Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3070090 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 25, 1962
Filing dateJan 27, 1961
Priority dateJan 27, 1961
Publication numberUS 3070090 A, US 3070090A, US-A-3070090, US3070090 A, US3070090A
InventorsArabion N Taylor
Original AssigneeArabion N Taylor
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Neck support
US 3070090 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec. 25, 1962 A. N. TAYLOR 3,070,090

NECK SUPPORT Filed Jan. 27, 1961 INVENTOR.

M/MV M Hftorneys United States Patent Ofiice 3,070,090 Patented Dec. 25, 1962 3,070,090 NECK SUPPORT Atrabion N. Taylor, 429 E. 9th St, Anniston, Ala. Filed Jan. 27, 1961, Ser. No. 85,349 Claims. (Cl. 12875) This invention relates to a neck support and more particularly to an inflatable neck support which shall be adapted to limit extreme motions of the neck of a patient, thereby protecting the ligamentous structures.

Another object of my invention is to provide a neck support of the character designated which not only limits motion of the neck in various directions, but tends to return the neck to a neutral position and at the same time permits sufficient motion in the joints to aid nutrition of the cartilagenous surface of the joints and permits sulficient use of the muscles surrounding the cervical spine to maintain proper muscle tone.

Another object of my invention is to provide an inflatable support which shall provide even pressure over the entire area of contact of the support with the jaw, occiput region of the head, chest and back of the patient.

Another object of my invention is to provide a neck support which shall have separate sections which surround the front and back of the neck, said sections being adjustable independently of each other while on the patients neck.

A further object of my invention is to provide an inflatable neck support of the character designated which shall include simple means for adjusting the amount of pressure exerted by the neck support, thereby permitting the patient to adjust the support to suit his own comfort.

A further object of my invention is to provide a neck support of the character designated which continuously exerts an upward pressure on the head of the patient, thereby accomplishing a result which is essentially the same as traction on the neck without the elaborate paraphernalia usually required for traction.

A further object of my invention is to provide a neck support of the character designated in which a controlled amount of the load of the patients head may be removed from the supporting structures therefor, such as the cervical vertebra, intervertebral disc and intervening ligaments.

A still further object of my invention is to provide a neck support of the character designated which shall be simple of construction, economical of manufacture and one which is adjustable in size so that the proper fit can be obtained for every individual.

Heretofore in the art to which my invention relates, various forms of neck supports have been devised. However, so far as I am aware, such supports hold the neck in a set position and exert substantially no upward pressure on the head of the patient. With some conventional type neck supports, movement of the neck is permitted by providing separate sections for the front and back of the neck. However, with such devices, there is no effective means for limiting the amount of movement of the neck due to the fact that the sections are pivotally connected to each other or connected to each other by relatively long flexible straps.

To overcome the above and other difliculties, I provide a neck support which comprises a pair of pneumatically inflatable sections which completely surround the neck of the patient and are connected to each other over a relatively wide area whereby a substantially rigid unit is provided at all sides of the neck. The front and rear sections of my improved neck support are adjustable relative to each other whereby they may be adjusted to selected angular positions for accommodating people having different neck shapes. To assure an even pressure at every point of contact with the body of the patient, I provide concave upper edges for the sections and convex lower edges for the sections.

A neck support embodying features of my invention is illustrated in the accompanying drawing, forming a part of this application, in which:

FIG. 1 is a side elevational view showing a pair of the inflatable neck support sections removed from each other;

FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken generally along the line 22 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a side elevational view, partly broken away, showing the neck support in use; and,

FIG. 4 is a vertical sectional view taken generally along the line 44- of FIG. 3.

Referring now to the drawing for a better understanding of my invention, my improved neck support comprises a front section 10 and a rear section 11 which are substantially identical in construction. The sections 10 and 11 are formed of a pair of relatively thin sheets of material 12 and 13 joined to each other along the edges of the section as at 14. The sheets 12 and 13 are preferably formed of inert plastic material which is resistant to abrasions and punctures and possesses a limited amount of elasticity, such as polyvinyl chloride. By forming the sheets 12 and 13 of an inert material, there is less danger of allergic reactions to the skin of the patient.

Suitable valve members 16 are provided in the sections 10 and 11 for introducing air or other suitable gas whereby the sections are inflated. To limit outward movement of the central portions of the sheets of material 12 and 13 as the sections are inflated, I connect adjacent portions of the sheets 12 and 13 to each other as at 17. This may be accomplished by heat welding along the areas 17 which are spaced from each other, as shown in FIG. 1. Also, the ends of the connected areas 17 are spaced from the edges of the sections 14) and 11, as shown. To provide ventilation for the neck of the patient, I provide a plurality of vent openings 18 in the connected areas 17, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2.

The upper edge of the sections 10 and 11 are curved to form a generally concave edge 19 While the lower edges of the sections 10 and 11 are curved to provide a generally convex lower edge 21, as clearly shown in FIG. 1. By providing the concave upper edge 19', the upper edge of the front section 10 contacts the under surface of both sides of the lower jaw of the patient while the upper concave edge 19 of the rear section 11 contacts the occiput region of the head of the patient. By providing the generally convex lower edge 21, the lower edge of the front section 10 contacts the forward portion of the chest below the upper portion thereof and fits over the collar bones while the lower edge of the rear section 11 extends below the base of the neck and contacts the upper portion of the back of the patient. That is to say, the concave edges 19 and the convex edges 21 conform generally to the contour of the portion of the body being contacted whereby even pressure is exerted to all points of contact.

Projecting outwardly from opposite ends of each of the sections 10 and 11 are gripping tabs or sections 22 and 23. With the sections 10 and 11 surrounding the neck of the patient, as shown in FIG. 3, the gripping section 22 of the rear section 11 is adapted to cooperate with the gripping section 23 of the front section While the gripping section 23 of the rear section is adapted to cooperate with the gripping section 22 of the front section. The gripping tabs or sections 22 and 2 3 are relatively wide, as shown, and each gripping tab 22 is provided with a gripping surface 24 which is in the form of a series of relatively small hook-like members which are disposed to engage a felt-like surface 26 carried by the gripping tabs 23. That is, the hook-like members forming the surface 24 engage the felt-like surface 26 whereby the members are firmly joined together upon pressing the cooperating tabs 22 and 23 into contact with each other. By overcoming the gripping action between the hook-like surface 24 and the felt-like surface 26, the gripping tabs may be adjusted to any angular relationship to each other whereby the neck support may be adjusted to accommodate patients having different neck shapes. Also, the size of the neck support may be readily adjusted by joining the gripping tabs 22 and 23 at selected positions relative to each other. The use of the relatively small hook-like members to form the gripping surface 24 which cooperates with the felt-like surface 26 is a well known means for connecting garment sections to each other. By providing the relatively large contact area between the gripping tabs 22 and 23 and causing the neck support to surround the entire neck of the patient, a semi-rigid unit is provided which takes the load of the head off the supporting structures, such as the neck, cervical vertebra, intervertebral disc and intervening ligaments. Also, by providing the semi-rigid neck support which surrounds the neck of the patient, a limited amount of motion of the neck is permitted while extreme motions of the neck are restrained in order to protect the ligamentous structures.

From the foregoing description, the operation of my improved neck support will be readily understood. The front section and the rear section 11 of the neck support are positioned around the neck of the patient, as shown in FIG. 3, whereby the sections are in proper relationship to each other to accommodate the particular shape and size of the neck of the patient. The gripping tabs 22 and 23 are then pressed into firm engagement with each other whereby the hook-like surface 24 of the gripping tab 22 firmly engages the felt-like surface 26 of the gripping tab 23. With the sections 10 and 11 thus firmly connected to each other, there is no pivotal or hinge action between the front and rear sections after the neck support is assembled. As shown in FIG. 3, the concave edge 19 of the front section 10 contacts the under surface of both sides of the lower jaw while the concave edge 19 of the rear section 11 contacts the occiput region of the head of the patient. Also, as shown in FIG. 3, the lower concave edge 21 of the front section 10 contacts the forward portion of the chest below the upper portion thereof and fits over the collar bones While the lower convex edge 21 of the rear section 11 extends below the base of the neck and contacts the upper portion of the back of the patient. The ends of the sections 10 and 11 extend alongside the neck of the patient, as shown, whereby lateral movement of the head is limited.

After the neck support is mounted around the neck of the patient, air is introduced into the valve 16 whereby the front and rear sections are inflated separately to exert the required pressure on the areas contacted by the neck support. By providing separate means for introducing air into the front and rear sections of the neck support, the patient may readily adjust the pressure applied to his own comfort.

From the foregoing, it will be seen that I have devised an improved neck support which is very simple of construction and may be readily mounted on the neck of the patient in a minimum of time and without complicated adjustments. By providing a relatively wide contact area at the point the front and rear sections are connected to each other, a firm, semi-rigid connection is provided which prevents pivotal movement between the front and rear sections, thereby providing the required rigidity for the neck support. Also, by providing the concave and convex edges along the front and rear sections of the neck support, the support readily accommodates itself to the contour of the body of the patient whereby an even pressure is exerted to all contact areas.

Furthermore, by connecting the sheets of material 12 and 13 to each other at spaced intervals, the overall thickness of the sections is reduced to a minimum and at the same time the required rigidity is provided to exert the desired pressure at the contact areas.

While I have shown my invention in but one form, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that it is not so limited but is susceptible of Various changes and modifications Without departing from the spirit thereof, and I desire, therefore, that only such limitations shall be placed thereupon as are specifically set forth in the appended claims.

What I claim is:

1. A neck support comprising a first pneumatically inflatable member adapted to surround and contact the forward and side portions of the neck of a patient with the upper edge of said first member being concave and contacting the under surface of both sides of the lower jaw and the lower edge of said first member being convex and contacting the forward portion of the chest and fitting over the collar bones, a second pneumatically inflatable member adapted to surround and contact the rear and side portions of the neck of the patient with the upper edge of said second member being concave and contacting the occiput region of the head and the lower edge of said second member being convex and extending below the base of the neck and contacting the upper portion of the back, and means connecting said first member to said second member in overlapping relationship over a wide area to provide a relatively rigid composite unit which surrounds the neck of the patient.

2. A neck support as defined in claim 1 in which means are provided for inflating said first and second members separately.

3. A neck support as defined in claim 1 in which one of said inflatable members is provided with a felt-like surface and the other inflatable member is provided with a plurality of small hook-like members disposed to engage said felt-like surface.

4. A neck support comprising a first relatively flat inflatable member adapted to surround and contact the forward and side portions of the neck of a patient with the upper edge of said first member being concave and contacting the under surface of. both sides of the lower jaw and the lower edge of said first member being conveX and contacting the forward portion of the chest and fitting over the collar bones, a second relatively flat inflatable member adapted to surround and contact the rear and side portions of the neck of the patient with the upper edge of said second member being convex and contacting the occiput region of the head and the lower edge of said second member being concave and extending below the base of the neck and contacting the upper portion of the back, means securing adjacent surfaces of the inflatable members to each other at spaced intervals to divide said first and second inflatable members into a plurality of separate compartments whereby the thickness of the first and second members after inflation is limited, and means connecting said first member to said second member at opposite sides of the neck of the patient in overlapping relationship over a wide area to provide a relatively rigid composite unit which surrounds the neck of the patient.

5. A neck support as defined in claim 4 in which vent openings are provided in the surfaces of the inflatable members which are secured to each other.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,389,690 Schreiber Nov. 27, 1945 2,717,437 De Mestral Sept. 13, 1955 2,806,471 Breese Sept. 17, 1957 2,911,970 Bartel Nov. 10, 1959

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2389690 *Oct 18, 1943Nov 27, 1945 Cervical collar
US2717437 *Oct 15, 1952Sep 13, 1955Velcro Sa SoulieVelvet type fabric and method of producing same
US2806471 *Sep 21, 1953Sep 17, 1957Allan H BreeseCervical brace
US2911970 *Dec 1, 1958Nov 10, 1959Prosthetic & Orthopedic SupplyCervical collar
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3164151 *Dec 14, 1962Jan 5, 1965Nicoll Esmond D VereInflatable splint
US3285243 *Jan 2, 1964Nov 15, 1966Yellin LouisCervical collar
US3285244 *Jun 8, 1964Nov 15, 1966George W CottrellCervical collar
US4333179 *Jun 18, 1980Jun 8, 1982Laurita Robert AProtective guard for the throat area
US4343303 *Oct 21, 1980Aug 10, 1982Williams L BentonStimulating apparatus
US5275581 *Oct 19, 1992Jan 4, 1994Mikros U.S.A., Inc.Cervical collar
US5520619 *Feb 22, 1994May 28, 1996Ambu International A/SAdjustable cervical collar
US5588957 *Aug 15, 1995Dec 31, 1996Ambu International A/SCervical collar
US5728054 *May 24, 1996Mar 17, 1998Ambu International A/SAdjustable cervical collar
US5797863 *Nov 29, 1996Aug 25, 1998Ambu International A/SCollapsible cervical collar
US5993403 *Mar 13, 1998Nov 30, 1999Ambu International A/SAdjustable cervical collar
US6036664 *Jun 7, 1995Mar 14, 2000Ambu International A/SAutomatic adjustable cervical collar
US6071255 *Nov 2, 1995Jun 6, 2000Philadelphia Cervical Collar CompanyFlat cervical collar having a unitary chin support
US6090058 *Dec 30, 1997Jul 18, 2000Laerdal Medical CorporationMultiple-size cervical collar
US6245033Nov 29, 1999Jun 12, 2001Ambu International A/SAdjustable cervical collar
US6726643Mar 13, 2000Apr 27, 2004Ambu International A/SAutomatic adjustable cervical collar
USRE36745 *Jan 13, 1999Jun 20, 2000Ambu Inc.Extrication cervical collar with adjustable supports
EP0121718A1 *Feb 27, 1984Oct 17, 1984Walter AuracherOrthopedic support for head or neck
WO2001068008A1 *Mar 16, 2001Sep 20, 2001Davis Leonard GForced ventilated anatomical supports
Classifications
U.S. Classification602/18, 128/DIG.230, D24/191, 128/DIG.150
International ClassificationA61F5/055
Cooperative ClassificationA61F5/055, Y10S128/23, Y10S128/15
European ClassificationA61F5/055