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1. WO2020107071 - AN IMPROVED BACK SUPPORT ARRANGEMENT ADAPTED TO RE-ALIGN MUSCLES AND JOINTS IN THE BACK DURING BODY RE-POSTURING SO AS TO PROVIDE SUPPORT FOR ALIGNMENT OF THE SPINE'S NATURAL CURVATURE

Note: Text based on automatic Optical Character Recognition processes. Please use the PDF version for legal matters

[ EN ]

AN IMPROVED BACK SUPPORT ARRANGEMENT ADAPTED TO RE-ALIGN MUSCLES AND JOINTS IN THE BACK DURING BODY RE-POSTURING SO AS TO PROVIDE SUPPORT FOR ALIGNMENT OF THE SPINE’S NATURAL

CURVATURE

TECHNOLOGICAL FIELD

[001] This invention relates to a new and unique back support arrangement which will be able to conveniently re-align the muscles and joints in the back as a user repositions their body structure such as when sitting in a chair or standing up by providing a mechanism that will be able to automatically adjust support for the back to provide substantially perfect alignment of the spine’s natural curvature with respect to the neck and shoulders parallel with the hip.

BACKGROUND ART DISCUSSION

[002] It is well recognised that, while it may be comfortable to slouch in a chair, over time if the body remains in this slouched position structural support of the back often diminishes as the spine’s natural curvature is lost, placing strain and tension upon the muscles of the back which can turn to pain often progressing on to chronic discomfort and lack of mobility.

[003] Another significant back problem associated with body posturing is hunching, leading to a rounded upper back often a natural consequence of having to spend much of the day hunching over a keyboard whereby the head tends to lean forward disrupting the appropriate alignment of the spine’s natural curvature, placing unwanted strain and stresses on the vulnerable muscles and joints of the back.

[004] Further problems to the spine’s natural curvature are brought about by muscle imbalances of the back resulting in a flat back where the pelvis is tucked in and the lower back is straight instead of naturally curved causing part of the body to stoop forward.

[005] This type of muscle imbalance, through lack of appropriate back support, means that it can become very difficult for people to remain standing for prolonged periods of time.

[006] Accordingly it would be advantageous and an objective of this invention to be able to make available a back support arrangement that is inherently structured so that as people alter their body posturing, the improved back support arrangement of this invention would intuitively force the body’s muscles and joints of the back to realign and be supported so as to correctly provide for a substantially perfect alignment of the spine’s natural curvature.

[007] Further objectives and advantages of the invention will become apparent from a complete reading of the following.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[008] A back support arrangement adapted to align muscles and joints in a back of a user, said back support arrangement including;

[009] a main body having a resilient longitudinal support;

[010] said resilient longitudinal support including an outward curve, bend, pivot, or fulcrum;

[011] an upper back support section wherein the upper back support section is mounted to a top section of the resilient longitudinal support above said outward curve, bend, pivot, or fulcrum;

[012] a lower back support section wherein the lower back support section is mounted to a bottom section of the resilient longitudinal support below said outward curve, bend, pivot, apex or fulcrum;

[013] a first braced member at one end mounted to the resilient longitudinal support and at a second end of the first brace member mounted to the upper back support section;

[014] a second brace member mounted at one end to the resilient longitudinal support and at a second end of the second brace member mounted to the lower back support section;

[015] such that when in use compression upon the top section or bottom section by the user during body re-posturing of the user translates said compression to a movement of the first brace member upon the upper back support section in a substantially forward upwards movement and movement of the second brace member upon the lower back support section in a substantially forward downwards movement wherein the forward upwards movement of the upper back support section upon an upper spine section of the spine of the user and the forward downwards movement of the lower back support section upon a lower spine section of the spine of the user forces curvature of the spine of the user into natural curvature of the spine.

[016] In preference said outward curve, bend, pivot, or fulcrum point outwards from the upper back support section and lower back support section.

[017] In preference the upper back support section and the lower back support section are longitudinal.

[018] In preference the upper back support section and the lower back support section are imparted with a degree of resiliency and include profiling so as to comfortably engage the upper spine of the spine of the user with respect to the upper back support section and the lower spine section of the spine of the user with respect to the lower back support section.

[019] In preference the upper back section is mounted at a location at an end of the top section of the resilient longitudinal support so that in a relaxed or uncompressed configuration of the resilient longitudinal support with the upper back support section, the resilient longitudinal support and the upper back support section provide for an upper apex.

[020] In preference the lower back section is mounted at a location at a bottom end of the bottom section of the resilient longitudinal support so that in a relaxed or uncompressed configuration of the resilient longitudinal support with the lower back support section, the resilient longitudinal support and the lower back support section provide for a lower apex.

[021] In preference the first brace member extending at one end from the resilient longitudinal support engages with a bottom end of the upper back support section.

[022] In preference the first brace member is mounted in close proximity to the outward curve, bend, pivot, or fulcrum of the resilient longitudinal support.

[023] In preference the second brace member extending at one end from the resilient longitudinal support engages with a top end of the lower back support section.

[024] In preference the second brace member is mounted to the resilient longitudinal support below a mounting location of the first brace member to the resilient

longitudinal support

[025] Advantageously this invention is able to provide a back support arrangement that is inherently adapted to re-align a spine’s natural curvature even without the deliberate intention of the user, in that when the back support arrangement is worn and the user begins to re-posture, say for example lifts up their shoulder and begins to pull back the upper section of the back thereby placing a compression action on the resilient longitudinal support, in absorbing this compression from the upper back movement of the user upon the resilient longitudinal support then causes a recoiling of the first brace member and the second brace member and because of the mounting of the upper back support section above the outward curve, bend, pivot, or fulcrum and the mounting of the lower back support section below the outward curve, bend, pivot, or fulcrum, in re-establishing the flex of the resilient longitudinal support that recoiling of the first brace member upon the upper back support section causes the upper back support section to move forward and upwards against the upper part of the spine while at the same time the second brace member then forces the lower back support section to move forward and downwards allowing a re-establishment of support of the spine’s natural curvature thereby reducing any muscle tension or pressure on the joints of the spine.

[026] Inadvertent slouching in a chair is no longer possible with this invention as the user of the back support arrangement of this invention is automatically induced to sit correctly and feel comfortable because the muscles of the back will be appropriately conditioned to correctly support that upright spine’s natural curvature that resulted from the resiliency of the longitudinal support in absorbing the initial compression coming from the user’s movement to then translate that into appropriate forced movement of the first brace member and the second brace member upon the upper back section and the lower back support section to align the spine’s natural curvature correctly.

[027] The back support arrangement will also assist those that find it difficult to stand for prolonged periods of time as the back support arrangement will avoid posturing that will have the neck and head leaning forward with the pelvis tucked in and the lower back straight rather than the spine’s more natural curvature which will be enabled using the arrangement of this invention.

[028] The ability to do this, as introduced above, is achieved through the structural features of the back support arrangement, notably the resilient longitudinal support, the upper back support section, the lower back support section and importantly the respective first brace member and the second brace member that act upon the upper back support section in moving support forward and upwards on the spine wherein at the same time the second brace member is moving forward and downwards upon the lower section of the spine enforcing the correct supported curvature to be imparted along the spine of the user.

[029] In preference the main body of the back support arrangement is mounted to the back of the user through a belt arrangement.

[030] In preference the belt arrangement includes a belt mountable to the resilient longitudinal support and strappable around a front chest or upper waist section of the user.

[031] In preference when the back support arrangement is strapped to the user the upper back support section is profiled to follow the general curvature of the upper spine.

[032] In preference when the back support arrangement is fastened to a user the lower back support section is profiled to align and abut up against the lower spine section of the user.

[033] In preference the upper back support section is curved inwards at the bottom end of the upper back support section.

[034] In preference the lower back support section is s curved inwards at the top section of the lower back support section.

[035] In preference the upper back support section and the lower back support section are adjustably mountable up and down the resilient longitudinal support.

[036] In preference the adjustable mountability of the upper back support section and the lower back support section along the resilient longitudinal support includes a slot arrangement.

[037] In preference the slot arrangement is a slot at respective top and bottom ends of the resilient longitudinal support.

[038] In order now to describe the invention in greater detail a series of preferred embodiments will be described with the assistance of the following illustrations and accompanying text.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[039] Figures 1 is a general front perspective view of the back support arrangement in a preferred embodiment of the invention.

[040] Figures 2 is a general back perspective view of the back support arrangement in a preferred embodiment of the invention.

[041] Figure 3a is a general front side perspective view of the back support arrangement fastened to a chair in a preferred embodiment of the invention.

[042] Figure 3b is a general front side perspective view of the back support arrangement fastened to a user in a preferred embodiment of the invention.

[043] Figure 4 is a side view of the back support arrangement shown in Figure 1.

[044] Figures 5a to 5d are schematic illustrations of the back support arrangement of a preferred embodiment in use showing during body re-posturing.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[045] Referring to the drawings now in greater detail wherein the back support arrangement in a preferred embodiment of this invention is shown generally as (10).

[046] The back support arrangement (10) includes the resilient longitudinal support (12) to which the upper back support section (14) and the lower back support section (16) is mounted thereto the resilient longitudinal support (12) through the slots (18a), (18b) and fasteners (19a) and (19b).

[047] The slots (18a), (18b) and the fasteners (19a) and (19b) allow a degree of height adjustability for the back support arrangement (10) depending on the height of the user by way of being able to move the upper back support section (14) and the lower back support section (16) up or down as required.

[048] The resilient longitudinal support (12) includes the profiled outward curve(22) acting like a pivot or fulcrum which as to be discussed shortly hereafter provides a degree of leverage such that when compression is placed upon the resilient longitudinal support (12) at either the top section (27) of the resilient longitudinal support (12) or the bottom section (28) of the resilient longitudinal support (12), this outward curve (22), because of the inherent resiliency tends to recoil and adjust by translating some of that compression to the first brace member (24) which at one end is mounted to the resilient longitudinal support (12) and at the other end mounted to the lower end (37) of the upper back section (14).

[049] The outward curve (22) of the resilient longitudinal support (12) also translates the compressive forces exerted by a user upon the resilient longitudinal support (12) to the second brace member (26) which at one end is mounted to the resilient longitudinal support (12) and at the other end to the top section (38) of the lower back support section (16).

[050] As best seen in the perspective views of the back support arrangement (10) shown in Figures 1 and 2, both the upper back support section (14) and the lower back support section (16) have a generally longitudinal configuration with a profiling that generally matches the curvature of the spine of the user when in use which as introduced above, these upper back support section (14) and lower back support section (16) can be vertically adjusted to accommodate users of different height.

[051] Notably the upper back section (14) and lower back support section (16) includes cushioning (15) and (17) which enables the upper back support section (14) and the lower back support section (16) to be rested comfortably up against the user’s spine.

[052] The longitudinal profile of the upper support section (14) ends with a slight curved inward (43) and for the lower back support section (16) at the end (38) a slightly curved inward section referenced as (45).

[053] The back support arrangement (10) is able to be fastened to the user (7) as shown in figure 3b by a belt (20) which would be strapped around the chest or above the waist of the user so as to appropriately position the back support arrangement (10) so that the upper back support section (14) and the lower back support section (16) have the respective profiles comfortably cushioned and rested up against the spine of the user (7).

[054] In the preferred embodiment shown in the illustrations the strap (20) is secured to the back support arrangement (10) through a slot arrangement (21) which allows the belt (20) to pass therethrough, wherein hook and loop technology (not shown) is applied to the distal ends (49) of the belt (20) so that the belt can be conveniently secured about the user.

[055] The way in which the back support arrangement (10) is secured to the user is not an essential part of this invention and the use of the belt (20) shown in the illustrations is just one representation of many ways in which the back support arrangement (10) can be strapped to the user (7) so the general scope of this invention is not intended to be limited to the strapping of the back support

arrangement (10), just with a belt (20) as shown in the preferred embodiment.

[056] The back support arrangement (10) is able to be fastened to the chair (50) as shown in figure 3a. A user (not shown) could then sit on the chair (50) to obtain the required back support from the back support arrangement (10).

[057] Figures 5a to 5d assists in understanding how the back support arrangement (10) functionally works in order to achieve the outcome of imparting appropriate alignment of the spine’s natural curvature with respect to the neck and the shoulders parallel with the hip when the user of the back support arrangement (10) is adjusting body posture.

[058] Figure 5 shows the example of a user (40) of the back support arrangement (10) seated upon a chair (61 ).

[059] In the starting position as show in Figures 5a and Figure 5b the upper back support section (14) and the lower back support section (16) generally aligns and provides the spine with a natural curvature conducive to comfort but importantly avoiding any tension upon the muscles and joints of the spine that would lead to damage.

[060] When the user (40) wishes to reposition, shown by way of arrows (30a) or (30b) in Figures 5c and 5d, this backward movement (30a) or (30b) imparts compression upon the resilient longitudinal support (12) which is able to absorb that compression of the user (40) and through the inherent flexibility is able to impart recoil and/or force upon the first brace member (24) and the second brace member (26) into movement.

[061] As shown by way of arrow (31) the first brace member (24) pushes forward upon the bottom section (37) of the upper back support section (14) causing it to move forward and upwards shown by way of (31) correlatingly lifting and supporting that section of the spine (51 ) while at the same time the second brace member (26) as this second brace member (26) moves forward with its engagement with the top section (38) of the lower back support section (16) causes the lower back support section (16) to move forward and downwards shown by way of arrow (32) supporting that section of the spine (53) of the user (40).

[062] Effectively that movement of the user (40) shown by way of arrows (30a) or (30b) has now become corresponding movement of the upper back support section (14) shown by way of arrow (31 ) in a forward and upward direction and

corresponding movement of the lower back support section (16) in a forward and downward movement represented by arrow (32) which then imparts appropriate force and support to induce and maintain the requisite spine’s natural curvature minimising any potential muscle imbalance, strain or tension upon the muscles and joints of the spine, all without any discomfort to the user (40).