Spinal brace
United States Patent 2181689

forces to ,-e eto assist in maintaining the normal antero- to erior equilibrium of the body. other object is to reinforce the supporting of er of the spine without interfering with its lin mal articulated freedom of motion. re nother object is to accomplish and maintain natural longitudinal...

Bell, William L.
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Bell, William L.
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forces to ,-e eto assist in maintaining the normal antero- to erior equilibrium of the body.

other object is to reinforce the supporting of er of the spine without interfering with its lin mal articulated freedom of motion. re nother object is to accomplish and maintain natural longitudinal alinement of the spinal th tebrae without unduly limiting freedom of nal motion and respiration. t further object is to bridge the curve of the t Ibar segment of the spine from the sacrum the dorsal segment. in Dther objects and advantages will appear as This invention should not be confused with the rset type of brace and those corrective means d ich enclose the body and indirectly hold the v ine in an arbitrary position with a limited s :edom of action. r The three point contact of the present inven- e n, touches the spine at the sacral and the a rsal areas and the frontal abdominal region. f etween these separated points the spine has ree degrees of freedom: forward, backward, teral and rotational. The sacral base contact siliently tips the sacrum upward and backward, j means of the leverage exerted between it and ie dorsal and abdominal contacts. Thus flexing ie lumbar region rearwardly automatically inlines the head backwardly, which flexes the orsal region forwardly, pulls the chin back and hrows the whole spinal column more in line with he natural center of gravity, from the head to he ankles of the skeletal frame. This effect cantot be accomplished by any form of brace which 'enders any given section of the spine immobile.

3alance must be maintained in both the dynamic and static state. Proper alinement of the spinal vertebrae insures a more uniform distribution of weight on the intervertebral discs, insuring greater static stability, dynamic flexibility and nerve freedom.

The present invention reduces fatigue in action by bridging the curve in the lumbar segment and transmitting the strain from the dorsal region directly to the posterior surface of the sacrum, particularly indicated in "sway back." In this specification and the accompanying drawings the invention is disclosed in its preferred form. It is to be understood, however, .28-78) ±t it is not limited to this specific form because nay be embodied in modifications within the rview of the claims following the description. n the two sheets of drawings: Pig. 1 is a side view of the invention as applied the human body; Fig. 2 is an enlarged diagrammatic detail view the same in vertical section, showing in dotted es the positions of the spinal and abdominal 10 gion in relation to the apparatus.

Fig. 3 is an enlarged detail in front elevation of e abdominal pad.

Fig. 4 is a rear elevation of the spinal bridge, ith the covering partially removed to disclose .e inner structure.

Fig. 5 is a vertical section of the same.

Fig. 6 is a diagrammatic plan view from above Idicating the clearance between the bridge and ie back of the wearer.

In detail the construction illustrated in the rawings, referring first to Fig. 4, comprises the ertical lumbar bridge I, extending from the acrum A at the base end 2, upward to the dorsal rably composed of aluminum alloy or any suit- 25 mble material that will combine the required exible strength with minimal weight and bulk.

This bridge 1-2-3 is curved inwardly throughthe curve of the lumbar segment C of the spine. 30 The pivotal plates 4 and 5 are hinged at 6 and 1 to the respective ends 2 and 3 of the bridge I.

The cushion pads 8 and S are removably attached to their respective plates 4 and 5. The pads are composed of block felt or any other suitable material and are easily removable as required. These pads conform to the angles of the spine and the hinges 6 and 1 permit the necessary free back and forward movements of the spine. The greater radius of the bridge leaves the space C', see Fig. 2, to clear the spinal processes on the intervening vertebrae, as the spine bends or rotates between the points A and B.

The bridge I has the lateral extensions 10 and 45 I I which form in effect a cross brace about equal in length to the length of the bridge I and adapted to extend laterally across the small of the back beneath the lower ribs. A cross brace rigidly attached to the bridge I can be substituted for the extensions 1D and II if desired. These extensions curve inwardly, but stand awaY from the back of the wearer to permit free flexing of the extensions I0 and I without side compression of the abdominal walls and also permit free respiratory space and ventilation between the brs and tofhe body of the wearer, see Fig. 6.

The whole metallic body of the brace is e closed within a sheath 12 of suitable fabric, su as canvas, cut to the outline and stitched aroun tions at 8 and 9 have the loose flaps 13 and respectively, adapted to be tucked beneath t cross portion 12' of the sheath, see Fig. 5. Whe 10 not being worn these flaps can be withdrawn i permit ventilation to dry out the Pads.

The sheath has the three straps 15, 16 and I stitched thereto and extending across the bac and beyond the extensions 10 and II, see Fig. 1 These straps engage the buckles 18, 19, 20, 21, 2' and 28 respectively, see also Fig. 3, at the side, of the abdominal pad 24 to form a belt encirclini the wearer.

This abdominal pad 24 is formed of fabric similar to the sheath 12 and is reinforced by the flexible strips such as 25, to prevent the pad wrinkling horizontally. This pad lies over the umbilical region and may have the lower extension 26 adapted to extend under the curve of the abdomen to act as an abdominal support where such necessity is indicated. This pad 24 is the third point or apex D of a triangle having its base at A-B, forming a three Point suspension permitting the three degrees of freedom of motion of the wearer as previously mentioned.

This invention is not a mechanical substitute for the human spine, as in the case of corsets, plaster casts and the like. It is a bridge for the fundamentally weak lumbar segment C, with stresses applied from A-B to D, to scientifically urge proper posture in active persons engaged in the regular pursuit of productive living, sports, automobile driving or sitting for long periods. It is equally restful to a tired person sleeping or redclining by relieving the wedging action against the intervertebral discs, present in any Prolonged hyper curvature of the spine in any direction, since such distortion of the discs in many instances causes traumatism in the complicated nerve areas adjacent the vertebrae.

The lateral extensions 10 and II make it possible to reduce the overhang of a large abdomen Lce without compressing the viscera, because of the lateral freedom accomplished by these extensions n- I0 and ii, see Fig. 6. The strains of an excessive ch abdominal overhang aggravate the lumbar curve.

Ad In the present instance this load is transferred r- to the strut bridge I and is borne by it from A to 14 B, see Fig. 2. Thus retracting the abdomen conie tributes to a more normal center of gravity in ;o distribution of muscular stresses in maintaining 10 equilibrium.

7 Having thus described this invention, what is k claimed and desired to secure by Letters Patent is: I. A spinal brace including a bridge having 2 lateral extensions intermediate its ends, the upper Sand lower ends of said bridge being arranged to Sengage the spine at the dorsal and the sacral regions respectively; and an abdominal belt attached to the lateral extensions of said bridge.

2. A spinal brace including a bridge adapted to extend from the sacrum to the dorsal region of the spine. and having lateral extensions intermediate its ends; yieldable plates on the opposite ends of said bridge respectively; and an abdominal belt attached to the ý , . bridge. - . '. *fUt v uextenSlO nS 0o sai 3. A spinal brace including a bridge adapted t, overlie the lumbar region of the back and spacet therefrom and having lateral extensions inter. mediate its ends; plates yieldably attached to the upper and lower extensions of said bridge and adapted to rest upon the sacrum and the dorsal segment of the spine respectively; and an abdominal belt attached to the side extensions of said bridge.

4. A spinal brace including a bridge; hinge members on the opposite ends of said bridge; pads having their central portions attached to said hinge members respectively; and an abdominal belt attached to said bridge intermediate its ends.

5. A substantially rigid bridge approximately the length of the lumbar region of the human spine; pads flexibly attached to the opposite ends of the bridge respectively; and an abdominal belt attached to said bridge intermediate its ends.