front closure, of which the lower edge is disposable in the loins of the user. This plate also projects upwardly above the upper rim of the elastic belt and here supports and forces the abdomen of the user backwards towards the spinal column. It is particularly advantageous that the lower parts of the el ends be each connected pivotally with the abdominal plate through a pivot pin, and that the abdominal plate be further connected with the belt ends through lacings, affording an angular adjustment between plate and the belt, which serves for a still more detailed fitting to the body circumference of the user.

Further objects, characteristics and advantages of the invention will appear from the following description of a particular embodiment of the invention, presented in explanation and not by way of limitation of the inventive though and represented in the annexed drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one device embodying the invention;

FIG. 1A is a fragmentary detail view showing a modification of one adjustment means;

FIG. 2 is a schematic lateral view of a human being wearing the embodiment of the inventive device;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary back elevational view taken in the direction of the arrow III in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary inside elevational view of the back of the device taken in the direction of the arrows IV in FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a vertical section taken as indicated by the line VV in FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary horizontal section taken as indicated by the line VIVI in FIG. 3 and showing a support element in plan;

FIGS. 7 and 8 are representations of the support element corresponding to FIG. 5 wherein, however, the support element, to vary its effective shape, is provided with supplementary pad-like insert elements;

FIG. 9 is an inside or front elevational View of a modified support element arrangement;

FIGS. 10 and 11 represent in perspective two respective support elements intended to be pivotally linked with one another in the articulated arrangement of FIG. 9';

FIG. 12 is a front elevational view of a spring strip or carrier with which the support elements of FIGS. 9-11 are associated; and

FIG. 13 is a horizontal section taken through a support eleriognt as indicated by the lines XIIIXIII in FIG. 9 or The embodiment of the invention represented in FIGS. 1 and 2 comprises as principal essential components an elastic belt indicated as a whole by the general reference numeral 10; a buckle-like belt end connection means on its front side, here in the form of an abdominal plate designated by the general reference numeral 12; and on the belt rear inner side, as a means engaging the spinal region, an array of support elements, indicated by the general reference numeral 14 arranged in a row extending parallel to the spinal column 18 of the user 16; all of which principal components are hereinafter described in detail. This embodiment (see particularly FIG. 2) provides support to the spinal column 18 in the region of the dorsal vertebrae 20 and the sacrum 22.

It has already been explained that on the one hand this embodiment of the invention directly treats those parts of the spinal column in which diseased conditions or malformations most frequently arise, and on the other hand that the entire spinal column up to the cervical vertebrae is offered a support and perhaps correction through the device extending over the dorsal vertebrae and the sacrum, as is expedient for the avoidance or elimination of deformities there arising. In particular cases, however, obviously the inventive principle can also be applied to other parts of or if necessary over the whole of the spinal column.

The belt 10, details of which are best seen and described With respect to FIGS. 1-4, is made of elastic material, for example, an elastic fabric woven or knitted of rubber threads, and includes a back section 24 and two side sections 26 at each of the merging or connecting lines of which preferably there is sewn in a stiffening rib of a flexible material as, for example, a spring leaf 29 consti tuted of a strip of spring metal or suitable plastic material. For increasing the elastic resistance of the belt 10, along its outside lower margin an elastic reinforcing band 30 is provided which, for example, may also be comprised of a rubber thread fabric. Furthermore (see FIG. 3) preferably on the exterior of the back section 24 there is provided a laced arrangement, indicated by the general reference number 32, comprised of two band flap sections 32a adjustably connected in the middle region through lacing 32b by which the flaps can be drawn together to a greater or lesser degree as part of the belt fitting adjustment. Obviously instead of this, a buckle or another sort of adjustable connection can be used.

On the free ends of the side sections 26 to form the belt ends connected to plate 12, there are sewn respective end flaps of relatively stiff material as, for example, leather or synthetic plastic, as appears at fiap 34 for the one belt end seen in FIG. 1.

The shield-shaped abdominal plate 12 is comprised of two like halves 36 of stiff leather, plastic or like stock, which are connected through two simple hook type connections or buckles 38. Near its lower edge, each end flap 34- is connected with the respective adjacent plate half 36 through a pivot pin 40 in such fashion that flap pivoting is possible relative to the plate 12. Moreover, each pivot 40 also may take the form of a screw passed through a hole in the respective flap end and engaged in a threaded socket in the underlying plate half, so that for a greater adjustability each pivot screw can be inserted selectively through other holes at the positions 40a or 40b. Above the pivot 40, the end edge of the end flap 34 is connected with the respective half 36 of plate 12 by a lacing 42 through suitable eyelets or hooks; or, as indicated in FIG. 1A, by a strap 42a with a plurality of snap buttons 42b to provide adjustability in effective length.

Without more, it is seen that the disposition of the upper edge of the plate 12 relative to the belt can be changed by more or less close drawing of the lace 42 or through positioning of the snap button strap. Thus on the one hand, the plate 12 affords a strong support for the abdomen of the user which can be fitted to the abdominal shape through corresponding lacing of 42; and on the other hand this plate can also be so adjusted that the abdomen can be pressed back towards the spinal column without any noteworthy hinderance to the user.

For the advantageous effect of the inventive device, in the case of pregnant women and with otherv persons having a markedly domed protrusive belly, it is important that the burden of the belly should hang on and deflect the spinal column forwardly as little as possible, but rather that it be drawn back and pressed against the inner side of the spinal column. The disclosed belt with the described abdomen-engaging plate fulfills this function in a preferable manner while at the same time all possible and necessary adaptations to the body form of the user can be provided.

With respect to FIGS. 1 to 8 details of the support element array 14 shall now be further explained. Exactly opposite to the spinal column of the user, on the inside of the back section 24, there is secured a spring metal strip or narrow plate 44, preferably bowed or bent corresponding to the natural form of the spinal column in the region to which applied, and constituting a base plate or carrier for the individual somewhat elongated support elements 48, 50, 52 and 54, which preferably are formed as injection molded plastic products to be stiffiy pliable. On the front side of the strip 44 there is further usefully disposed a rubber strip 46 which elastically supports the latter named support elements.

These individual support elements, considered in plan view (see FIG. 6) having what perhaps may be called a bridge-like form, are comprised of a bowed middle part 60 which overlies or spans the region of the vertebra, and two side or end parts 62, which through their under parts 64, functioning as contact pads, are applied against the dorsal musculature on both sides of the spinal column. The height or vertical thickness of these individual support elements corresponds to the vertical thickness of the individual vertebrae of the spinal column, and their spacing from one another corresponds to the thickness of the inter-vertebral discs. The middle part 60 of each support element thus is formed in such fashion that it exerts no pressure directly upon the vertebra lying underneath it. Rather, through the wearing of the inventive device, the back musculature of the user is continually massaged by the support elements through the contact faces 64 of the pad-like formation. Such action leads to a strengthening of this musculature; and, moreover, improves the blood circulation of this tissue.

In FIG. 5 these support elements are shown as each mounted relative to the carrier or base plate 44 by con necting pivot means 56 such as rivets, screws with nuts, like connecting pin means, each precisely centrally disposed in the middle part 60 of the respective support body, and engaged through corresponding openings 58 or 58a in the carrier 44 and also in this instance, extending through the back section 24.

These securing pivots 56 can also extend only through the carrier plate 44, with the latter then separately at tached to the belt 10 in a particularly advantageous arrangement later to be described in relation to FIGS. 9 to 13.

As seen particularly from FIG. 5, at elements 48, 50 and 54 these openings 58 are elongated to permit a sliding movement of the elements parallel to the plate 44, and thus displaceability relative to each other, with element 52, at round hole 58a, however, not slideable. At the same time each support element with a vertical section curved back surface can rock somewhat on the rubber strip 46 and also can turn somewhat about its securing pivot 56. Thus the support element chain or array achieves a moveability which on the one hand is suflicient to follow all movements of the user but which on the other hand is limited in such manner that the individual snupport elements do not lose their described position of contact on the back of the user for the attainment of the desired support of the spinal column.

It is seen particularly from FIGS. 4 and 5 that the lowermost support element 54 has a central downward tongue 82 curved inwardly for making firm contact against the corresponding inwardly running part of the sacrum.

In the underside or contact face 64 of the lateral end parts 62 of the support elements there are formed longitudinally running grooves 66, in which are engageable corresponding ribs 68 of respective inserted pad or supplemental contact elements 74, 78, each having a wider face groove 70, which can, for example, receive a rubber band 72, as means whereby these pads are detachably secured to the support elements.

Being attachable after the fashion of a construction kit or modular system, these pad elements serve for varying the form of the support body corresponding to given requirements as one type belt is fitted to a particular user or as the users requirements may very from time to time for one user. Thus, for example, the outwardly convergent wedge-shaped pads 74 (shown in FIG. 7) may be used to deepen the central recess or space before the midpart 60 of the respective support element, also to fit a flatter body build; or as shown in FIG. 8, inwardly tapering wedge-shaped pad elements 78 may be provided for fitting to a more round back 16. For broadening the contact area of the support elements, the pad elements also can be elongated as suggested by the dotted lines in FIGS. 7 and 8 at 76 and 80. The user can therefore secure the required pads on the support elements on the one hand either permanently by suitable adhesive means if desired for the fitting to his back form and shape, or on the other hand also temporarily, to permit changing 7 the support and massage effect of the inventive device as may be desired.

The described device in accordance with the invention is secured about the body of the user in such fashion that the support element 52 (which is supported on the plate 44 with only pivotal freedom and without the slideability provided by the longitudinal holes) comes to lie directly under the five dorsal vertebrae and is, through the elastic belting, firmly pressed against these vertebrae or rather on the musculature lying adjacent each side thereof. At the same time the lowermost body 54 is pressed firmly against the body and by virtue of the described form of the support bodies and of the belt, it results that the device as a whole does not move from this disposition.

The support elements 48 and 50 then above all come into effect, if the spinal column is overloaded. Through the described form of the belt and of the abdominal plate, there is at the same time produced the requisite counter pressure of the intestines upon the spinal column.

The support bodies can be manufactured from any sort of suitable material as, for example, a synthetic plastic which is compatible for the skin of the user. Thus a device of the invention can be worn directly on the skin as well as over the garments.

FIG. 9 shows one arrangement of the support element array or set which may be comprised of a spring plate 44 and the support elements 48, 50, 52 and 54 generally as these were described relative to FIG. 1. However, the support elements are directly connected to one another through a linkage, here described in detail relative to FIGS. 10 and 11 for the support elements 48 and 50 but similarly used between successive elements. Below the lower edge 83 of the support body 48 there extends an inverted T-shaped connection tongue or lug 84 bearing an end cross piece 85, engageable in a cut-out 88 in a right angle lug or car 87 projecting from the underlying support element 50 above its upper edge 86 and bent rearwardly. These projecting connecting tongues or lugs are unitary with the support elements as likewise are the connecting pins 56 serving to secure each support element with the carrier plate 44, and may be provided as structures integrally molded with each support element or as integral or distinct inserts molded into the body of each element.

To make this direct articulated connection of the support elements, for example the element 48 is first turned through an angle of 90 relative to the body 50, the cross bar 85 is then inserted in the right angle cut out 88, and then with a return rotation the two elements are secured to each other. In like fashion the other support elements are connected to one another into a directly articulated array of elements, here as in FIG. 1, nominally parallel but shiftable elements with the nominal spacing between adjacent elements substantially equal to the inter-vertebral disc thickness, i.e., the inter-vertebral spacing. The term nominal here has reference to the designed conditions for an array of elements whereby the elements are disposable parallel to each other transversely of carrier 44 and with the free space between each adjacent pair approximating the disc thickness when each element is at least near the center of its range of displaceability, and also by that term admitting the various freedoms for shiftability from such spacing and parallelism as above described.

In the manner previously described, each individual support element is anchored by a connecting pivot pin 56 through the plate 44. 'In this situation the connecting pins 56 of the single support elements are engaged in the longitudinal holes 58 (or the single round hole 89 for element 52) in the plate 44. Particularly in FIG. 13, there can be seen in detail a connecting pivot pin 56 formed or incorporated unitarily with the supporting element, and at its free end provided with a bulb-like enlargement 90, which engages in a suitable device such as a snap button 90a on the belt back section 24.

The securing elements for the direct connections between the supporting elements, particularly the rearwardly reflected portions of right angle lugs 87, engage in suitable rectangmlar cut-outs 91 of the plate 44 without any securing function; that is, the cut-outs 91 provide working clearance especially for the bent portions 87.

To increase the effectiveness of the portion of the support elements applied to the musculature, especially in massaging action, the contacting surfaces are provided with notches or cut-outs 92 extending in from the external Jim 93. These cut-outs in the two upper support elements 48 and 50 run in horizontally at the middle of the support element ends, while in the element 52 they run in obliquely in a downward direction. In the case of the lower element or body 54 they run from the lower edge 94 obliquely upwardly and outwardly.

In general the invention provides a device capable of movement accommodating the natural movements of the spinal column, while yet being still firmly bound and giving support thereto, but which at the same time always prevents such movement as endangers the spinal column through overloading or improper loading; and further atfords a muscle massaging action while giving clearance at the central region over the location of the spinous processes.

I claim:

1. A device for support, correction and treatment of the human spinal column, comprising:

an elastic belt securable in tensioned condition about a human body and including a rear section having a vertical dimesion spanning a plurality greater than two of underlying vertebrae; and

a plurality of support elements fastened on the inner side of said rear section in a vertically spaced array with a nominal spacing between adjacent elements approximating substantially the thickness of the inter-vertebral discs, and each engageable with the musculature on each side of and adjacent the spinal column while providing central clearance at least over the spinous process region of an underlying vertebra.

2. A device as described in claim 1, wherein the individual said support elements considered in plan have a bridge-like form outwardly bowed toward said rear section and have respective pad-like formations on inside end regions, defining a central clearance space and adapted to bear upon the back musculature on both sides of the spinal column.

3. A device as described in claim 2, wherein said formations are adapted to receive respective removable supplemental pad elements whereby the height, breadth or roundness of each support body may be changed to fit the body structure or support requirements of the user; and including supplemental pad elements on said formations of at least one said body element.

4. A device as described in claim 2 wherein said support elements are supported upon a resilient strip secured centrally on said rear section and longitudinally bent to correspond to the natural curvature of the spinal column in the region of intended application of the device.

5. A device as described in claim 4 wherein such support elements are secured for a limited rotational displaceability relative to said strip by respective connecting pivot pins centrally located on the elements and disposed in a plane approximately vertical and at right angles to the said strip and to said back section.

6. A device as described in claim 5, wherein said pivot pins extend through respective openings in said strip into a securing engagement with said rear section; at least two said openings being elongated in the longitudinal direction of said strap.

7. A device as described in claim '6 wherein an elastomeric band is disposed on the face of said strip supporting said elements.

8. A device as described in claim 4, wherein the individual said support elements comprise molded plastic elements each including on its back side an integral pivot pin projection having an end enlargement, and said rear section of the belt has respective snap-button type receptors cooperatively retentatively engaging said enlargements thereby to mount said support elements.

9. A device as described in claim 8 wherein said support elements, additionally to their connection through the said strip, are directly connected with one another in an articulated fashion by means of an integral downward central projection on the lower edge of each superior element and a cooperatively linking integral central upward projection on the upper edge of the respective adjacent inferior element.

10. A device as described in claim 9 wherein one of said integral projections comprises a rearwardly bent right angle lug having a ecntral cut-out and the other a T-shaped tongue lug engaged in said cut-out; and said strip is provided with cut-outs for accommodating respective rearwardly bent portions.

11. A device as described in claim 1 wherein said rear section on its outer side and behind the supporting element array is provided with width adjustment means including laced flaps with respective ends secured on vertical stitfening ribs defining therebetween said rear section.

12. A device as described in claim 2 wherein the padlike formations of said support elements are notched inwardly from the external rim of the elements.

13. A device as described in claim 1 wherein a shieldshaped abdominal support plate is formed by two halfpieces of leather or like material connected to each other by fastening means thereby to provide a buckle function for the device and respectively joined to front ends of the elastic belting; said plate disposed for location of its lower edge about the height of the groin of a user, and having an upper portion projecting upwardly above the upper rim of the belting.

14. A device in accordance with claim 13 wherein front ends of the elastic belting are adjustably connected by nonstretching end flaps to respective halves of the said plate; each flap lower edge being pivotally connected to the respective half by a pivot means and thereabove connected by lacing; and the elastic belting is provided along its lower outside margin with a reinforcing elastic band running from one end to the other.

15. A device as described in claim 13 wherein the belt, abdominal plate and the support elements are mutually so arranged that upon use of the device the element array is disposable in the region of the dorsal vertebra and of the sacrum; and the lowermost support element including on its lower edge a central downwardly and inwardly extending tongue for engaging in the central lower sacral region.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,805,853 5/1931 Smith 128-63 3,521,623 7/1970 Nichols et al. 12878 FOREIGN PATENTS 578,241 6/1933 Germany.

L. W. TRAPP, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 128-78,

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U.S. Classification128/845, 128/95.1
International ClassificationA61F5/02, F16K31/02
Cooperative ClassificationF16K31/02, A61F5/028
European ClassificationA61F5/02G, F16K31/02