Lumbar Lower-Back Support Device
Millions of people suffer from chronic lower back pain. There are
many different causes and conditions involved, but a fairly
simple device can eliminate or greatly reduce the pain,
Most people with this pain find that the pain is greatly reduced
when lying down. The reason for this is that the weight of the upper
part of the body acts to compress the vertebrae together when
standing or sitting, but that effect of compression disappears
The upper body weight does not compress the vertebrae themselves,
because they are bone, but the cushioning disks between the vertebrae are
subject to that compression. There are a multitude of nerve
endings in those areas, and when a disk becomes inflamed or injured,
it can therefore expand laterally to press against those many nerve
endings, which is the actual cause of the pain sensations.
The upper part of a person's body is generally more than 1/3 of
the entire body weight. The way a person is arranged, that weight
is NOT distributed throughout the waist area, but is concentrated
in the very small area of the spine itself. If a person's upper body
weighs 70 pounds, and that weight is supported on a stack of
vertebrae and disks that have an effective area of 1/2 square
inch, that means that the continuous pressure on a disk is around
140 pounds per square inch! It gets even higher if the person
If the upper body weight could be partially supported, there would
be reduced compression pressure on those disks. Any disks that were
inflamed or otherwise injured, would not be squeezed so severely.
This has TWO good effects.
- (1) By not additionally stressing that disk, the disk can be given an
opportunity to heal itself, which often tends to happen with many
lumbar disk injuries.
- (2) By not being squeezed by having to support
that whole body weight, the disks are not caused to spread laterally, so
there is no or minimal irritation of those pain sensor nerves,
so minimal pain is felt by the patient.
Quite an assortment of "Medical Traction" devices have been
developed and used for several decades. It is a well-proven,
commonly used treatment technique, particularly after spinal
operations. The patient is generally rather immobile in such
apparatus, and is essentially "stretched" by the equipment.
The New Device
A "Portable Traction" device is presented. Several different
versions of it are practical. The one described here is for
lower back (lumbar) pain. Another version could be used at a knee
joint, to support the body's weight both before and after an
ACL or MCL knee injury. Yet another could be used for sprained
ankles and after ankle surgery.
Virtually normal movement (and appearance) is available when using
this device. There is not the "rigid" structure like that
of conventional traction equipment, and it follows the body contours
I am interested in discussing the possibilities of manufacturing and
marketing these devices with interested companies. It is appropriate
that the construction details only be presented after an NDA is
exchanged. Please contact me by the e-mail link below.
This presentation was first placed on the Internet in November 2002.
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C Johnson, Theoretical Physicist, Physics Degree from Univ of Chicago