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Publication numberUS3895638 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 22, 1975
Filing dateFeb 28, 1974
Priority dateMar 4, 1973
Also published asDE2409710A1
Publication numberUS 3895638 A, US 3895638A, US-A-3895638, US3895638 A, US3895638A
InventorsTadao Ito
Original AssigneeTadao Ito
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Spinal column warming treatment apparatus
US 3895638 A
Abstract
A spinal column warming treatment apparatus comprising a mat on which a human body can lie, and a warming means, which is provided in the mat to cover the warming region of 30 to 90 cm long and 3 to 7 cm wide, and to warm to approximately 40 DEG to 70 DEG C, extending to a position along the spinal column portion of the human body in a supine condition, such that the warming means can come into contact with the spinal column portion. Selective and local warming operation of the spinal column of the human body (1) provides sound sleeping by warming a brain stem, (2) improves the blood circulation by working upon the vasomotor center of the brain stem and the spinal cord, thereby curing disorders caused by the disturbance of the blood circulation, and (3) cures disorders caused by the disturbance of autonomic nervous system through promotion of the autonomic nervous function.
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United States Patent [191 Ito [ SPINAL COLUMN WARMING TREATMENT APPARATUS [76] inventor: Tadao lto, 7-1.8 Bangochi,

Hanazono-imachi, Kyoto, Japan [22] Filed: Feb. 28, I974 [2|] Appl. No.: 446,613

[ 1 3,895,638 1 July 22, 1975 Primary E.raminer-Lawrence W. Trapp Attorney. Agent, or FirmW. G Fasse; W. W. Roberts {57] ABSTRACT A spinal column warming treatment apparatus comprising a mat on which a human body can lie. and a warming means, which is provided in the mat to cover the warming region of 30 to 90 cm long and 3 to 7 cm wide, and to warm to approximately 40 to 70C. extending to a position along the spinal column portion of the human body in a supine condition. such that the warming means can come into contact with the spinal column portion. Selective and local warming operation of the spinal column of the human body l pro vides sound sleeping by warming a brain stem, (2) im proves the blood circulation by working upon the vasomotor center of the brain stem and the spinal cord thereby curing disorders caused by the disturbance of the blood circulation, and (3) cures disorders caused by the disturbance of autonomic nervous system through promotion of the autonomic nervous function.

[4 Claims, 15 Drawing Figures PATENTED JUL 2 2 ms SHEET uzatiwmt :2: 3o 4/ 2 FIG. 5

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PATENTEDJULZZMs 3.895638 swan 3 J5 l/C 116 FIG. 9A

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SPINAL COLUMN WARMING TREATMENT APPARATUS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION l. Field of the Invention The present invention relates to a warming treatment apparatus of a human body. and more particularly. to a warming treatment apparatus for selectively and locally warming the spinal column of the human body.

2. Description of the Prior Art Disorders such as stiff shoulders, lumbago, neuralgia. etc. are caused mainly by the disturbance of blood circulation in affected parts. More particularly. waste materials such as carbon dioxide, lactic acid, etc. stored by activities of muscles. viscera, etc. are shifted to the blood in capillary vessels. while oxygen, enzyme and hormone, etc. move to the muscles, viscera. etc. in the capillary vessels. Normally, increase of waste materials such as carbon dioxide, lactic acid, etc. by more vigor ous action of the muscles, viscera, etc. is likely to increase the blood circulation in capillary vessels. How ever, insufficient increasing of the blood circulation in capillary vessels with respect to the increasing of the waste materials, or the other blood circulation impediment accumulates the waste materials in the muscles, viscera, etc., resulting in symptoms of fatigue, aches, etc.

In order to cure the disorders such as stiff shoulders. lumbago, neuralgia, etc. by removing the disturbance of blood circulation, it has been proposed to wholly or locally warm the body. Hot spring recuperation, electric blanket, etc. are provided as a wholly warming method of the body. However. a problem with such whole warming operation of the body is to raise undesirably the body temperature which may cause fatigue all the more. For example, the whole warming operation of the body by the use of the electric blanket during sleeping is likely to raise the body temperature be yond a physiological range, since the adjusting functions of the body temperature is particularly lowered during sleeping. Therefore, the user may be awakened or feel tired all the more. A medical appliance such as a hot pack is used to locally warm the affected parts of the body such as shoulders and waist for the improvement in the blood circulation. Such local warming means are intended to improve the local blood circulation of the affected part, but can not cure the disorders fundamentally. Also, the local warming means such as the conventional hot pack is not suitable for a long time use, since the warming region is designed to be of a larger area.

SUMMARY OF THE lNVENTlON Briefly stated, the present invention comprises means which is placed in contact with the back of the human body to warm the spinal column selectively and locally. The region warmed by the warming means is selected to the ranges of 3 to 7 cm wide, and 30 to 90 cm long along the spinal column and may be varied by the constitution of the user, symptoms. etc. For the direct contact of the warming means with the naked body. the warming temperatures are selected to the range of 40 to 45C, while for the indirect contact of the warming means with the body through clothes, they are selected to the range of 50 to 70C. The warming temperatures may be varied, dependent upon the physical conditions of the user, the symptoms of the user, etc. The preferred embodiment comprises means for adjusting such warming temperatures.

The inventor has found that the selective and local warming operation of the body spinal column portion of the present invention can effectively promote sleep to a sound sleep. and accordingly is effective for insomnia. etc. The effect is due to the fact that the warming operation of the spinal column warms a brain stem.

Also. the present inventor has observed that the selective and local warming operation of the spinal column portion by the invention produces the remarkable increase of blood circulation, whereby it is extremely effective for hypertension lumbago. stiff shoulders. the other muscle aches. fatigue. etc. He has confirmed this effect clinically. Such effect is considered to be due to the fact that the warming operation of the spinal column portion of the body works upon the vasomotor center of the brain stem and the spinal cord to open arteriole valves for improving the blood circulation.

Furthermore, the inventor has found that the selective and local warming operation of the spinal column portion of the body is effective medicinally for spiral plate hernia, neuralgia, chronic diarrhoea, digestive organ disorder, cystitis, hemorrhoids, etc. Such effect is considered to be due to the fact that the warming operation of the spinal column stimulates an autonomic nervous function to normalize the internal organs.

in the preferred embodiment, the present invention comprises a mat on which the body can lie on the back, and warming means, which is provided on the mat, extending in a position along the spinal column portion of the body in a supine condition so that it may come into contact with the spinal column. Such embodiment makes it possible to selectively warm the spinal column portion of the body in a supine condition which is the most relaxed condition of the body. Preferably, an auxiliary warming means may be provided additionally so that it may come into contact with the shoulder and/or the waist of the body in a supine condition. Such embodiment can improve the effects in curing the stiff shoulders, lumbago, etc.

In another embodiment, the present invention comprises a sheet member for contacting the back of the body which covers at least the spinal column portion, mens for retaining the sheet member such that the sheet member be in contact with the back of the body to cover the spinal column portion at least, and warming means provided in the sheet member extending in a position where the sheet member in a retained condition opposes the spinal column portion of the body such that the warming means can come into contact with the spinal column portion. Such embodiment makes it possible to selectively warm the spinal column portion of the body in the optional posture condition of the body. Preferably, an auxiliary warming means may be provided additionally so that it may come into contact with the shoulder and/or the waist of the body with the sheet member being retained thereon. Such embodiment improves the effects in curing the stiff shoulders, lumbago, etc.

Therefore, it is a principal object of the present invention to cure the disorders such as stiff shoulders, lumbago, neuralgia etc. by selectively and locally warming the spinal column portion of the human body.

It is another object of the present invention to desirably set the warming temperature of the selective and local warming medical treatment apparatus for spinal column portion of the human body.

It is a further object of the present invention to selectively and locally warm the spinal column portion of the human body and additionally to warm the affected part of the shoulder and/or the waist.

These and other objects. advantages and features of the present invention will be more apparent from the understanding of the detailed description thereof with reference to the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. is a plan view of a spinal column warming treatment apparatus in which the present invention is embodied,

FIG. 2 is a side view of the apparatus of FIG. I,

FIG. 3 is a sectional view of the apparatus of FIGS. I and 2 taken along a line IIII|I of FIG. 2,

FIG. 4 is a side view showing how the apparatus of FIGS. to 3 is used by a user.

FIG. 5 is an enlarged plan view ofa controller for the apparatus in the embodiment of FIG. I,

FIG. 6 is a perspective view showing various elements partially exposed of a portion of a preferred heating element for the warming means,

FIG. 7 is a circuit diagram ofa preferred embodiment of an automatic temperature control circuit,

FIG. 8 is a plan view of a heater suitable for the warming means of the inventive apparatus.

FIG. 8A is a plan view of a preferred embodiment of the heater suitable for use with the inventive apparatus,

FIGv 9 is a central cross sectional enlarged view of the apparatus for illustrating the enlarged portion of the warming means for the apparatus of the present invention,

FIG. 9A is a more enlarged sectional view showing only the heater and the clothes of FIG. 9,

FIG. 10 is a plan view of an apparatus of another embodiment of the present invention,

FIG. II shows the back of the upper halfof the body of a user using the apparatus of FIG. 9,

FIG. 12 is a plan view of an apparatus of a further embodiment of the present invention. and

FIG. 13 is a plan view ofthe heater for use in the FIG. I2 embodiment.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS FIG. I shows a plan view of a spinal column warming treatment apparatus of an embodiment of the present invention, and FIG. 2 is a side view of the apparatus of FIG. I. The apparatus of FIG. 1 shows that the present invention is embodied in the form of a mat. Therefore, the embodiment of FIG. I comprises a mat I and a spiral column warming means 2. FIG. I further comprises a plug 5 to be connected to a commercial power source to energize the warming means 2 by electricity, a cord 3, a controller 4 for controlling the energized condition of the warming means 2 through the cord 3, and a plug 6 for detachably connecting the cord 3 to the plug socket 7 of the mat I.

The mat l is of such a size as to allow the human body to lie thereon. Therefore, it is desirable that the mat 1 is at least [0 cm wide or more and 40 cm long or more. The warming means 2 is mounted extending lengthwise in the middle portion of the mat 1 so that it may come into contact with the spinal column of the human body when the body is lying on the mat I. The warming means 2 is selected to be 3 to 7 cm in width, and 30 to cm in length so that it may come into contact with the spinal column of the body in a supine condition on the mat I, and is provided in a swollen portion 8 swollen from the mat surface.

FIG. 3 shows a sectional view of an apparatus of FIGS. 1 and 2 taken along a line IIIIII of FIG. 2. The apparatus illustrated comprises an elastic sheet member 10, of such as foamed rubber, provided with the swollen portion 8, and a heating element 9 provided on the swollen portion 8. extending lengthwise. and a cover 11 covering the foamed rubber II]. The heating element 9 is secured to an inner cover made of cloth such as thick cotton, etc. and is secured between the foamed rubber I0 and the cover 11 at the swollen portion 8, as to be more fully described hereinafter.

The swollen portion 8 is formed, in section, to fit the middle depression in the back of the human body. Referring to FIG. 3, the cross-sectional shape of the human body 13 using the apparatus of the present invention is shown in a two-dot chain line. The side view of the body using the apparatus as well as of the apparatus of the present invention is shown in FIG. 4. The mat l is placed on a mattress l5, and the body 13 lies, using a pillow 14 at his discretion so that the spinal column may come into contact with the warming means 2.

FIG. 5 is an enlarged plan view of the controller 4 for the apparatus in the embodiment of FIG. I. The controller 4 of the illustrated embodiment is provided with a power source switch 20, a timer setting knob 21, and an automatic adjusting temperature setting knob 22. The timer setting knob 21 is constructed so that a timer (not shown) to be set may be set optionally to the longest possible period of three hours. The apparatus of the present invention can be used to set to a time period, which is best suited for treatment, by this timer. In using the illustrated apparatus by a user when going to bed, a proper time period is also used to prevent the portion other than the spinal column from being warmed undesirably through unconscious changes in the posture of the body after having fallen asleep by setting to a proper time period after which a patient is likely to fall asleep. One example of detailed circuits for the knob 22 will be described later.

In the preferred embodiment, a safety heater system is adopted for the warming means 2. One portion of the heating element 35 for the warming means 2 of such safety heater system is shown perspectively in FIG. 6 with various elements being exposed in steps. In the safety heater system, the heater itself operates as a safety device. Such a heater 35 has a glass fiber core 52 wound with copper alloyed narrow leaf 53 to serve as a heating wire. A sensible heat layer 54 is covered thereon, and then a signal wire 55 similar to the heating wire is wound thereon. The outermost portion thereof is insulation-coated with heat proof vinyl resin 56. Polyvinyl chloride. polyamide resin, etc. ofa negative temperature characteristic, which is great in electric resistance at normal temperatures, but reduces in electric resistance at higher temperatures are used for the sensible heat layer 54.

The operation of such heater 35 will be briefly described hereinafter. As the heater 35 for the warming means 2 increases abnormally in temperature during its use, the electric resistance for the sensible heat layer 54 reduces and the current flows thereinto. The current is guided into the automatic control device to controllingly interrupt a current flowing passage for the heating element 35 as the warmer means 2 increases in temperature above a given temperature. Since such sensible temperature operation is conducted across the entire heater 35, the safety thereof is highly ensured. Ac cordingly, this is suitable for the warming treatment apparatus.

HO 7 shows a circuit diagram of a preferred embodiment of a temperature automatic control circuit. A power source 30 is connected to energizing connection points A and B for a bridge circuit BR through a power source switch and a timer 21. The bridge circuit BR comprises capacitors 36, 38, 39 and the heater 35, and a variable resistor 22 for setting an automatic adjusting temperature, and a detection transformer 37 are connected between detection connection points C and D. The signal wire 55 for the heater 35 is connected to the connection point D, and the heating wire 53 for the heater 35 is connected from the energizing connection point A to a switching element to be described later. A secondary coil of the transformer 37 is connected to an amplifier AP through the rectification filter circuit DT comprising a rectification circuit including a diode 40 and a resistor 41. and a filter circuit including a resistor 42 and a capacitor 43. The amplifier AP comprises a transistor 44 connected in an emitter follower fashion by resistors 46, 47, 50, a diode 45 and a capacitor 48. The emitter follower output is applied to a switching device SW as a control input. The switching device SW comprises a thyristor 49 connected in series with the heating wire 53.

In operation, at the desired temperature of the heating wire 53, the electric resistance of the sensible heat layer 54 is small and the bridge BR is adjusted to balance in the current flowing impedance therefor. Accordingly. no output is provided between the detection connecting points C and D. No output is produced in the rectification/filter circuit DT. The transistor 44 has a tendency to turn off and a low output voltage is produced at the emitter output. The thyristor 49 is controlled to be off and therefore the heating wire 53 is not energized. If the temperature of the heating wire 53 falls, the electric resistance of the sensible heat layer 54 becomes greater. The impedance through the heater 35 becomes greater and the bridge circuit BR becomes out of balance. Accordingly, an increased output is pro duced between the detection connecting points C and D to increase the detection output for rendering the transistor 44 more conductive. Thus, the thyristor is turned on and the heating wire 53 is energized. It is understood that the energization of such heating wire 53 is ceased upon reaching thereof to a desired temperature. The heating temperature of the heating wire 53 can be set as desired by adjusting the variable resistor 22. Such setting range is designed in circuit so that an optional temperature may be set in the ranges of between 40 to 45C in case where the warmer means 2 is in direct contact with the skin of the body, while in the ranges of between 50 to 60C in case where the warmer means is used for the user who wears clothes.

FIG. 8 shows a plan view of the heater 9 suitable for use with the apparatus of the present invention. The heating wire 35 as shown in FIG. 6 is wound reciprocatingly throughout the warming means in a length direction and is placed side by side laterally in a flat condition. The heater is secured, through binding, to cloth slightly bigger in area than the warming means 2. Since the turning up of both ends thereof can not make an acute angle. the heater wires are in the form of ring. The width of the warming means can be determined by properly selecting the distribution of the heater wire 35 with respect to the cloth, and the length thereof can be determined by properly selecting the turned up length of the heater wire 35.

FIG. 8A shows a plan view of a preferred embodiment of the heater 9 suitable for use with the inventive apparatus. The two-folded heating wire 35 of the HO. 6 embodiment. as folded at 60 as shown in FIG. 8A. is wound reciprocatingly in the same fashion as mentioned above so as to form a similar warming means extending along the length direction thereof arranged side by side in a flat condition. The FIG. 8 embodiment is more preferred in that both terminal ends of the wire 35 are taken out of the peripheral portion ofthe warming means, while the FIG. 8 embodiment has one of the terminal ends 61 and 62 of the wires taken out of the central portion of the warming means such that the said terminal end is overlying the warming means. as at 61 in FIG. 8, which might cause undesired overheating at the superposed portion of the wire.

FIG. 9 is an enlarged cross sectional view showing only a portion in the vicinity of the warming means 2 of the apparatus of the present invention. As described hereinabove. the heater 9 is secured. at proper distribution as described above. between the cloths llt'. The foamed rubber 10 is placed on a lower portion cover 11b, and another rubber 8 for the swollen portion is fixedly placed thereon in the region of the warming means 2. The cloths lie between which the heater 9 is secured is placed so that the heater 9 may be placed on the swollen portion. The cloth [lo and the lower por tion cover 1117 are then sewed together, by string 13. on both sides of the swollen portion 8. Then, the upper portion cover [In and the lower portion cover 11b are sewed together in the pheriphery of the mat 1.

FIG. 9A is a more enlarged sectional view showing only the heating wire 35 and the cloth of FIG. 9. The heating wire 35, as wound and arranged as described with reference to FIGS. 8 and 8A. is sandwiched between the cloths 11c and attached therebetween by the use of adhesive. Such a composite of the cloths 11c and the wire 35 is then sewed to the cover 11b through the foamed rubber 10, as mentioned above.

In using the apparatus of the present invention, the knob 22 for setting the temperature of the controller 4 is set to a desired temperature, considering the presence of the clothes on the patient, the user's symptoms and physical condition. etc. The timer 2] is set to a de sired time period, considering the using condition of the apparatus, the users symptoms, etc. The power source switch 20 is turned on and the user lies with his spinal column being in contact with the warming region of the warming means 2 and maintains his body posture. Accordingly, the spinal portion of the body is warmed to a given temperature selectively and locally.

One of the greatest advantages of the present invention is to selectively and locally warm the spinal column portion alone to a given temperature. The entire portion of the body is not warmed undesirably and therefore the body temperature is not increased undesirably. For example, the conventional electric blanket and the electric sheet are designed to warm the entire portion of the body. or the wider region than that so as to increase the temperature of the body. A foot warmer is adapted to locally raise the body temperature by locally warming the bodily portion which can not improve the blood circulation sufficientlyv The conventional hot pack is adapted to locally warm the affected part to improye the blood circulation. However. the apparatus of the present invention warms the spinal column portion alone selectively and locally to a desired temperature without raising the body temperature undesirably. thereby .iliowing the spinal column to be warmed for a longer time so that various medicinal effects may be provided.

the inventor has confirmed clinically that the treatment by the apparatus of the present invention produced the following effects.

lv User's sleep falling is improved and sound sleeping is provided. Thus. the treatment by this apparatus is ef' feetive for insomnia, etc. In I957, Euler and Soderberg found that animals fell asleep upon warming the brain stem. where a sleeping center is located. The effect of the present invention is due to the fact that the brain stem is warmed by warming the spinal column. Also. during sleeping. basic metabolism reduces. while perspiration increases considerably. Accordingly. the body temperature falls considerably as compared with at awakening time. However, the center of regulation of body temperature located in the brain stem is active while sleeping. As the body temperature falls exccssively. the sleeping becomes shallower into awakening. However. according to the apparatus of the present invention, the spinal column portion is warmed in accordance with physiological requirements without raising the body temperature undesirably. Accordingly, the

user is easy to fall asleep and the sound sleeping is provided. Therefore. this treatment is effective for the insomnia.

2. The treatment by this apparatus increases the blood circulation remarkably and thus is extremely el fectiie for hypertension. lumbago. stiff shoulders, her morrhoids. the other muscle aches. fatigue. etc. This is because the warming operation of the body spinal col umn portion works upon the vasomotor center of the brain stem and the spinal cord to open arteriole value for improving the blood circulation. Carbon dioxide gas and waste material are discharged to supply oxygen and nutrition. Increase of the blood circulation by the use of the apparatus of the present invention is considered to be 50 percent or more.

3. The treatment by this apparatus is effective clinically for spinal plate hernia. neuralgia. Chronic diarrhoea. digestive organ disorder, cystitis. etc. As the body temperature is likely to be lower than normal range during the sleeping. the body bends like a lobster.

fhus. the spinal nerves are compressed, thus resulting in diso ders of the spinal nerves and the viscera. The local Warming operation of the spinal column portion by the apparatus of the present invention makes the spinal column straight because the body temperature is not low. Furthermore. the depressing forces by the ap paratus of the present invention additionally corrects the spinal column and removes the pressure of the pi' rial nerve due to accompanying dislocation. Furtlnr more. the warming operation of the spinal cord Slltilates an autonomic nervous function to normalize iii. function of the viscera. Such effects are considered to be ensured in such described way as given above.

(ill

4. The other reasons why the warming treatment ap paratus of the present invention provides the abovementioned effects are as follows. It is known that socalled vital spots (vitals) are considered seriously as medical treatment points in acupuncture. monocausis, massage. etc. According to an oriental medicine. there are twel e vital spots along both sides of the spinal colurnn in the back of the body. and the functional condition of the viscera is said to show up therein. The selective and local warming operation of the spinal column portion by means of the warming treatment apparatus of the present invention stimulates all these vital spots to provide better effects to the functions of the viscera. According to the expression of the modern medicine. unbalance of the autonomic nervous system is improved and normalization of viscera metabolism. secretion. digestion. etc. is promoted.

FIG. 10 is a plan view of an apparatus in another embodiment of the present invention. In the embodiment of FIG. 10, warming means 102 is mounted, at a position opposing the spinal column, in substantially vestshaped clothes 101. More particularly. the warming means 102 is provided, extending longitudinally in the middle portion ofthe back body 105 of the vest-shaped clothes 101. the front body 106 thereof comprising a plural pairs of buttons 104 and button holes 107 for wearing purpose. The vest 101 is provided with a pair of arm inserting holes 108. and the warming means 102 is connected to a core 103. The warming means 102 may be substantially the same as the warming means 2 used for the apparatus of FIGS. 1 to 3. Also, the component apparatus and the circuit described with reference to FIGS. 5 to 9 may be used advantageously for the apparatus of FIG. 10.

FIG. 11 shows the back of the upper half portion of the body of a user using the apparatus of FIG. 10. Both are substantially the same with the exception that the apparatus of FIG. 10 is in the form of the vest 101, instead of the mat 1 for the apparatus of FIGS. 1 to 3. They are substantially the same even in the using method. ()ne of the greatest advantages in using the apparatus of FIG. 10 is that it is in the form of vest thus allowing it to be used even in any body posture.

FIG 12 shows a further embodiment of an apparatus of the present invention. The apparatus of FIG. 12 comprises stiff shoulder affected part warming means 200 and waist ache affected part warming means 300 in addition to the apparatus of FIGS. 1 to 3. The warming region of the warming means 200 and 300 is seiected so that they may cover the stiff shoulder affected part and the waist ache affected part in the lying condition of the body. It has been found out that the addiional selective and local warming operation of the stiff "oulder affected part and the waist ache affected part the apparatus of the present invention provides increascd medicinal effects for the stiff shoulder and the aist ache. Needless to say. either the warming means 200 or 300 may be mounted depending upon the symptoms. Also, means for choosing between the two may e mounted.

FIG. 13 shows a plan view of the heater 9 for use in 4 FIG. 12 embodiment. In comparison with the emit limi-nts of FIGS. 8 and 8A, the FIG. 13 embodiment Tlpt'lSeS laterially extending heater portion 300 or .260. The heater 9 of such configuration as shown in FIG. 13 can be provided by folding and arranging the 9 wire 35 along the periphery of the letter T, as seen from the FIG. l3.

While specific preferred embodiments of the invention have been described. it will be apparent that obvious variations and modifications of the invention will occur to those of ordinary skill in the art from a consideration of the foregoing description. It is therefore desired that the present invention be limited only by the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

l. A spinal column warming treatment apparatus for selectively and locally warming a predetermined region opposing a spinal column in the back of a human body to a predetermined warming temperature in the range of 40 to 70C, said predetermined region having a width of from to 3 to 7 cm and a length of from 30 to 90 cm; said apparatus comprising a warming means comprised of a fixing sheet, and a heater means affixed to said fixing sheet and distributed throughout an area on said fixing sheet corresponding to said predetermined region, said heater means further extending back and forth on said fixing sheet in the lengthwise direction thereof and being laid flat on said fixing sheet, said heater means comprising a heating wire, a signal wire, and a heat sensitive layer between said heating wire and said signal wire, means for retaining said warming means adjacent said predetermined region in the back of a human body, comprising an elastic sheet member, an elastic elongated protrusion formed in the region of said sheet member corresponding to said predetermined region in the back of a human body, and a cover covering said elastic sheet member and protrusion, said fixing sheet being affixed to said elastic sheet member underneath said cover at both sides of said heater wire with said heater wire being positioned on and aligned with said elastic elongated protrusion, means for automatically controlling the heating temperature of said heating wire comprising means for controlling the energization of said heating wire in response to the impedence through said heat sensitive layer between said heating layer and said signal wire, said heat sensitive layer having an impedence that changes as the function of the temperature of said warming means, and means for selectively setting said automatic control means for controlling the temperature of said warming means within said range of 40 to 70C.

2. A spinal column warming treatment apparatus according to claim I, wherein said retaining means is comprised of a mat allowing the body to lie thereon, said warming means being provided in a position so that it may be adjacent to the spinal column with the human body lying on the mat.

3. A spinal column warming treatment apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said retaining means comprises a back holding portion, and

means for wearing and retaining the back holding portion in contact with the back of the body, said warming means being provided in the back portion at a position adjacent to the spinal column of the human body with the retaining means being put on and retained.

4. A spinal column warming treatment apparatus according to claim I. which further comprises a timer for setting a warming operation time of said warming means.

5. A spinal column warming treatment apparatus according to claim I, which further comprises an additional warming means for warming a stiff shoulder affccted part region.

6. A spinal column warming treatment apparatus according to claim 1, which further comprises an additional warming means for warming a waist ache affected part region.

7. A spinal column warming treatment apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said automatic controlling means comprises a bridge circuit including, as one side, said impedance between said heating wire and said sig nal wire through said sensible heat layer.

8. A spinal column warming treatment apparatus according to claim 7, wherein said automatic controlling means comprises a switching element connected to said heating wire, the switching element being connected to respond to balanced detection of the bridge circuit so that the heating temperature may be automatically adjusted.

9. A spinal column warming treatment apparatus according to claim 8. wherein the switching element is a thyristor.

10. A spinal column warming treatment apparatus according to claim I, wherein the automatic controlling means for the heating temperature comprises means for setting a temperature to be automatically controlled.

1]. A spinal column warming treatment apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said heater wire is a twofolded wire.

12. A spinal column warming treatment apparatus according to claim 11, wherein the fold end portion of said two-folded wire is in the center of the wound heater wire and the two terminal ends of the heater wire extend from the periphery of the wound heater wire.

13. The spinal column warming treatment apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said elastic sheet member and elastic elongated protrusion are of a foamed rubber material.

14. The spinal column warming treatment apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said fixing sheet comprises a pair of sheets of a cloth material, said heating wire being sandwiched between said sheets of cloth material.

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US2661744 *May 9, 1950Dec 8, 1953Relaxacizor IncDevice for treatment of the muscles of the upper torso
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4061897 *Jan 23, 1976Dec 6, 1977Audrae ThykesonHeating pad
US6268595Feb 23, 2000Jul 31, 2001Jon HaenelCirculation warmer
US6574799Aug 23, 2001Jun 10, 2003Archie R. DonaldsonAnti-osteoarthritis and anti-hypothermia garment
US6996848Dec 12, 2002Feb 14, 2006Donaldson Archie RAnti-osteoarthritis and anti-hypothermia garment and device
US8236038Apr 20, 2007Aug 7, 2012University Of Pittsburgh-Of The Commonwealth System Of Higher EducationMethod and apparatus of noninvasive, regional brain thermal stimuli for the treatment of neurological disorders
US8425583Feb 2, 2011Apr 23, 2013University of Pittsburgh—of the Commonwealth System of Higher EducationMethods, devices and systems for treating insomnia by inducing frontal cerebral hypothermia
WO2007124012A1 *Apr 20, 2007Nov 1, 2007Univ PittsburghMethod and apparatus of noninvasive, regional brain thermal stimuli for the treatment of neurological disorders
Classifications
U.S. Classification607/108
International ClassificationA61H39/06, A61F7/00, A61F7/08, A61H7/00, A61F7/02, H05B3/34
Cooperative ClassificationH05B2203/014, H05B2203/017, A61F7/007, A61F2007/0086, H05B2203/035, A61F2007/0001, H05B3/342
European ClassificationH05B3/34B, A61F7/00E