US 3806968 A
An orthopaedic appliance for aiding bed rest of those suffering from lower back disorders is disclosed, comprising a shaped pad to be placed between the bed spring and mattress, and which is vertically positionable to elevate an area of the mattress into a humped form to afford a non-sagging, upwardly cylindrically convex support conforming to the arch of the spine and hips for a user in a face-up, prone position, or while lying on his side so as to give support between the hip bones and the rib cage.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 191 Robey 1 ORTHOPAEDIC BACK SUPPORT APPLIANCE  Inventor: Edward Robey, c/o Bekins Moving & Storage Co., 1300 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, Calif. 90019  Filed: Mar. 13, 1972  Appl. No.: 234,068
 US. Cl. 5/327 R, 297/284  Int. Cl. A476 21/00  Field of Search 5/327 R, 327 B, 317; 297/284; 254/101, 13
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,010,766 8/1935 Longfellow 5/327 R 2,861,278 11/1958 Young 1,264,265 4/1918 Brusius 2,490,867 12/1949 Greenhill 5/327 R Apr. 30, 1974 McNamara et a1 297/284 Rosberger 5/327 R Primary ExaminerJames T. McCall Assistant Examiner-Darrell Marquette Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Forrest J. Lilly ABSTRACT An orthopaedic appliance for aiding bed rest of those suffering from lower back disorders is disclosed, comprising a shaped pad to be placed between the bed spring and mattress, and which is vertically positionable to elevate an area of the mattress into a humped form to afford a non-sagging, upwardly cylindrically convex support conforming to the arch of the spine and hips for a user in a face-up, prone position, or while lying on his side so as to give support between the hip bones and the rib cage.
4 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures 1 ORTHOPAEDIC BACK SUPPORT APPLIANCE FIELD OF THE INVENTION This invention relates generally to orthopaedic devices for support of the lower back during sleep.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Those suffering from problems of the lower back, i.e., backache or pain from various causes such as muscle spasm, crushed or displaced disk, and the like, are commonly advised to sleep on a firm rather than a soft or sagging mattress. It is also common to use a plywood board between the spring and the mattress, to support the mattress so as to reduce its sag, whatever its degree of firmness may be, by removing all flexibility at the level of the interface between the spring and the mattress. This expedient, however, often is still insufficient. The purpose of the present invention is to provide an appliance which can be manipulated, positioned, and adjusted to reverse the usual sag, and thus to provide the mattress with a degree of upward or convex curvature, or arch, for example, in the region of the natural curve of the lower back, just above the buttocks of the user when the user is lying in a face-up, prone, or side position.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The invention provides a generally cylindric upwardly convex pad, with a certain degreeof flexibility, yieldability, and conformability, so as to adapt readily to the weight, spine curve and shape of the user, while still retaining its generally convex form. This pad, according to the invention, is placed between the bed spring and the mattress so as to raise the mattress and provide a soft, arched surface for the exact proper support of the exact nature curve of the back. It is mounted on a fairly wide platform, which rests on top of the spring, and which is of enough area that it will not become very deeply depressed down into the spring. If the bed spring is already provided with a nonyielding top, e.g., a layer of plywood, this platform could be more in the nature of a narrow foot. Rising from the platform, or foot, is the mounting for the convex pad, and preferably, according to the invention, this mounting includes an elevator, e.g., a screw jack, which can be used to elevate or lower the pad, using a conveniently located operating handle, which is within reach of the user while he is being supported by the pad. Thus, adjustments can be made as desired by the user, and to the precise degree that will give him maximum comfort. As a further preferred feature, the cylindrically convex pad can rock universally on the upper end of the jack, enabling the user to reposition himself from time to time by rocking the pad in any direction vents nerve pressure or tension that causes fatigue and pain.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing the appliance of the invention in phantom lines in operative position between the spring and mattress of a bed;
FIG. 2 is a section on line 2--2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a section on line 3-3 of FIG. 1',
FIG. 4 is a plan view of the appliance of the invention; and
FIG. 5 is a side elevational view of the invention in use.
DESCRIPTION OF AN ILLUSTRATIVE EMBODIMENT In the drawings, the mattress and spring of a bed are represented at 10 and 11, respectively, the upwardly cylindrically convex pad at 12, and a support platform or foot at 14. On the platform 14 is a mounting, preferably, and here shown, as a screw jack 15. The latter has a long, horizontally disposed rotatable operating shaft 17, understood to be geared internally of the jack housing 16 with jack screws as illustrated, of a conventional nature unnecessary to either describe herein or illustrate in internal detail in the drawings. The shaft 17 protrudes from between the spring and mattress, and has on its extremity an operating knob or handle 18, within convenient reach of the user 20.
The pad 12, in its illustrated form, is generally oblong, with rounded corners, as seen in plan, and is generally cylindrically convex in the direction longitudinally of the spring and mattress. The convexity is such as to conform generally with that of the small of the back of the user. It can, of course, be made in different sizes and with different curvatures or contours to suit different users. However, it is yieldable to a degree, as is the mattress between it and the user, so that an exact matchup is not required. The pad preferably has a relatively thick upper layer 22 of yieldable foam rubber or the like, designed to yield or give somewhat, so that the weight which it supports tends to be distributed. Below layer 22, and supporting it, is a stiff, cylindrically upwardly convex wall 24, which can be composed of metal, pre-shaped composition, or the like. The pad has an inner framework 26, including a bottom wall 27 and the layer 22 is fitted and fastened around the edges of bottom wall 27,-as illustrated. Over the layer 22 is a suitable flexible cover 29, composed of a suitable fabric, plastic, or the like.
On the underside of the pad 12 is a hollow cone 30, in the top of which is a socket 31 for the rounded, semipherical support head 32 at the top of the screw jack 15. The pad 12 is thus capable of rocking universally on the pivot constituted by the jack head 32. The pivot point will be seen to be located below the top-center of the pad, but still well up in the pad, rather than in a low down position such as would tend to de-stabilize the pad and tend to cause it normally or naturally to tilt over. To achieve the-result preferably sought, the pivot point is above the center of gravity of the pad, so that the pad tends naturally to assume the level position illustrated in the drawings. If the user desires a certain degree of tilt, he can easily obtain it by a small shift in his body position. 28
Further, the user can easily adjust the height of the pad relative to the platform 14 by manipulation of the handle 18, and he can accomplish this while resting on the upward bulge of the mattress caused by the pad.
FIG. 5 shows the basic effect and position generally obtained. The platform 14 sinks a little into the bed spring 11, while the pad produces an indentation into the bottom of the mattress, and a convexity or bulge immediately above, such as will rise into and support the hollow of the back of the patient. Bed comfort for those with back problems thus becomes availableto a degree greater, to my knowledge, than has heretofore been known. In particular, as noted hereinabove, the pad can be contoured, and also elevated, to cause the mattress to bulge perfectly, and at the same time softly, into the concave curve of the spine, so as to support it in its natural position. The bulge of the mattress can also, by operation of the elevator, be caused to fit nicely into the hollow between the rib cage and the hips when the user is turned on his side.
A further preferred feature is a belt 40 attached, for example, to the underside of the platform 14, and-extending laterally therefrom to emerge between the bed spring and mattress, and then to be turned over to lie transversely across the mattress. This serves as a marker to enable the user to easily find the elevator handle 18, as well as to facilitate the users finding of the longitudinal position along the mattress which he knows from experience will afford him a maximum of comfort.
1. A separate back support positioned between a bed spring and mattress, comprising:
a relatively rigid support pad member having a fixed,
generally cylindrical and upwardly convex arch shape in indenting supporting engagement with the underside of said mattress; a separate, generally flat and substantially rigid platelike platform member resting on the upper surface of said bed spring; and
support means mounted on said platfonn and univerpad member is provided with a downwardly facing spherical socket resting on a ball-like member on the top of said support means.
4. A back support as defined in claim 1 wherein said support means comprises a screw jack, and operating means therefor extending laterally outwardly of said platform.