US 3840918 A
A pillow is adapted for the application of special temperature conditions to the head and neck areas of the user, and for the support of the neck vertebrae. A covering envelope for the pillow has a flap provided with a pocket adapted to receive temperature-establishing means such as a heat pad or an ice pack. The position of the pocket is such as to place it above the head of the user during his sleep. The edge of the pillow normally under his neck is provided with a specialized structure giving support for the neck vertebrae to remove muscle strains in that area, and normalize the relative positions of the vertebrae. In the preferred form of the pillow, the usual mass of cushioning material is reinforced by a resilient sponge member extending along the edge, which is reinforced centrally in its cross section by a rod extending generally parallel to the edge of the pillow.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Shave 1 THERAPEUTIC PILLOW  lnventor: Robert C. Shave, 33 Sutton, S.W.,
Grand Rapids, Mich. 49507  Filed: May 24, 1973  Appl. No.: 363,750
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 10/1901 Rowe ISO/2.3 8/1925 Schnitzler 128/403 UX 2,412,769 12/1946 Easterbrooks.... 5/339 2,940,088 6/1960 Boos t 5/338 3,289,224 12/1966 Witchel 5/345 B 3,719,185 3/1973 Hanes, 5/338 [111- 3,840,918 Oct. 15, 1974 Primary ExaminerPaul R. Gilliam Assistant Examiner-Andrew M. Calvert Attorney, Agent, or FirmGlenn B. Morse 57 ABSTRACT A pillow is adapted for the application of special tern perature conditions to the head and neck areas of the user, and for the support of the neck vertebrae. A covering envelope for the pillow has a flap provided with a pocket adapted to receive temperature-establishing means such as a heat pad or an ice pack. The position of the pocket is such as to place it above the head of the user during his sleep. The edge of the pillow normally under his neck is provided with a specialized structure giving support for the neck vertebrae to remove muscle strains in that area, and normalize the relative positions of the vertebrae. 1n the preferred form of the pillow, the usual mass of cushioning material is reinforced by a resilient sponge member extend ing along the edge, which is reinforced centrally in its cross section by a rod extending generally parallel to the edge of the pillow.
2 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures PATENTED BUT I 5 I974 SNEU 3 OF 3 1 THERAPEUTIC PILLOW BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION It is common knowledge that such ailments as sinus disorders, the common cold, a stiff neck, and even some problems relating to vision frequently respond favorably to a type of treatment known generally as phys ical therapy. These procedures usually involve the use of heat or cooling, together with massage and other manipulative techniques tending to restore the natural relative position of the vertebrae in the neck. It has also been recognized that the long periods one normally spends in sleeping suggest that special attention be given to the position and temperature environment of the body during these periods, both for preventive and curative purposes. One step in this direction appears in the US. Pat. No. 2,412,769, issued to Easterbrooks in 1946. This patent describes a pillow having a flap along one edge. which is the edge nearest the head ofthe bed. This flap is laid'over the head in the manner ofa small blanket, and prevents cold drafts from impinging on the neck and head area.
Pillows are commonly of a single degree of cushioning softness throughout the entire unit. Some pillows have the effect of providing a support gradient by having increased thickness in certain areas. The use of these presents problems, however, in that an unduly large mass of the pillow around the users face tends to interfere with his breathing.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION A therapeutic pillow is provided by a covering envelope enclosing a mass of cushioning material, and also an auxiliary resilient component of sponge material extending along an edge of the pillow within the envelope. This auxiliary member is reinforced by a rod extending along the central part ofthe cross section ofthe member so that the rod functions in the manner of a beam disposed normally under the neck area to provide support for the neck vertebrae without seriously decreasing the softness characteristics of the pillow. A flap along the opposite edge of the pillow contains a panel forming a pocket adapted to receive either a heating pad or an ice pack, the placement of the panel being such as to position such a unit directly above the head of the user when the flap is pulled over the head.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a pillow embodying the present invention, with the flap detached.
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the pillow shown in FIG. 1, with the flap in position.
FIG. 3 is a section of the plane 3-3 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 4 is a perspective view, partially in section, extending from the plane 3-3 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 5 is a section on an enlarged scale showing the attachment of the fabric components adjacent the left edge of the pillow, as it appears in FIGS. 3 and 4.
FIG. 6 illustrates a modified form of construction of the pillow in the same area as that of FIG. 5.
FIG. 7 is a perspective view showing the pillow with an ice pack installed in the pocket.
FIG. 8 illustrates the placement of the pillow and its auxiliary reinforcement with respect to the head of the user.
FIG. 9 illustrates the manner of use of the pillow with a temperature-establishing device incorporated in the pocket.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring to FIG. 3, the pillow is formed by an envelope indicated generally at 10 enclosing a mass of the usual cushioning material 11. This material is usually down, particles of foam rubber, or perhaps a fibrous material. It is preferable, but not necessary, that the pillow have an inner cover (not shown) enclosing all of the resilient components, so that the outer cover can be of tubular configuration with its ends closed by snaps as shown at 12-14. A strip 15 is sewn to the cover 10 along one edge, and is provided with a row of snaps 16-19 for removably securing the flap 20. This flap is provided with a panel 21 secured to the flap 20 along lines of stitching indicated at 22 and 23, with the snaps 24 and 25 forming closures to the pocket formed by the panel 21. A central opening 26 in the panel 21 is of a size adapted to receive the neck of a standard ice pack as shown at 27 in FIG. 7. The material of the panel 21 is rolled at the opening 26 to form an annular tube for receiving the drawstring 28, which is capable of constricting the opening 26 about the neck of the ice pack 27 to hold it in position. A heating pad can also be inserted in the pocket formed by the panel 21, with the usual electrical lead either emerging at one side or the other of the snaps 24 or 25, or through the opening 26.
An elongated auxiliary cushioning element 29 is installed along the edge of the cushion opposite from the strip 15. This element is preferably of a material similar to foam rubber, and is enclosed within a sleeve 30 for the purpose of locating the material 29 with respect to the mass 11, so that it does not migrate into the central portion of the pillow. The sleeve 30 is preferably formed by a piece brought together so that the edges 30a and 30/: are received between the edges 10a and 10b of the cover 10, and secured by sewing as indicated at 31 in-FIG. 6. The sewing operation, of course, is done while the cover 10 is inside out. An alternative construction appears in FIG. 5 in which the sleeve 30 is provided with a strip 32, and the cover 10 with a corresponding strip 33. These strips are sewn or adhesively secured in position, and are sewn together. on final assembly as indicated at 34.
I To provide a more gradual transition in the softness of the pillow, the auxiliary cushioning member 29 is formed with a V-shaped configuration, which appears along the edge of the member 29 facing the strip 15. This configuration decreases the support capability of the auxiliary member 29 to progressively more closely correspond to the characteristics of the mass 11. To utilize the support capabilities of the auxiliary cushioning member 29 at either side of the neck of the user, a reinforcing rod 35 is positioned in the central area of the cross section of the sponge member 29, preferably along a length of approximately 22 inches. The rod 35 is preferably of steel on the order of a quarter of an inch in diameter. The functioning of this rod appears in FIGS. 8 and 9, where it is obvious that the neck vertebrae of the user are supported by resilient material on both sides of the neck as well as that immediately underneath it. In FIG. 9, the full functioning of the pillow is illustrated. The effect of the temperature-establishing unit 27 is added to the support given to the neck of the user by the auxiliary cushioning unit 29, as reinforced by the rod 35. It has been found most desirable to form the cover and the flap 21 of a material commonly referred to as Terry Cloth, which is a fabric having closely-packed loops extending perpendicularly to the plane of the fabric and thus providing considerable softness and including characteristics. An auxiliary cover can also be attached to the cover 10 underneath the flap 20, and removably secured by snaps. This extra and removable cover sheet should be of a material similar to that of an ordinary pillow case or bed sheet, and is removed primarily for cleaning purposes.
1. A pillow including a covering envelope and resilient material enclosed within said envelope, said envelope having a flap secured thereto, wherein the im- -4 provement comprises:
a plurality of resilient materials enclosed within said envelope, and relatively disposed symmetrically about a center plane through the edges of said pillow to provide substantially increased support along one edge of said envelope, and
said flap having a pocket adapted to receive temperature-establishing means, said flap also being secured to said envelope at a position remote from said edge.
2. A pillow as defined in claim 1, wherein said pocket is formed by a panel having 'acentral aperture adapted to receive a portion of said temperature-establishing means, and also has a drawstring operative to constrict said opening.