Title:
Ergonomic shoulder support
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The Ergonomic Shoulder Support system is designed to prevent physical damage to the shoulders, spinal cord and lower back while objects of varying weights and sizes are being carried on the shoulder. The Ergonomic Shoulder Support system transfers the weight from the shoulder to the waist support belt for a more even distribution of the weight. The system is also designed for simplicity by providing easy attachment of the shoulder support bracket to the support belt as well as providing automated height adjustment and contour for body comfort.



Inventors:
Werling, Richard M. (Cincinnati, OH, US)
Application Number:
10/118056
Publication Date:
10/24/2002
Filing Date:
06/03/2002
Assignee:
WERLING RICHARD M.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
2/122
International Classes:
A45F3/14; A45F3/02; (IPC1-7): A41B1/08; A45F3/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PATEL, TAJASH D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Richard M. Werling (Cincinnati, OH, US)
Claims:

I Claim



1. The Ergonomic Shoulder Support system is designed to prevent physical damage to the shoulder, spinal cord and lower back while repeatedly carrying objects of varying weights and sizes on the shoulder.

2. The shoulder support bracket as part of the Ergonomic Shoulder Support system as claimed in claim 1: will help support the weight that is applied to the shoulder; is made of a molded, light-weight material that is padded and contoured for body comfort.

3. The shoulder support bracket as part of the Ergonomic Shoulder Support system as claimed in claim 2 uses a quick attachment device of hook and loop (Velcro or equivalent), to attach to the support belt.

4. The shoulder support bracket as part of the Ergonomic Shoulder Support system as claimed in claim 1 uses the hook and loop attachment as claimed in claim 3 as the adjustment for differences in body lengths as well as for comfort.

5. The support belt as part of the Ergonomic Shoulder Support system as claimed in claim 1: uses a hook and loop (Velcro or equivalent) designed to attach to the shoulder support bracket as claimed in claim 3; is equipped with right and left pads (Velcro or equivalent) for attachment of the shoulder support bracket to be used on the right or left shoulder.

6. The support belt as part of the Ergonomic Shoulder Support system as claimed in claims 1 &5 will be flexible yet of rigid design to support the shoulder support bracket as claimed in claim 2 and will have necessary width to give added support to the lower back.

7. The support belt as part of the Ergonomic Shoulder Support system as claimed in claims 1 &5 &6 is designed with a quick-lock buckle for waist attachment and is adjustable for multiple waist sizes.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] There are shoulder harness and support systems disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,878,606 to Miller and U.S. Pat. No 4,991,758 to Eaneff. In both cases, however, the shoulder straps—a load-bearing support, allow pressure on the shoulder and can thus cause injury to the shoulder and spinal cord. Neither device is a full-weight support system. They do not support the physical problem of shoulder and spinal cord which can be injured or permanently damaged.

[0002] Other load bearing devices as claimed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,009,349 to Eide, et al, and in U.S. Pat. No. 5,758,363 to Winfree, have no physical support for the spinal cord and lower back. They just pad the shoulder for comfort.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

[0003] Not Applicable

REFERENCE OF A MICROFICHE APPENDIX

[0004] Not Applicable

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0005] One of the prime areas of a back-related problem is the postal carrier. There are over 800,000 postal workers and many of those letter carriers have some form of back-related problem. Postal workers who carry heavy mailbags on their shoulders five and six days a week sustain constant pressure and shifting of their spinal cords. By not supporting the shoulder perpendicularly to the back and relieving the pressure on the back, the spinal cord will naturally shift to accommodate the weight. When this misalignment of the spinal cord occurs, it causes great pain and discomfort and may cause permanent disability.

[0006] Other fields of use are many: construction workers who use their shoulders to carry lumber or other construction materials of different weights, sizes and forms; plumbers who use their shoulders for carrying long lengths of pipe, plumbing fixtures, etc.; electricians who use their shoulders for carrying heavy spools of wire, conduit materials, electrical fixtures, etc.; roofers use their shoulders for carrying heavy ladders, roofing shingles, roll roofing material, and so on. In the manufacturing field people use their shoulders for carrying heavy tools, machinery and maintenance parts, boxes, and other types of equipment, all of which are being carried in a way that could damage the shoulder and back. The Ergonomic Shoulder Support system could help in preventing such damage.

[0007] The Ergonomic Shoulder Support system will help to support the shoulder and spinal cord so that they can maintain their natural positions. The weight that is applied to the shoulder support bracket will be more evenly distributed to the support belt around the waist.

[0008] The waist support belt is of a rigid design. It has a hook and loop attachment of Velcro (or equivalent) on each side of the waist belt for quick attachment to the shoulder support bracket. The shoulder support bracket can be worn on either the right or left shoulder. The hook and loop attachment of the shoulder support bracket also allows for quick and automatic body height adjustment. The ergonomic support belt also gives additional support to the lower back and spinal cord.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0009] The Ergonomic Shoulder Support system is unique in the fact that it is simple, yet offers many benefits for support.

[0010] The Ergonomic Shoulder Support system is a two-part device: 1) the shoulder support bracket, which is contoured and padded for body comfort, and 2) the support belt, which evenly distributes the weight to the lower body. The two parts attach very quickly to each other using a hook and loop (Velcro or equivalent) design for automatic height adjustment, support and comfort. It can be used on right or left shoulder. There are no straps to adjust. One simply extends the arm, slides the shoulder support bracket on, and it automatically attaches to the support belt for proper body fit. To remove, one simply extends the arm, pushes outward on the top of the shoulder support bracket, and slides it off.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING

[0011] FIG. 1—Front view of the Ergonomic Shoulder Support system shows it being used with a typical mailbag carried on the right shoulder. It illustrates how the mailbag rests on the shoulder support bracket which is attached to the waist support belt to distribute the weight of the mailbag.

[0012] FIG. 2—This illustration is a front view, showing the assembly of the Ergonomic Shoulder Support system on the right shoulder.

[0013] FIG. 3—This illustration is a front view showing the assembly of the Ergonomic Shoulder Support system on the left shoulder.

[0014] FIG. 4—This illustrates the manner in which the support bracket is padded and contoured for body comfort. On the inside it shows hook and loop (Velcro or equivalent) design at the bottom of the bracket for attachment to the support belt.

[0015] FIG. 5—This illustration shows the support belt with the hook and loop design (Velcro or equivalent) on both sides of the belt. It illustrates right or left side use. It also shows a quick adjustment buckle which allows for multiple waist sizes.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0016] FIG. 1 shows normal use of the Ergonomic Shoulder Support system. It demonstrates how the shoulder will stay in a normal position when the mailbag 4 is being carried on the right shoulder and how the weight of the bag is not on the shoulder but on the ergonomic shoulder support bracket. The weight of the mailbag 4 is transferred from the shoulder support bracket 1 to the support belt 2 which distributes the weight more evenly throughout the lower part of the body. With the weight distributed to the support belt 2, the shoulder does not sag from pressure. Therefore injuries to the shoulder, spinal cord and lower back are prevented.

[0017] FIG.2 illustrates a front view of the Ergonomic Shoulder Support system being used on the right shoulder. The shoulder support bracket 1 is of single unit construction molded and formed with a lightweight material. It is also contoured and padded 3 to fit the body as needed for additional comfort. The lower part of the shoulder support bracket 1 has inside a hook and loop (Velcro or equivalent) 1a attachment which mates to the hook and loop (Velcro or equivalent) 2a attachment on the support belt 2. The support belt 2 supports the weight that is applied to the shoulder support bracket 1, distributes that weight to the lower part of the body, and adds support to the lower back and spinal cord.

[0018] FIG. 3 illustrates a front view of the Ergonomic Shoulder Support system being used on the left shoulder. The design of the shoulder support system allows it to be worn on either shoulder. The support bracket is reversible and has the quick hook and loop 1a (Velcro or equivalent) attachment to the support belt 2.

[0019] FIG. 4 illustrates the ergonomic shoulder support bracket 1 detached from the support belt 2. This view shows the shoulder support bracket 1 as a single unit. It is contoured to fit the body and padded 3 for comfort. The shoulder support bracket 1 is designed for multiple body sizes and heights. It has a hook and loop 1a (Velcro or equivalent) attachment at the base where it attaches to the support belt 2. No straps are needed to hold it in position—just press it against the hook and loop 2a (Velcro or equivalent) on the support belt 2 and it is attached.

[0020] FIG. 5 illustrates the support belt 2. It is designed for right or left side use. It has hook and loop 2a (Velcro or equivalent) on both sides for right or left side attachment. The support belt 2 is of rigid design to support the weight alignment of the shoulder support bracket 1. The rigid design also gives the lower back support for lifting as well as carrying. The support belt 2 is adjustable for various waist sizes with a quick-locking buckle 4.

[0021] It is to be understood, however, that this invention is not limited to the embodiment illustrated and described since it may be embodied in various forms within the scope of the (append) claim.