Title:
Pelvic and lumbar spine support
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A pelvic embracing support device (1) which permits a user to sit comfortably for prolonged periods of time with less fatigue and discomfort including a pair of spaced apart flexible cushioned members (4) dimensioned to engage the trochanteric region (2) of the user's pelvis and a double-ended length adjustable strap (6) affixed to the support members (4) and including left and right loops (10) and (11) which are looped around the respective knees of the user so as to selectively pressure the support (1) medially against the illi (5) of the user's pelvis to compress and support the sacro-iliac joints (3) of the pelvis and anteriorly into the pelvis to tilt the user's pelvis into extension and reflexly produce lordosis of the lumbar spine so as to reduce shear forces on the pelvis and compressive forces on the spinal soft tissues while permitting free motion of the lumbar spine.



Inventors:
Colonello, Dennis John (Beverly Hills, CA, US)
Colonello, Loraine (Beverly Hills, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/587352
Publication Date:
04/07/2011
Filing Date:
10/06/2009
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C16/00
View Patent Images:
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20090282613Bi-material slat capNovember, 2009Lobry et al.
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Claims:
1. 1-12. (canceled)

13. A pelvic support device comprising: a support member, wherein the support member comprises a size and a shape designed to substantially span a trochanteric region of a pelvis of an associated user; an elongated strap member, wherein the elongated strap member is secured to the support member and comprises a first end that extends longitudinally from a first distal end of the support member and a second end that extends longitudinally away from a second distal end of the pelvic support member; a first loop member extending from the first end of the strap member; a second loop member extending from the second end of the strap member, wherein the first loop member and the second loop member are sized to engage the respective knees of the associated user when the associated user comprises a seated posture and the engagement of the knees of the associated user provides a tension that pulls the support member medially and anteriorly against the pelvis to simultaneously compress and support a sacro-iliac and a pubic joint of the pelvis and produce a variable anterior pelvic tilt of the pelvis causing a reflexive amount of lordosis of a lumbar spine of the associated user.

14. The pelvic support device of claim 13, wherein the support member comprises: a pair of double-ended members, wherein the elongated strap member is secured to the pair of double-ended members and retains the medial ends of the pair of double-ended members in a spaced relation to each other on the elongated strap to provide a void over a sacral region of the pelvis.

15. The pelvic support device of claim 14, wherein the elongated strap member comprises a single strap member and extends through a hollow formed through the pair of double-ended members.

16. The pelvic support device of claim 13, wherein the support member comprises: a pair of double-ended members, wherein each of the double-ended members comprises a flexible member having a substantially rectangular shape.

17. The pelvic support device of claim 13, wherein the support member comprises an extruded foam, a polyethylene, or a polypropylene material.

18. The pelvic support device of claim 13, wherein the support member comprises a flexible member formed from a rubber, a plastic, a fabric, or a foam material.

19. The pelvic support device of claim 13, wherein the first and second loop members each comprise: an adjustment means that allow for the selective adjustment of the effective length of the first and second loop members to vary the amount of anterior pelvic tilt of the pelvis and the reflexive amount of lordosis of the lumbar spine.

20. The pelvic support device of claim 13, further comprising: a second strap member, wherein the second strap member can be selectively secured along the length of the medial aspects of the first and second loop members and allows the associated user to selectively connect the first and second loop members to maintain the first and second knees in an adducted posture.

21. The pelvic support device of claim 13, further comprising: a retainer belt comprising a first portion having a first and a second end, a second portion having a first and a second end, and a fastener means, wherein the first portion comprises a first end affixed to the elongated strap member intermediate the first loop member, the second portion comprises a first end affixed to the elongated strap member intermediate the second loop member, and the fastener means allows for the selective coupling of the second ends of the first and second portion for securing the pelvic support device about the trochanteric region of the associated user.

22. The pelvic support device of claim 13, wherein the support member and the elongated belt member comprise an integrally formed member having free ends forming the first and second loop members.

23. The pelvic support device of claim 13, wherein the support member comprises a wedge, an oval, or a contoured shape.

24. The pelvic support device of claim 13, wherein the elongated strap member comprises an elastic member.

25. A method comprising the steps of: (a) providing a pelvic support device comprising a support member and an elongated strap member, wherein the elongated strap member is secured to the support member and comprises a first end that extends longitudinally from a first distal end of the support member and a second end that extends longitudinally away from a second distal end of the pelvic support member; (b) placing the support member against a trochanteric region of a pelvis of an associated user; (c) engaging a first knee of the associated user with a first loop and engaging a second knee of the associated user with a second loop, wherein the first loop extends from the first end of the elongated strap member and the second loop extends from the second end of the elongated strap member and the engagement of the first and second knees of the associated user provides a tension that pulls the support member medially and anteriorly against the pelvis to simultaneously compress and support a sacro-iliac and a pubic joint of the pelvis and produce a variable anterior pelvic tilt of the pelvis causing a reflexive amount of lordosis of a lumbar spine of the associated user when the associated user is in a seated position.

26. The method of claim 25, further comprising the step of: adjusting the effective length of the first or second loop member to vary the amount of anterior pelvic tilt of the pelvis and the reflexive amount of lordosis of the lumbar spine.

27. The method of claim 25, further comprising the step of: coupling a second end of a first portion of a retainer belt to a second end of a second portion of the retainer belt, wherein the first portion comprises a first end affixed to the elongated strap member intermediate the first loop member, the second portion comprises a first end affixed to the elongated strap member intermediate the second loop member, and the coupling of the second ends of the first and second portion secures the pelvic support device about the trochanteric region of the associated user.

28. A pelvic support device providing compression support of a sacro-iliac and a pubic joint of a pelvic region of an associated user and providing a variable anterior pelvic tilt causing a reflexive amount of lordosis of a lumbar spine of the associated user in a seated position comprising: a support member, wherein the support member comprises a pair of double-ended members and comprises a size and a shape designed to substantially span a trochanteric region of a pelvis of the associated user; an elongated strap member comprising a first end and a second end that extend longitudinally from the distal ends of the support member, wherein the elongated strap member is secured to the support member and retains the medial ends of the pair of double-ended members in a spaced relation to each other on the elongated strap to provide a void over a sacral region of the pelvis; a first loop member extending from the first end of the strap member; a second loop member extending from the second end of the strap member, wherein the first loop member and the second loop member are sized to engage the respective knees of the associated user when the associated user comprises a seated posture and the engagement of the knees of the associated user provides a tension that pulls the support member medially and anteriorly against the pelvis to simultaneously compress and support the sacro-iliac and a pubic joint of the pelvis and produce a variable anterior pelvic tilt of the pelvis causing a reflexive amount of lordosis of the lumbar spine of the associated user; and, an adjustment means coupled to the elongated strap member for selectively adjusting the effective length of the first or second loop members, wherein the selective adjustment of the first or second loop members varies the amount of anterior pelvic tilt of the pelvis and reflexive amount of lordosis of the lumbar spine.

29. The pelvic support device of claim 28, further comprising: a second strap member, wherein the second strap member can be selectively secured along the length of the medial aspects of the first and second loop members and allows the associated user to selectively connect the first and second loop members to maintain the first and second knees in an adducted posture.

30. The pelvic support device of claim 28, wherein the support member and the elongated strap member comprise an integrally formed member having first and second free ends forming the first and second loop members respectively.

31. The pelvic support device of claim 28, further comprising: a coupling means, wherein the coupling means is selectively mountable to medial aspects of the first and second loop members and permits the associated user to selectively couple the first and second loop members to maintain the first and second knees in an adducted posture.

32. The pelvic support device of claim 28, further comprising: a retainer belt comprising a first portion having a first and a second end, a second portion having a first and a second end, and a fastener means, wherein the first portion comprises a first end affixed to the elongated strap member intermediate the first loop member, the second portion comprises a first end affixed to the elongated strap member intermediate the second loop member, and the fastener means allows for the selective coupling of the second ends of the first and second portion for securing the pelvic support device about the trochanteric region of the associated user.

33. The pelvic support device of claim 28, wherein the support member comprises a rectangular, a wedge, an oval, or a contoured shape.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to sacro-iliac joint, pubic joint and lumbar spine support devices useful for improving spinal alignment and comfort of the seated posture. More particularly, the present invention relates to a device for bracing and tilting the pelvic region of a seated person so as to compress and stabilize the sacro-iliac and pubic joints of the pelvic girdle, produce a anterior pelvic tilt of the pelvis and cause a reflexive accommodation of lordosis of the lumbar spine so as to prevent adverse shearing and compression loading of the sacro-iliac and pubic joints of the pelvis and of the soft tissues of the lumbar spine, while permitting the user unrestricted range of motion of the lumbar spine to promote circulation in the region and thereby reduce muscular fatigue and onset of pain.

It is well documented that prolonged periods of the seated posture, wherein the lumbar spine is substantially flexed, referred to as alordosis, causes increased compressive forces to the soft tissue structures of the spine and more particularly to the discs of the lumbar spine. Further, restricting motion of the lumbar spinal joints hampers circulation of blood to the soft tissue structures of the region, particularly the musculature, thereby leading to early fatigue and pain.

Extended periods of sitting is also recognized as a causative factor in sacro-iliac and pubic joint irritation. In the erect standing posture the body's weight is directed caudally through the spine into the pelvis and cephalically through the lower limb and obliquely through the femur heads of the hip into the pelvis thus effectively dissipating the load bearing forces within the pelvic girdle. However, in the seated posture the body's weight is directed cephalically through the ischial tuberosities of the illi of the pelvis and caudally through the spine creating destructive shear forces through the sacro-iliac and pubic joints of the pelvis causing pain and pre-mature muscular and ligamentous fatigue.

It is also well known that in both the standing and seated postures the optimal spinal alignment is achieved with moderate extension of the lumbar spine, commonly referred to as lordosis. Anatomically, the degree of lordosis is directly influenced by the degree of forward tilting of the pelvis, referred to as anterior pelvic tilt. Typically, the seated posture produces posterior pelvic tilt causing a reactive loss of lordosis, referred to as alordosis or flexion, of the lumbar spine. Alordosis of the lumbar spine shifts the body's weight anteriorly towards the spinal disc structures and thus substantially elevates compression forces on the disc structures of the lumbar spine. Lordosis of the lumbar spine shifts the body's weight posterior toward the weight bearing facet joints of the lumbar spine thus reducing compression forces on the disc structures of the lumbar spine.

Alordosis of the lumbar spine contributes to premature muscle fatigue since the weight-bearing facet joints of the lumbar spine are rendered less effective in bearing the body's weight. Alordotic posture requires increased muscular effort to maintain the body erect. Increased muscular effort, especially when combined with restricted motion of the lumbar spine, hampers circulation in the region leading to accumulation of pain inducing waste products.

Since the onset of the industrial revolution, and more recently the advent of the computer, our society has become increasingly sedentary and as a consequence back pain has become a pandemic problem. Each year, back pain accounts for massive expense in both treatment costs and expenses related to days of work lost. It is estimated that 8 in every 10 persons have, or will suffer from, back pain at some point in their lives. The correlation of seated posture and back pain is well documented and thus there is a need created for a simple, cost effective device which will provide an individual with effective pelvic and spinal support while seated to work or play and which does not restrict movement of the spine and thereby adversely affect circulation in the spinal or pelvic regions.

Review of the prior art shows back supports and sacro-iliac joint supports. For example, a back support is shown in the expired U.S. Pat. No. 4,773,106 to Toso and a sacro-iliac support is shown in U.S. Pat. No. 4,576,154. to Hyman et al. These two prior art examples teach the relevance of lumbar support and sacro-iliac support, respectively. However, no prior art has been identified that address both the pelvic and the lumbar spine biomechanical components associated with elevated compressive and shearing forces generated in the sacro-iliac joints and lumbar spine when an individual adopts the seated posture.

Toso's patents, both expired and active, teach a means of lumbar spine support whereby the lumbar spine is supported directly and is rigidly forced into lordosis by a flexible rectangular lumbar support which is strapped to the user's knees by straps having loops. Supporting the lumbar spine directly, as taught by the Toso, restricts the user from moving his or her lumbar spine through a full range of motion thus hampering circulation in the regions. Toso's teachings also exclude the importance of controlling the shearing and compression stressors generated in the pubic and sacro-iliac joints of the pelvis in the seated posture.

Hymen et al. addresses the problem of sacro-iliac stability but fails to address the problem of compression forces generated in the lumbar spine by alordosis of lumbar spine associated with the seated posture.

No prior art teaches a wearable means of addressing the two mechanical forces namely, compression stress and shear stress, in both the pelvic and spinal regions, associated with back pain related to the seated posture.

The present invention provides a means to control both compression and shear stress forces in a seated individual by cradling the pelvis to compress and support the sacro-iliac and pubic joints of the pelvis, simultaneously, creating a anterior pelvic tilt creating a reflexive natural accommodating lumbar lordosis. Since the present invention supports the lumbar spine through pelvic tilt orientation the lumbar spine is unrestricted and free to move thus promoting circulation and affording the user improved stamina and comfort while seated.

THE INVENTION

The preferred embodiment of the present invention includes a pair of soft flexible pelvic support members dimensioned to encircle the trochanteric region of the pelvis of a user. A double-ended strap is affixed to the pelvic support members and extends longitudinally from the distal ends of the pelvic support members terminating in a left loop and a right loop which are dimensioned to engage the respective knees of the user in the seated posture. The strap includes a pair of adjustment means which permits lengthening or shortening of the loops of the strap to fit the device to various sized users. The pelvic support members are retained on the strap by stitching, riveting or other suitable means so as to maintain the support members in a spaced apart configuration providing a void of the support members over the sacral region of the pelvis to improve comfort to the user and facilitate folding of the device for improved storage and shipping. However, a single support member extruded, molded or otherwise fabricated from a soft flexible material and excluding the void of the support members over the sacral region of the pelvis of the user would also provide the function of the present invention and fall within the scope of the present invention.

Enhancements to the embodiment of the present invention includes, for convenience, a pelvic encircling cinch-able belt affixed to the double-ended strap intermediate distal ends of the strap and having a fastening means to permit retention of the present invention about the user's pelvis when the user is not sitting or when the device is not in use.

For enhanced comfort the invention may also include a pair of knee pads slidingly mounted on respective loops of the strap.

For enhanced stamina in sitting the invention may also include a connecting means, such as a buckle or second strap, interconnecting the medial aspects of both loops of the strap and holding the user's knees together, in adduction, without requiring muscular effort from the user.

For enhanced storage the invention may include a pocket or elastic strap integrally formed or affixed to the support member or members, depending upon the embodiment of the invention, whereby the loops of the double ended strap may be stored easily for enhancing portability of the invention, the pocket or strap may also serve to store personal articles of the user such as a wallet, money or other personal belongings of the user.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

The general object of the invention is to provide a seated posture support device, adapted to be worn about the trochanteric portion of a individual's pelvis, providing a optimal load bearing spinal posture while permitting unrestricted motion of the user's lumbar spine to promote circulation in the regions of the pelvis and lumbar spine to reduce onset of muscular fatigue and pain, thereby providing the user with improved comfort while seated.

It is a particular object of the invention to provide a pelvic support device which compresses and supports the sacro-iliac joints of the pelvis, tilts the pelvis anterior and produces a automatic reflexive lordosis of the lumbar spine without restricting motion of the lumbar spine, thereby promoting circulation and the removal of waste by-products related to muscular effort and thus permitting a individual to sit comfortably for prolonged periods of time in a chair, stool, bench or on the ground.

It is still another object to provide a pelvic support which improves overall spinal posture while sitting and which is adjustable to fit various sized users and which is easily transportable and inexpensive to manufacture.

DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a posterior view of the preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a side view of the of the preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a side view of a individual seated and wearing the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a modification of the strap of the present invention;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of modifications of embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a integrally formed embodiment of the present invention;

REFERENCE NUMBERALS IN DRAWINGS

pelvic support 1trochanteric region 2
sacro-iliac joints 3flexible, rectangular members 4
illi of pelvis 5elongated strap 6
medial ends of members 4 7a void of members 4 8
sacrum region 9a left loop10
a right loop11a left adjustable means12
a right adjustable means13a retainer belt14
proximal ends of belt 1415distal ends of belt 1416
fastener means17fabric covering18
second loopable strap19medial aspects loops 10/1120
integrally formed member 4′anterior pelvic tilt arrowA
lumbar lordosis arrowBintegrally formed invention21

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with the present invention a pelvic support device for selectively compressing and supporting the sacro-iliac and pubic joints of the pelvic region, providing anterior pelvic tilt thereby creating a reflexive natural lordosis of a lumbar spine, while permitting free motion of the lumbar spine of a user while in a seated position.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIGS. 1, 2, 3 and 4 illustrate a pelvic support 1 of the present invention. The pelvic support 1 is shapeable to wrap around the trochanteric regions 2 of the pelvis of the user and compress and support the sacro-iliac and pubic joints 3 of the pelvis. In the preferred embodiment, the pelvic support 1 is formed of a pair of spaced apart, double-ended, flexible, substantially rectangular members 4 which preferably are made for comfort of extruded foam or plastics such polyethylene or polypropylene material, however any comfortable, flexible cushioning material could be substituted. The members 4 are dimensioned to have a length and width substantially spanning the trochanteric regions 2 of the pelvis of the user. In FIGS. 1 and 6 the members 4 are shown as extruded with a hollow.

FIGS. 1 and 2 illustrate a elongated strap 6 secured to members 4 by a suitable conventional fastening means (not shown) such as by sewing, riveting or the like so as to retain medial ends 7 of members 4 in a spaced apart relation on strap 6 providing a void 8 of members 4 over a sacral region 9 of the user's pelvis. In FIG. 1 the strap 6 is journaled through the hollow provided in extruded members 4. Strap 6 terminates in a left loop 10 and a right loop 11 which encircle the user's respective knees and include a left and a right length adjustment means 12 and 13, respectively. Adjustment means 12 and 13 are shown as hook and loop separable fastener closure assemblies, however it will be appreciated that any type of fastener permitting shortening and lengthening of strap 6 would be equally applicable to the present structure.

The strap 6 is preferably formed of a flexible material of sufficient strength to withstand the body forces when used.

Again referring to FIGS. 2, 3 and 4, when the user is in the seated position, the pelvic support 1 is placed against the trochanteric region 2 of the pelvis. Loops 10 and 11 of strap 6 are looped around the user's respective knees. The length of the loops 10 and 11 are adjusted by manipulating the left and a right adjustment means 12 and 13 in order to provide greater or less anterior pelvic tilt, illustrated in FIG. 4 by arrow A and thereby greater or less reflexive lumbar lordosis, illustrated in FIG. 4 by arrow B, according to an individuals comfort needs.

FIG. 5 illustrates a modification of strap 6 of the preferred embodiment of the present invention 1 including a double-ended retainer belt 14. Proximal ends 15 of belt 14 are affixed to strap 6, intermediate loops 10 and 11 of the strap 6. Distal ends 16 of belt 14 include a fastener means 17, shown as hook and loop separable fastener closure assemblies, to permit securing of support 1 about the trochanteric region 2 of the user's pelvis, so that the support 1 may be worn in place without the necessity of having the loops 10 and 11 looped over the user's respective knees.

FIG. 6 illustrates other modifications to the preferred embodiment of the present invention that may be made without altering the scope of the present invention. For example, the support 1 may be encased in a removable fabric covering 18 to allow for washing and provide a surface for printing and advertising thereon.

Also shown in FIG. 6 is a second loop-able strap 19 which may be selectively secured along the length of medial aspects 20 of loops 10 and 11 of strap 6 allowing the user to lock loops 10 and 11 together, maintaining the user's knees in an adducted posture without the need for muscular effort from the user to thereby improve stamina for prolonged sitting postures.

As may be seen in FIG. 7 yet other modifications and alterations to the preferred embodiment of the present invention may be made, wherein, the members 4 are integrally formed as one member 4′ molded, stamped or cut from a generally planar, soft flexible material such as leather, neoprene sheet or other suitable material and strap 6 is rigidly affixed thereto or alternately members 4 and strap 6 and loops 10 and 11 may all be integrally formed, molded or stamp cut, out of a generally planar, soft, flexible material, such as leather, neoprene sheet or other suitable material shown as 21.

Other modifications and alterations to the preferred embodiment of the present invention (not shown) may be made without altering the scope of the invention; for example the members 4 may be shaped or molded in a contour, oval or wedge shape to enhance the comfort or performance of the present invention.

Still other modifications to the scope of the present invention may be made without altering the scope of the preferred embodiment of the present invention. For example member 4′ and/or strap 6 may be formed of an elastic material to promote easier fitting of the present invention to the user.