US 20040250330 A1
This is a utility patent application for an Energy Diffusing Glove Insert (EDGI) that protects the users hand from pressure and shock. It decreases the pressure on the Median and Ulnar Neurovascular bundles on the palm of the hand decreasing both temporary and permanent injury coming from overuse. Originally designed for bicycle riding gloves they can also be utilized in other high impact, pressure, or vibration situations to improve performance and decrease injury, when inserted into those gloves either as a temporary addition or by a permanent fixation. The exact specifications will vary with the use and materials utilized for each purpose. They will always be designed to protect while allowing a good grip and adequate protection from the use involved. This patent should allow the incorporation of new cushioning material or combinations to be used. The insert shall be sized to fit inside the standard glove sizes.
1. I have developed a wedge shaped cushion that protects the Median and Ulnar Neurovascular bundles in the palm of the hand from shock, continuous pressure, and or vibration when placed inside a glove.
2. This cushion has a top surface that is non-abrasive to the surface of the palm.
3. The bottom surface has a textured or tacky surface to prevent sliding once the wedge is positioned in the glove, the wedge may be permanently affixed to the palmar surface of the glove.
4. The middle portion of the wedge shall consist of an elastic material capable of reducing shock and pressure, this material may be homogeneous or may contain an insert of another even more elastic product over the nerves.
5. The wedge shall be fully flexible to allow an appropriate grip of the object being held so that the thickest portion remains over the neurovascular bundles to protect them.
6. The wedge is designed to allow the gloved hand to firmly grip round tubular or solid rods or handles and maintains control during periods of maximum stress.
7. This wedge may be used in bicycle gloves, sport gloves, shooting gloves, work gloves or other gloves where the hand is subject to stress, vibration, or shock.
8. The overall wedge shape shall be consistent but may be sized to fit varying glove sizes for men, women or children.
 This project started approximately 6 months ago. I began a heavy bike riding program and developed symptoms of numbness in my hands and fingers the longer I drove. After buying and testing several gloves I found that none protected me effectively from developing this numbness. As a physician I recognized the problem as compression of my Median and Ulnar Neurovascular Complexes in my palm as I rested my hand on the handles of my bicycle.
 I recognized the need for additional cushioning to protect these areas. A thorough search of bicycle stores and online shops offered me a limited choice of solutions, which did not offer me a satisfactory result. I have used foot insoles to cushion my feet and found no insert of this type available in any stores. I began experimenting with several versions of foot and ankle cushions. Various manufacturers using different cushioning materials made these inserts.
 I began to reshape these insoles and found various problems with their design for use on hands. Finally, I decided to take these insole materials and reshape them by carving them to function properly when inserted into a glove. When riding the incidence of pressure complications decreased substantially and I found I could drive further and longer utilizing the new designed shape for these custom inserts I created. The benefits varied with the flexibility and cushioning offered by the various cushioning material products tested. But the design and utility remained the same.
 I then checked at the US and Foreign Patent Site for any patented products for use as an energy diffusing glove insert (EDGI). I found no previous patents, patent applications, or prior art for such a product.
 I further tested the EDGI in gloves for Racquetball, Golf, Shooting and other high impact sports. I found that with my design all of these decreased pressure and injury. I also noted that in certain high impact work applications (Jackhammer, Riveting Etc.) the palm of the hand and these neurovascular bundles would also be affected. A patent check for these also proved negative for patents and prior art. Most gloves that are patented are padded for external hand protection from contact to the back of the hand. None are designed to deal with the Median and Ulnar Nerve Compression and shock reduction except for baseball catcher's mitts. Those designs do not work for any of the intended purposes of my invention.
 One bicycle glove has an external pad for this purpose but I have found it ineffective for myself and others have found the same problems.
 After careful review and experimentation I have designed and tested this idea with various different cushioning material and combined materials that have built in inserts. Each material has distinct benefits in the amount of cushioning and flexibility needed for grip. My basic design is variable as to cushioning material and to thickness. They can vary based on the need for cushioning based on weight and size of the individual and the force exerted on the hands. Therefore, my specifications for the EDGI insert will vary slightly based on their material composition.
 I can also see how the insert can be incorporated permanently in a glove and fixated in a pocket. This would not be ruled out as an alternative mechanism of using the product and is and obvious possibility.
 The EDGI must be capable of being resized to fit gloves from small to very large for the male and female hand.
 I feel this products utilization is one not protected by any previous patents or prior art. I am requesting a full utility patent for this idea.