Title:
ADJUSTABLE BACK/BUTTOCK SUPPORT, AND METHODS OF CONSTRUCTING AND UTILIZING SAME
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A fully adjustable back/lumbar support device having a lumbar support which is adjustable up and down and in and out, and a buttocks support which is adjustable fore and aft and up and down permitting custom fit in conjunction with the lumbar support. The device is portable and is hinged to fold flat.



Inventors:
Bowman, Robert (SYLMAR, CA, US)
Application Number:
10/908479
Publication Date:
11/17/2005
Filing Date:
05/13/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C1/16; A47C3/025; A47C4/52; (IPC1-7): A47C3/025
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MCPARTLIN, SARAH BURNHAM
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
IRVING M. WEINER (HARRISVILLE, MI, US)
Claims:
1. A fully adjustable back/lumbar support device, comprising: a seat assembly; a back assembly hingedly connected to said seat assembly by way of at least one hinge; said seat assembly includes a fully adjustable buttocks support; and said back assembly includes a fully adjustable lumbar support.

2. The device according to claim 1, wherein: said back assembly includes a first firm padding member secured to a first rigid member.

3. The device according to claim 1, wherein: said seat assembly includes a second firm padding member secured to a second rigid member.

4. The device according to claim 2, wherein: said seat assembly includes a second firm padding member secured to a second rigid member.

5. The device according to claim 1, wherein: said seat assembly also includes a carry strap.

6. The device according to claim 2, wherein: said seat assembly also includes a carry strap.

7. The device according to claim 3, wherein: said seat assembly also includes a carry strap.

8. The device according to claim 4, wherein: said seat assembly also includes a carry strap.

9. The device according to claim 1, wherein: said lumbar support is adjustable up and down, and in and out, to allow for custom positioning for body height and body mass.

10. The device according to claim 2, wherein: said lumbar support is adjustable up and down, and in and out, to allow for custom positioning for body height and body mass.

11. The device according to claim 3, wherein: said lumbar support is adjustable up and down, and in and out, to allow for custom positioning for body height and body mass.

12. The device according to claim 4, wherein: said lumbar support is adjustable up and down, and in and out, to allow for custom positioning for body height and body mass.

13. The device according to claim 5, wherein: said lumbar support is adjustable up and down, and in and out, to allow for custom positioning for body height and body mass.

14. The device according to claim 6, wherein: said lumbar support is adjustable up and down, and in and out, to allow for custom positioning for body height and body mass.

15. The device according to claim 7, wherein: said lumbar support is adjustable up and down, and in and out, to allow for custom positioning for body height and body mass.

16. The device according to claim 8, wherein: said lumbar support is adjustable up and down, and in and out, to allow for custom positioning for body height and body mass.

17. The device according to claim 1, wherein: said buttocks support is adjustable fore and aft, and up and down, and permitting at least a front portion of said buttocks support to be adjusted higher than the back, thus permitting custom fit in conjunction with said lumbar support.

18. The device according to claim 2, wherein: said buttocks support is adjustable fore and aft, and up and down, and permitting at least a front portion of said buttocks support to be adjusted higher than the back, thus permitting custom fit in conjunction with said lumbar support.

19. The device according to claim 3, wherein: said buttocks support is adjustable fore and aft, and up and down, and permitting at least a front portion of said buttocks support to be adjusted higher than the back, thus permitting custom fit in conjunction with said lumbar support.

20. The device according to claim 9, wherein: said buttocks support is adjustable fore and aft, and up and down, and permitting at least a front portion of said buttocks support to be adjusted higher than the back, thus permitting custom fit in conjunction with said lumbar support.

Description:

The present patent application claims priority from and is based on U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/570,794 filed May 13, 2004.

The present invention relates generally to a novel and unique fully adjustable back/lumbar support device, and methods of constructing and utilizing same.

More particularly, the present invention relates to an adjustable back/buttock support wherein the lumbar support and buttock support is adjustable up and down, and in and out.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The common and consistent error in back support designs has always been, and is, that the back support is not adjustable for different body sizes, especially in height while further complicating the inefficiency is that the buttocks and thigh area are not properly addressed in relation to the lumbar spine (the most prevalent area of discomfort and incorrect positioning in relation to the entire spinal column).

If the correct posture is not maintained for the entire spinal column, undue strain is placed upon various sections of the spinal column. As a reaction, the body muscles attempt to correct the position and thereby cause muscle tension and fatigue. Thus begins the action/reaction syndrome of ever increasing fatigue and pain in a never-ending cycle until corrective action is instituted.

The so-called military posture may be the nearest correct position, but it does put muscles into a constant condition of attempting to achieve an exaggerated correct posture. This position cannot comfortably be maintained for an extended period of time and so, realistically, the average person will begin to slump and therein begins the incorrect posture with its attendant faults.

The only practical solution has to be one that the average person can easily achieve without constant adjustment or attention and a position that can be correctly assumed and maintained without being complicated by devices, training or medical knowledge.

Currently, all the known manufacturers and suppliers basically provide the same type of back support Acushion@ that fails to do its intended job. While each of them declare to have the best on the market, they all fail for the same reason. None of them acknowledge or provide the proper relation between the spinal column, especially the lumbar region, and the buttocks/thighs.

If that relationship is not maintained easily, comfortably and constantly, the seated person will constantly shift the body (thereby misaligning the spine) or begin the process of slumping (the very worst position) in an effort to relax the muscles. That begins a cumulative deterioration of proper spinal position and induces muscle strain and fatigue.

The products currently on the market offer only a minimally correct support because the buttock/thigh relationship has been overlooked completely. Unless this program is addressed correctly, all such devices will, and do, fail to do the intended job.

The prior, but not necessarily relevant, art is exemplified by the following United States patents.

Reeves U.S. Pat. No. 5,135,470, entitled “SHOULDER AND BACK SUPPORT BRACE”, discloses a back and shoulder brace comprising flexible elastic elements to apply a compliant pressure that holds the shoulders back and places the spine under mild compression.

Carlino U.S. Pat. No. 6,132,004, entitled ABACK SUPPORT PILLOW SYSTEM@, discloses a system having three separate pillows with a primary spinal pillow that sits vertically against the back portion of a chair. Omel et al. U.S. Pat. No. 6,496,994, entitled ABACK SUPPORT@, discloses a sitting posture correction device for placement between a backrest and the back of a user, wherein the device comprises an inflatable bladder which is generally spherical in shape when fully inflated and a flexible, substantially rectangular cover for the bladder forming a pocket and adapted to contain the bladder, when the latter is partially inflated, in the pocket.

It is a desideratum of the present invention to avoid the animadversions of the previous techniques, devices, mechanisms, while providing a novel and unique adjustable back/buttock support device which is simple and inexpensive.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a fully adjustable back/lumbar support device, comprising: a seat assembly; a back assembly hingedly connected to said seat assembly by way of at least one hinge; said seat assembly includes a fully adjustable buttocks support; and said back assembly includes a fully adjustable lumbar support.

The present invention provides an adjustable lumbar cushion which permits the vertical and fore and aft adjustment to provide the correct height in relation to the buttocks in the seated position, while also providing the necessary fore and aft movement.

It is a primary object of the present invention to provide a novel and unique device for maintaining correct posture while seated, and methods of constructing and utilizing said device.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a device as described hereinabove, wherein the seat cushion is adjustable fore and aft to accommodate the buttocks, but also by design to stop the buttocks from sliding forward (typically by slumping) and thereby upsetting the correct alignment of spinal column and pelvis.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a novel and unique device as described hereinabove, wherein the cushion is also adjustable to permit pivoting upwardly at the front to further enhance the corrected positioning and to accommodate correct thigh positioning.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a novel and unique device as described hereinabove which in addition to providing the health benefits, is designed for folding from an L-shape to a collapsed folded configuration for portability.

Yet a further object of the present invention is to provide a novel and unique device as described hereinabove, wherein the folding and portability features are accomplished by the lumbar cushion fitting into the seat cushion, as one is concave while the other is convex, and, may or may not, require repositioning of the cushions to accomplish this in the case of the two cushions not mating because of their acquired personal adjustments.

Yet a further object of the present invention is to provide a novel and unique device as described hereinabove, wherein there is provided accessory straps snapped into place on the two main supports (the hard cushion back part and the hard cushion seat part), so that the unit is easily transported for use at home, office, auto, plane travel, etc.

Accessory straps for making the invention self-supporting as regards to being employed on “backless benches”; thereby creating a firm, upright and independent back support.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a novel and unique device as described hereinabove, wherein such device includes accessory straps for making the invention self-supporting or self-standing as regards to be employed on “backless benches”, thereby creating a firm, upright, and independent back support.

The present invention possesses many advantages and features which will become more apparent to those persons skilled in this particular area of technology and to other persons after

    • having been exposed to the detailed description of some exemplary preferred embodiments of the present invention as set forth hereinbelow in conjunction with the accompanying patent drawings.

A fully adjustable back/lumbar support device having a lumbar support which is adjustable up and down and in and out, and a buttocks support which is adjustable fore and aft and up and down permitting custom fit in conjunction with the lumbar support. The device is portable and is hinged to fold flat.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the novel and unique adjustable back/buttock support device in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2 depicts a side elevational view of the FIG. 1 embodiment including the accessory attachment straps.

FIG. 3 illustrates a side elevational view of the preferred embodiment when it has been collapsed for ease of portability.

FIG. 4 shows how the buttock support front portion can be raised higher than the back portion.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF SOME PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

With reference to the drawings, there is illustrated an adjustable back/buttock support device 10 in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention.

The device 10 comprises a back assembly 11 hingedly connected to a seat assembly 12 by way of a hinge 13.

The back assembly 11 includes a firm padding member 14 secured to a rigid member 15. The back assembly 11 also includes a lumbar support 16 and a carry strap 17.

The seat assembly 12 comprises a firm padding member 18 secured to a rigid member 19.

The seat assembly 12 also includes a fully adjustable buttock support 20 and a carry strap 21.

The rigid members 15 and 19 of the back assembly 11 and the seat assembly 12 may preferably, but not necessarily, be fabricated from wood, metal, hard plastic, etc.

With reference to FIG. 2, it is seen that the lumbar support 16 is adjustable up and down, and in and out, as represented by the arrows 22, 23, 24 and 25. This allows custom positioning for body height and body mass.

The buttock support 20 is adjustable fore and aft, and up and down, and especially permitting that the front of the buttock support 20 can be adjusted higher than the back, as represented by the arrows 26, 27, 28 and 29, thereby permitting custom fit in conjunction with the lumbar support 16.

The combination of the fully adjustable lumbar support 16 and the buttock support 20 achieves the most perfect, yet universal, body fit. The adjustments allow any manner of settings, and provide enough range to accommodate any normal body size and also permit recording the settings.

Preferably, but not necessarily, if portability is desired, the lumbar support 16 may be oriented, configured and dimensioned so that it fits into the buttock area and the unit 10 will now fold flat, as depicted in FIG. 3.

Construction of the device 10 in accordance with the present invention may be made of wood, metal, graphite compositions, fiberglass, or any of the known and presently unknown polymers, or other suitable materials.

Preferably, but not necessarily, the device 10 may be provided with accessory attachable 45-degree straps, one on each side of the device 10, and only one strap 30 of which is depicted in FIG. 2.

The sturdy accessory straps 30 are attachable from the lumbar support 16 to the buttock support 20 in a 45-degree position, thereby providing a stable back support upright.

FIG. 4 is an illustration of the device 10 with the accessory straps 30 removed for clarity purposes. FIG. 4 illustrates how the front portion of the buttock support 20 can be raised higher than the back portion thereof, thereby forcing the user of the device 10 to keep the correct spinal support position. There has been illustrated in the accompanying drawings and described hereinabove only one unique and novel preferred embodiment of the present invention which can be constructed in various dimensions, and in various sizes and shapes.

It should be understood that many changes, modifications, variations, and other uses and applications will become apparent to those persons skilled in this particular area of technology and to other persons after having been exposed to the present patent specification and accompanying patent drawings.

Any and all such changes, modifications, variations, and other uses and applications which do not depart from the spirit and scope of the present invention are therefor covered by and embraced within the present invention and patent application.