US 3570480 A
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United States Patent t [.54] MEDICAL CORSET 4 Claims, 5 Drawing Figs.  US. Cl 128/78, 128/578  Int. Cl A6lf5/02  Field of Search 128/78,
541 545, 578  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,104,699 H1938 ODell 128/78 2,596,765 5/1952 Dubner 128/578 3,434,469 3/1969 Swift 128/78 3,441,027 4/1969 Lehman 128/578 Primary Examiner-Richard A. Gaudet Assistant Examiner-J. Yasko AttorneyRobert E. Geauque ABSTRACT: A medical corset to be worn about the waist for supporting the wearers back and abdominal regions. The corset has a posterior back supporting panel containing metal stays which are bendable to conform to a variety of body back contours, a number of separate elastic, laterally overlapping body bands of different length secured to the longitudinal edges of the panel for encircling the wearers waist, and fastening means for adjustably joining the bands in front of the wearers body in such a way as to accommodate application of the corset to a variety of body sizes and shapes.
Patented March16, 1971 INVENI'OR.
BY Pf MEDICAL CORSET BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates generally to body corsets. More par- 5 ticularly, the invention relates to a novel medical corset which is uniquely constructed and arranged to provide optimum body support and accommodate application of the corset to a variety of body sizes and shapes.
2. Prior Art Many different body corset constructions have been devised. Such corsets may be generally classified as cosmetic corsets and medical or therapeutic corsets. A cosmetic corset is designed simply to enhance the appearance of the wearer. A medical corset, on the other hand, isdesigned to provide a therapeutic or corrective body support for persons afflicted with certain types of body weaknesses or other abnormalities in their body structure. The present invention is concerned with corsets of this latter type. Typical of the existing corsets of this kind are those disclosed in US. Pat. Nos. 1,437,330; 1,893,960; 2,104,699; 3,013,561; and 3,115,879.
The existing medical corsets are characterized by certain deficiencies which this invention seeks to overcome. In general, such deficiencies involve limited adjustability of the corsets to accommodate different body sizes and shapes, inadequate body support, complexity of construction, relative high cost of manufacture, and the like.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention provides an improved medical or therapeutic corset which avoids the above noted and other deficiencies. The present corset, for example, offers three unique and beneficial advantages. First, the corset is adjustable and uniquely constructed in such a way as to accommodate application of the corset to a wide variety of body shapes and sizes. Secondly, the corset is designed to provide optimum support for the back and abdominal regions of the wearers body. Third, the corset is extremely simple in construction, relatively simple to manufacture, and can be produced at minimum cost.
To these ends, the present corset is provided with a posterior back supporting panel, and a number of separate elastic body bands of different length secured at one end to the longitudinal edges of the panel. Thesebands are adapted to be stretched about the wearers waist to locate the free ends of the corresponding bands in overlapping relation in front of the wearer's body. Adjustable fastening means, such as Velcro tape, are attached to the free ends of the bands for adjustably joining the overlapping ends of the bands.
One unique feature of the present corset resides in the fact that the difference in length of the body bands, the elasticity of these bands, and the adjustable band fastening means render the corset adjustable for application to a wide variety of body sizes and shapes. According to another feature of the invention, the adjacent body bands along each edge of the posterior corset panel are disposed in laterally overlapping relation in such a way that the bands provide ideal, laterally continuous support for the wearers body for the entire combined width of the bands.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to these drawings and particularly to FIGS. I-3, there is illustrated a medical corset 10 according to the invention having a relatively stiff though somewhat yieldable and flexible posterior panel 12 and a number of elastic body bands 14, 1.6, 18 secured at one end to each longitudinal edge of the panel. The corresponding body bands at opposite sides of the panel are aligned laterally of the panel to form a pair of bands. Each such pair of body bands are adapted to be stretched about the wearers waist in such a way as to locate the free ends of the bands in overlapping relation in front of thewearers body. These free band ends are provided with adjustable releasable fastening means 20 for joining the overlapping ends of the bands. According to one feature of the invention, the body bands have different lengths which cooperate with the elasticity of the bands and the adjustability of the band fastening means to render the corset adjustable for application to a variety of body sizes and shapes. According to another feature of the invention, the adjacent body bands along each edge of the posterior corset panel 12 are disposed in laterally overlapping relation to provide ideal, laterally continuous support for the wearers abdominal region over the entire combined width of the bands.
Referring now in greater detail to the embodiment of the invention which has been selected for illustration in FIG. 13, the posterior corset panel 12 has an essentially laminated construction and includes an outer layer 22 and an inner, body engaging layer 24. The outer layer 22 provides the main structural strength of the panel and may comprise a leatherette or plastic sheet. The inner layer 24 is a cushioning layer which is designed to prevent chafing or other irritation of the wearers skin and thus render the corset comfortable to wear. The inner cushioning layer 24 may comprise felt, foam rubber, or the like. The panel layers 22, 24 may be adhesively bonded and/or stitched to one another or joined in any other convenient way.
The posterior panel 12 of the particular corset illustrated is elongated vertically, that is, in a transverse direction of the body bands 14, 16, 18 so as to engage a substantial portion of the wearers back. This panel is made relatively stiff through somewhat yieldable or flexible, as already noted, so as to enable the panel to provide optimum therapeutic support the wearers body. Panel 12 may be provided with the requisite stiffness in various ways. The illustrated panel, for example, is formed with pockets 26 containing metal stays 28. These stays may be bent to conform to the particular contour of the wearers body and/or to apply supporting pressure to selected points of the body.
The body bands 14, 16, 18 of the corset 10 are similar except for their different lengths. Thus, each band comprises an elastic web 30 which is stitched at one end to the adjacent longitudinal edge of the posterior corset panel 12. The body band fastening means 20 are applied to the opposite, free ends of these elastic webs. Conceivably, various types of web fastening means may be used on the present corset. Preferably, however, the fastening means 20 for each pair of corresponding body bands 14, I6, 18 comprise mating Velcro tapes 32, 34 which are stitched or otherwise joined to the free ends of the corresponding bands. It is significant to note that one the the Velcro tapes for each pair of corresponding body bands is substantially larger than the other Velcro tape. This difference in the sizes of the mating Velcro tapes permits adjustable interlocking engagement of the tapes in such a way as to provide effective adjustment for the length of the body bands 14, 16, 18. Preferably, the smaller tape is the Velcro hook tape.
When applying the medical corset 10 to the body, the posterior corset panel 12 is located in the desired position against the wearers back. The body bands l4, 16, 118 are then stretched forwardly about the warers waist W to locate the mating Velcro tapes 32, 34 on the corresponding bands in overlapping relation at the front of the wearers body. The mating tapes are then pressed firmly together to join the corresponding body bands. As just noted, the difference in size of the mating tapes permits adjustable fastening of the tapes to one another in such a way as to adjust the effective length of the body bands.
The particular corset under discussion has three body bands 14, 16, and 18 along each edge of the posterior corset panel 12. The two outer bands along each edge of the panel, that is, the uppermost band 14 and lowermost band 18, are slightly longer than the intervening center band 16. The ends of the outer bands thus extend a short distance beyond the ends of the center bands, as shown. Moreover, as noted earlier and also shown in the drawings, the longitudinal edge portions of the adjacent body bands are disposed in overlapping relation. The three body bands l4, 16, 18 along each edge of the posterior corset panel 12 thus provide an effective laterally continuous support for the wearers abdominal region. lt has been found that optimum conformation of the corset to the human body is achieved by longitudinally dimensioning the body bands, as shown, and by securing the upper bands 14 to the panel 12 in such a way that these bands extend downwardly at a slight angle relative to and across the adjacent center bands 16. The center and lower body bands 16, 18 generally parallel one another. Preferably, the inner ends of the upper body bands 14 are cut on the bias, as shown, to facilitate attachment of these bands to the panel.
FIGS. 4 and 5 illustrate a slightly modified and presently preferred corset according to the invention. The preferred corset has only two laterally overlapping body bands 14, 16' along each edge of the posterior corset panel 12' and the panel has a vertical height approximately the overall width of these two bands. The upper body bands 14' in FIG. 4 are slightly shorter than the lower bands 16. Each body band 14 and 16' has a longitudinally inner elastic web section 30' and a longitudinally outer nonelastic web section 31' which are stitched or otherwise joined end-to-end as shown. The inner ends of the inner elastic sections are stitched or otherwise joined to the adjacent edges of the posterior panel 12'. The upper edges of the upper nonelastic sections 31 and the lower edges of the lower nonelastic sections 31' are cut on the bias, as illustrated, to better conform to the body when the corset is applied and to improve the wearing comfort of the corset. The posterior panel 12 and the outer nonelastic body band sections 31 have a laminated construction including an outer layer of leatherette or plastic material and an inner body engaging layer of felt, lined foam rubber, or the like. The posterior panel 12' contains bendable stays 28'.
The body bands 14, 16' and provided with adjustable fastening means for adjustable and releasably joining the corresponding bands when the corset is worn. In this case, the fastening means comprise flaps 32' of Velcro hook material which are stitched or otherwise joined to the outer ends of one pair of adjacent body bands 14', 16 and strips 34 of Velcro pile material which are stitched or adhesively bonded to the outer leatherette or plastic surfaces of the nonelastic band sections 31 of the other body band pair. These pile strips may have pressure sensitive surfaces secured to the body bands, for example.
The preferred corset 10 is applied and worn in essentially the same manner as described earlier in connection with the first embodiment of the intention. The preferred corset, however, may be wornas a lower back support by placing the longer body bands 16 at the bottom and as a rib splint by placing the longer bands at the top.
Accordingly, while the invention has herein been shown and described in what is conceived to be its most practical and preferred embodiment, it is recognized that departures may be made therefrom within the scope of the invention, which is not be to be limited to the details disclosed herein, but is to be accorded the full scope of the claims so as to embrace any and all equivalent devices.
Having described the invention, what is claimed as new in support of Letters Patent is:
I claim: 1. A medical corset to be worn about the waist for supporting the wearers back and abdominal regions, said corset comprising:
a relatively stiff though somewhat flexible posterior back engaging panel, said panel having substantially parallel opposite edges;
a first elastic body band joined at one end to one of said edges, a second elastic body band joined at one end to the other of said edges, said first band and said second band being substantially in an inline relationship, said first and second bands being adapted to encircle the wearers waist in such a way as to locate the free ends of said bands in an overlapping relation in front of the wearers body;
a third elastic body band joined at one end to one of said edges, a fourth elastic body band joined at one end to the other of said edges, said third and fourth band being substantially in an inline relationship, said third band being parallel to said first band, said fourth band being parallel to said second band, said third and fourth bands being adapted to encircle the wearers hips in such a way as to locate the free ends of said bands in an overlapping relation in front of the wearer's body, said third band exteriorly overlapping a portion of said first band, said fourth band exteriorly overlapping a portion of said second band; and
adjustable fastening means attached to the free ends of said bands for releasably and adjustably joining the overlapping ends of said body bands in such a way to accommodate application of said corset to wearers of various sizes and shapes.
2. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein each of said body bands includes a nonelastic section at the free end thereof.
3. Apparatus as defined in clam 2 wherein said third and fourth body bands being greater in length than said first and second body bands.
4. Apparatus as defined in claim 2 including a fifth elastic body band connected at one end to one of said edges, a sixth elastic body band connected at one end to the other of said edges, said fifth band partially exteriorly overlapping with said first band, said sixth band partially exteriorly overlapping with said second band, said fifth and sixth bands not being in an inline relationship.
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