Title:
Portable lumbar support cushion system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A portable lumbar support cushion system providing support to the lower thoracic and lumbar spine, without exerting direct pressure on the same, as well as, providing a pressure release for the sacrum and coccyx. This is accomplished by a first and second cutout in the seat cushion and back cushion, respectively, and a vertically adjustable, interchangeable support of variable thickness that mounts on the rear of the back cushion. The support is mounted in a position that is between a chair back and the back cushion, where it exerts pressure on the back cushion that causes the back cushion to form a curved shape around the support. As such, the back cushion presents a corresponding curved shaped bulge that supports the spine curvature of the seated occupant along the sides of the back cushion flanking the second cutout along an area that overlays the lower thoracic and lumbar spine.



Inventors:
Greene Jr., Leon Alfred (Van Nuys, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/163701
Publication Date:
05/03/2007
Filing Date:
10/27/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
297/452.26, 297/452.33
International Classes:
A47C7/46
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BROWN, PETER R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Jason Skinder, Esq. (West Bloomfield, MI, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. I claim an apparatus comprising: a seat cushion, the seat cushion including a first cutout; a back cushion, the back cushion comprising a front, and a rear, and the back cushion including a second cutout; and a moveable support, the moveable support attachably fixed to the rear of the back cushion.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the seat cushion is attachably fixed to the back cushion.

3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the seat cushion further comprises: a top, and a bottom, and the first cutout traverses from the top of the seat cushion to the bottom of the seat cushion.

4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the second cutout traverses from the front of the back cushion to the rear of the back cushion.

5. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein a thickness of the moveable support is variable.

6. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising reinforcement of at least one of: the seat cushion, and the back cushion.

7. The apparatus of claim 6, wherein the reinforcement is contained within at least one of: the seat cushion, and the back cushion.

8. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising handles fixed to at least one of: the back cushion, the seat cushion, and the support.

9. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising closures fixed to at least one of: the back cushion, and the seat cushion.

10. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising elastic straps for use in securing the apparatus to a chair or other surface, the straps attachably fixed to at least one of: the back cushion, and the seat cushion.

11. An apparatus comprising: a seat cushion, the seat cushion including a first cutout; a back cushion, the back cushion comprising, a front, and a rear, the back cushion fixed to the seat cushion, and the back cushion including a second cutout; and a moveable support, the moveable support fixed to the rear of the back cushion.

12. The apparatus of claim 11, wherein the back cushion is attachably fixed to the seat cushion.

13. The apparatus of claim 11, wherein the moveable support is attachably fixed to the back cushion.

14. An apparatus comprising: a seat cushion, the seat cushion including a first pressure release channel; a back cushion, the back cushion comprising a front, and a rear, the back cushion including a second pressure release channel; and a support, the support fixed to the rear of the back cushion.

15. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein the seat cushion further comprises: a top, and a bottom, and the first pressure release channel traverses from the top of the seat cushion to the bottom of the seat cushion.

16. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein the second pressure release channel traverses from the front of the back cushion to the rear of the back cushion.

17. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein the support is attachably fixed to the rear of the back cushion.

18. The apparatus of claim 14, further comprising reinforcement of at least one of: the seat cushion, and the back cushion.

19. The apparatus of claim 18, wherein the reinforcement is within at least one of: the seat cushion, and the back cushion.

20. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein a thickness of the support is variable.

Description:

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a diagram of an embodiment of the portable lumbar support cushion system, including a seat cushion, back cushion and lumbar support;

FIG. 2 is a diagram of a side view of an embodiment of the portable lumbar support cushion system and the position of an individual while using the cushion;

FIG. 3 is a diagram of a rear view of an embodiment of the portable lumbar support cushion system showing placement of the spine of an individual while using the cushion;

FIG. 4 is a diagram illustrating an embodiment of the moveable support allowing for exchange for a moveable support of a variable thickness; and

FIG. 5 is a diagram illustrating an embodiment of the portable lumbar support cushion system in a folded configuration.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

In the following description, reference is made to the accompanying drawings that form a part of the present disclosure, and in which are shown, by way of illustration, specific embodiments of the invention. These embodiments are described in sufficient detail to enable those skilled in the art to practice the invention, and it is to be understood that other embodiments may be utilized and that structural and other changes may be made without departing from the scope of the present invention. The present disclosure is, therefore, not to be taken in a limiting sense. The present disclosure is neither a literal description of all embodiments of the invention nor a listing of features of the invention that must be present in all embodiments.

Numerous embodiments are described in this patent application, and are presented for illustrative purposes only. The described embodiments are not intended to be limiting in any sense. The invention is widely applicable to numerous embodiments, as is readily apparent from the disclosure herein. Those skilled in the art will recognize that the present invention may be practiced with various modifications and alterations. Although particular features of the present invention may be described with reference to one or more particular embodiments or figures, it should be understood that such features are not limited to usage in the one or more particular embodiments or figures with reference to which they are described.

The terms “an embodiment”, “embodiment”, “embodiments”, “the embodiment”, “the embodiments”, “an embodiment”, “some embodiments”, and “one embodiment” mean “one or more (but not all) embodiments of the present invention(s)” unless expressly specified otherwise.

The terms “including”, “comprising” and variations thereof mean “including but not limited to”, unless expressly specified otherwise.

The term “consisting of” and variations thereof mean “including and limited to”, unless expressly specified otherwise.

The enumerated listing of items does not imply that any or all of the items are mutually exclusive. The enumerated listing of items does not imply that any or all of the items are collectively exhaustive of anything, unless expressly specified otherwise. The enumerated listing of items does not imply that the items are ordered in any manner according to the order in which they are enumerated.

The terms “a”, “an” and “the” mean “one or more”, unless expressly specified otherwise.

Headings of sections provided in this patent application and the title of this patent application are for convenience only, and are not to be taken as limiting the disclosure in any way.

Examples of Certain Embodiments

FIG. 1 depicts an embodiment of the portable lumbar support cushion system 10. The portable lumbar support cushion system 10 includes a seat cushion 12 with a first cutout 14, a back cushion 18 with a second cutout 20 and a support 22. Also depicted are elastic straps 16 attachably fixed to the seat cushion 12 by hook and loop fasteners, however, any means of strap attachment is contemplated including, but not limited to, snaps, buttons, zippers, and ties. The elastic straps 16 are for securing the portable lumbar support cushion system 10 to a chair or other surface, as seen in FIG. 2. In the preferred embodiment, the first cutout 14 traverses the seat cushion 12 from the top of the seat cushion 12 to the bottom of the seat cushion 12. In the preferred embodiment, the second cutout 20 traverses the back cushion 18 from the front of the back cushion 18 to the rear of the back cushion 18. In alternate embodiments the first cutout 14 and the second cutout 20 vary in depth. In the preferred embodiment, the seat cushion 12 is attachably fixed to the back cushion 18 by hook and loop fastener, such as manufactured by the Velcro trademark family of companies, but any number of attachment means 26 are contemplated including, but not limited to, glue, snaps, buttons, zippers, and ties. In alternative embodiments, the seat cushion 12 is fixed to the back cushion 18. FIG. 2 depicts a side view of one embodiment of the portable lumbar support cushion system 10 in use. As shown, the portable lumbar support cushion system 10 is placed between a seated individual and a seat surface.

FIG. 3 depicts a rear view of an embodiment of the portable lumbar support cushion system 10 while in use and the alignment of the spine of a seated individual with the second cutout 20. As shown, a pressure release channel is created by the second cutout 20 in the back cushion 18, allowing a sitting individual with sensitivities of the spine due to injury, surgery or otherwise to sit without aggravation or irritation to the spine or area surrounding the spine. The pressure release channel surrounds the area of the spine that would normally contact the back of a chair or bench and prevents any direct contact with the area that may cause irritation. In the preferred embodiment, the pressure release channel extends along the back cushion 18 for a length consistent with that of the spine of a seated individual. It is also contemplated that in various embodiments, back cushions 18 with pressure release channels of varying length may be provided. As best seen in FIG. 1, a pressure release channel is also created by the first cutout 14 in the seat cushion 12, allowing an individual with sensitivities of the coccyx or sacrum to sit without aggravation or irritation to the same.

Further, in the preferred embodiment, the support 22, best seen in FIG. 2, provides support to the lumbar spine of the individual without irritation to the spine by directly contacting the area. This is achieved by the placement of the support 22 in the rear of the back cushion 18 which allows the support to maintain the curvature of the lumbar spine of a seated individual while the pressure release channel 20, best seen in FIG. 3, simultaneously prevents contact with the spinal area of the seated individual. In the preferred embodiment, the portable lumbar support cushion system 10 provides support to the lower thoracic and lumbar spine, without exerting direct pressure on the same, for persons with sensitivities of the spine due to injury or surgery who have difficulty maintaining a seated position for extended periods of time.

FIG. 4 depicts a side view of an embodiment of the portable lumbar support cushion system, with a support 22 that may be removed, and attachably fixed to the rear of the back cushion 18. In the preferred embodiment, the support 22 may be attachably fixed to the back cushion 18 at different vertical elevations along the height of the back cushion 18 to accommodate individuals with differing trunk lengths. It is also contemplated that in various embodiments, the support 22 may be exchanged or interchanged for supports 22 of varying thickness to accommodate the comfort of individuals with preference for different degrees of lumbar support.

In further embodiments, the thickness of the support 22 may be varied mechanically by various means, including but not limited to, winding/unwinding the coil of a spring, and inflation/deflation.

The support 22 is attachably fixed to the back cushion 18 by attachment means 24. In the preferred embodiment, the support 22 is attachably fixed to the back cushion 18 by Velcro™, but any number of attachment means 24 are contemplated including, but not limited to, glue, snaps, buttons, zippers, and ties. In alternative embodiments, the support 22 is fixed to the back cushion 18 and not removable. In other embodiments, the support 22 is fixed to the back cushion 18, but may moved into various positions along the back by sliding the support 22 along a rail or rails or moving the support 22 within a covering of the back cushion 18. In the latter embodiment, the support 22 would be held frictionally in place against the back cushion 18.

The seat cushion 12 is attachably fixed to the back cushion 18 by attachment means 26. In the preferred embodiment, the seat cushion 12 is attachably fixed to the back cushion 18 by Velcro™, but any number of attachment means 26 are contemplated including, but not limited to, glue, snaps, buttons, zippers, and ties. In alternative embodiments, the seat cushion 12 is fixed to the back cushion 18 and not removable.

In the preferred embodiment, the seat cushion 12, back cushion 18 and support 22 are formed from high density polyurethane foam, but any number of materials are contemplated including, but not limited to, foamed rubber, gel, wood, metal, plastic, liquid, gas and fabric or any combination of the above. In the preferred embodiment, the foam comprising the back cushion 18 and seat cushion 12 has an Indentation Load Deflection (compression resistance) characteristic of 44 pounds and a density of 1.8 pounds per cubic foot. In the preferred embodiment, the support 22 is of equal or greater Indentation Load Deflection and density as that of the seat cushion 12 and/or back cushion 18. In the preferred embodiment, no foam material should exceed an Indentation Load Deflection of 60 and a density of 3 pounds per cubic foot.

Further, the seat cushion 12, back cushion 18 and support 22 are covered by natural fabric in the preferred embodiment, but any number of coverings are envisioned including, but not limited to, plastic, vinyl, leather and synthetics.

In the preferred embodiment, the portable lumbar support cushion system 10 is intended for use by a single individual, although it is contemplated that in various embodiments the width of the seat cushion 12 and/or the back cushion 18 may be expanded to accommodate a plurality of individuals. In such embodiments, a plurality of additional cutouts in the seat cushion 12 and back cushion 18 may be provided.

In additional embodiments, the seat cushion 12 and/or back cushion 18 is reinforced to provide additional stability and firmness. It is contemplated that the reinforcement may be provided on either the exterior or interior or both of either the seat cushion 12 and/or back cushion 18. The reinforcement may be composed of, but not limited to, metal, plastic, wood, ceramics, liquids, gases, and composites or any combination of the above. In various embodiments, the reinforcement replaces the support 22, allowing lumbar support to be provided by curvature provided in the reinforcement. In various embodiments, curvature of the reinforcement may be varied to accommodate the desired lumbar curvature of an individual by bending the reinforcement, or changing a tension or pressure of the reinforcement.

FIG. 5 depicts the portable lumbar support cushion system 10 in a folded configuration. In the preferred embodiment, the second cutout 20 provides a position by which one may grasp and carry the portable lumbar support cushion system 10, which enhances the portability of the invention. In various embodiments (not shown), handles are provided on either the seat cushion 12, back cushion 18 or support 22 for carrying the portable lumbar support cushion system 10 while in a folded or unfolded configuration. In other embodiments (not shown), closures are provided to secure the portable lumbar support cushion system 10 in the folded configuration.

In the preferred embodiment, during use, the portable lumbar support cushion system 10, provides support to the lower thoracic and lumbar spine, without exerting direct pressure on the same, for persons with sensitivities of the spine due to injury or surgery who have difficulty maintaining a seated position for extended periods of time. This is accomplished by the second cutout 20 in the back cushion and a removable, vertically adjustable, interchangeable support 22 of varying thickness, which mounts on the rear of the back cushion 18. The mechanism of lumbar support without direct contact to the spine is realized when an occupant is seated on the seat cushion and leaning back on the back cushion, as best seen in FIG. 2. In the preferred embodiment, the support 22 is composed of equal or higher density foam than that of the back cushion 18, and is mounted in a position that is between a chair back and the back cushion 18, where it exerts pressure on the back cushion 18 that causes the back cushion 18 to form a curved shape around the support 22. As such, the back cushion 18 presents a corresponding curved shaped bulge that supports the spine curvature of the seated occupant along the sides of the back cushion 18 flanking the second cutout 20 along an area that overlays the lower thoracic and lumbar spine, as seen in FIG. 2 and FIG. 3. In the preferred embodiment, the second cutout 20 is a three to four inch opening that vertically spans the center of the back cushion 18, although the second cutout 20 opening may be of any practical width or shape. As best seen in FIG. 1, a first cutout 14 in the seat cushion 12 prevents contact with the coccyx and sacrum. In the preferred embodiment, the first cutout 14 is a three to four inch wide, and seven inch deep opening that horizontally spans the back-center of the seat cushion 12, although the first cutout 14 opening may be of any practical width or shape.

Portability of the portable lumbar support cushion system 10 is enhanced by placement into a folded configuration that facilitates ease of transportation as best seen in FIG. 5. Further, as mentioned previously, seat cushion 12 and back cushion 18 are attachably fixed by attachment means 26 in the preferred embodiment, seat cushion 12 and back cushion 18 are attachably fixed by attachment means Velcro™, but any number of attachment means 26 are contemplated including, but not limited to, glue, snaps, buttons, zippers, and ties. As such, the portable lumbar support cushion system 10 may be easily disassembled and carried in pieces.

While the present invention has been described with reference to one or more preferred embodiments, which embodiments have been set forth in considerable detail for the purposes of making a complete disclosure of the invention, such embodiments are merely exemplary and are not intended to be limiting or represent an exhaustive enumeration of all aspects of the invention. The scope of the invention, therefore, shall be defined solely by the following claims. Further, it will be apparent to those of skill in the art that numerous changes may be made in such details without departing from the spirit and the principles of the invention.