MULTIPLY ADJUSTABLE ORTHOPEDIC PILLOW

The invention provides an inexpensive orthopedic pillow comprising multiple cushion elements surrounding or associated with an inner air chamber in a composite pillow that is easily adjusted, reconfigured, broken-down, and customized such that the pillow can be conformed to suit the needs of any person in any environment wherever a pillow is necessary or desirable, whether for sitting, reclining, sleeping, or any other purpose. A covering sheath may or may not be included and an inflation control valve may regulate the volume and pressure of the inner air chamber. Each of the internal components may be adjusted and swapped for other components at any time according to user preferences or physician specifications.

Skip to: Description  ·  Claims  · Patent History  ·  Patent History

Description

This application is a non-provisional application claiming the benefit of priority to provisional applications No. 61/652,776 filed on May 29, 2012, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to methods and apparatus for providing a pillow having adjustable orthopedic and therapeutic utility through a multiplicity of simultaneous adjustment features. The suggested Class for this subject matter is 5/640: “including different adjustable portions which are repositionable relative to each other to change the configuration, dimensions or mode of use.”

2. Description of the Related Art

The following review of related art is intended to provide edifying examples of problems and pitfalls in the design and use of orthopedic pillows having different adjustable portions. The mention of these examples does not constitute an admission that any of the following methods or devices constitute prior art applicable to the present invention. The discussion of the references states what their authors assert, and the applicant reserves the right to challenge the accuracy and pertinency of any of the documents cited herein.

Orthopedics is the branch of medicine that deals with the prevention or correction of injuries or disorders of the skeletal system and associated muscles, joints, and ligaments. Many orthopedic injuries and ailments, particularly in the upper body, and more particularly in the lower back, arise from a person sitting in positions of poor posture or without lumbar support. Physicians recommend orthopedic instruments, such as pillows, for supporting proper posture and the lower back while a patient is seated. However, these devices can be expensive, bulky to carry and store, limited in their applicability for various individuals in various contexts, and they can lose their shape with use.

Orthopedic pillows in the prior art are especially defective in that, after continual use, they become deformed and lose their original shape and resilience. Even from the first use of a pillow, the weight and body shape of a particular patient can cause variable amounts of deformation in that pillow. Such pillows have non-uniform application among the population and they lose utility over time. Often they are not sufficiently adjustable for different postures or locations even though they may be alternatively configured, because the prefabricated solid pieces provide a limited, rather than continuous, serious of adjustable configurations.

U.S. Pat. No. 8,347,435 to Yu issued Jan. 8, 2013 entitled “Pillow with positionable inserts” describes a pillow comprising a casing that surrounds multiple positionable inserts all made from foam or other compressible, deformable solids. In the preferred embodiment of this invention, the multiple positionable inserts must be fastened together by adhesives, clasps, or other means to prevent their sliding out of alignment relative to each other. This device is tedious to assemble and it will deform significantly under pressure and with prolonged use. A similar invention comprising a plurality of foam layers is described in U.S. Pat. No. 8,234,732 to Bacon issued Aug. 7, 2012 entitled, “Orthopedic Pillow.”

The Yu and Bacon patents are the latest in the art of positionable pillows having multiple inner components, and they also represent continued progress towards solving a problem which has long perplexed inventors in this field, which is the problem of having trapped air within a pillow where such trapped air or air pockets interfere with its flexibility. This problem is particularly highlighted in the specification describing a similar pillow in U.S. Pat. No. 7,571,504 to Kuo issued Aug. 11, 2009 entitled “Cushioning device having changeable cushioning members,” the entirety of which is incorporated by reference herein. The Kuo specification asserts that “U.S. Pat. No. 4,628,557 to Murphy, U.S. Pat. No. 4,706,313 to Murphy, U.S. Pat. No. 4,719,656 to Godinet, and U.S. Pat. No. 5,592,706 to Pearce disclose four of the typical cushioning devices each comprising a number of inserts or block bodies or foam bodies assembled together” and which all suffer from a deficiency because “an enclosed or sealed structure” causes a condition wherein “air may not flow or circulate through the inserts or block bodies or foam bodies.” In light of Kuo, it is inferred that the art of adjustable pillows has moved away from the use of sealed air compartments and is focused on pillow designs comprising multiple independent deformable solids that are physically attached to each other or to a solid base via a plurality of fastening devices without having trapped air pockets. The present invention is a complete departure from this mode of adjustable pillow design, and in one sense, the present invention represents a reversal back to embracing trapped air both as a useful feature in itself and as a complement to solid cushion inserts within the same pillow.

The Multifunction Cervical Pillow described in U.S. Pat. No. 7,788,750 to Norstrem issued Sep. 7, 2010 and the Adjustable Contour Pillow U.S. Pat. No. 5,771,514 to Wilhoit issued Jun. 30, 1998 describe a pillow having an outer cushion shell and an internal fluid-filled compartment for use by a person while sleeping or reclining, but not while sitting upright. The outer cushion shell of Norstrem is a single piece comprised of united jacket portions which severely limits its adjustability. The interior fluid-filled compartment is cumbersome and not easily configured for lower back support while in an upright position. The components of Wilhoit are not changeable or swappable. Together, these two inventions and their relatives fail to provide a simple, universal solution to a customizable orthopedic pillow. Related inventions suffering from the same drawbacks are provided, for example, in U.S. Pat. No. 6,047,425 to Khazaal, U.S. Pat. No. 5,533,218 to Fahy, and U.S. Pat. No. 4,534,593 to Ojala.

In light of the above, there exists a need for an orthopedic pillow that has a continuous mode of adjustability based on air pressure or volume and a definite mode of adjustability based upon prefabricated solid inserts, whereby any of the inner air bladders and solid cushion components can be easily swapped with alternative pieces at any time. A further advantage would be gained by providing a customizable outer sheath having at least one, ideally more than one, modes of closure that assists in tightening the entire pillow assembly into a single unit. A still further advantage would be found in such a pillow that were relatively lightweight and exceptionally easy to configure, adjust, and break-down (for storage or transport).

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention satisfies the above needs. The orthopedic pillow of the present invention features an array of customizable and adjustable features that work in tandem to provide unprecedented adjustability and customizability. The pillow provides a simple, portable, and dynamic tool for supporting and correcting proper physiology of the spine, hips, neck, shoulders, and head, among other parts of the body, not only for a person while sleeping, but also while sitting upright in any environment. The benefits obtained include osteopathological treatment, prophylaxis, and pain relief, as well as enhanced comfort and health even in the absence of any pre-existing ailments. In particular, the pillow provides a convenient means for improving the performance of sofas, wheelchairs, beds and other general seating environments in a customizable, personalized manner.

A first adjustable feature of the pillow of the present invention is an inner inflatable air chamber that can be filled to specified pressures and otherwise adjusted through various means. A first aspect of this adjustable inner air chamber is that it can be swapped in and out of a given pillow, meaning that a particular patient can insert a personalized air chamber custom-fitted to exacting specifications for said particular patient. In preferred embodiments, this inner air chamber also features an air valve or other means for regulating air pressure or volume within the chamber for fine-tuning of the shape and turgidity of said chamber.

A second adjustable feature of said pillow is an adjustable outer cushion layer (cushion shell) that may also be swapped into and out of the pillow such that a given patient may insert a prescribed and customized cushion shell into the pillow surrounding the inner air chamber. This shell may be provided in a single piece or in two or more sectional pieces, such as an upper half and a lower half, or alternatively and preferably phrased as, a “top half” and a “bottom half.” This adjustability feature enables the shell to be fitted to different shapes, resiliency, and sizes on different sides of the pillow. For example, a rounded cushion section may comprise the top half of the shell to contact the lower back of the patient while a square section may comprise the bottom half of the shell to fit snugly against the couch upon which the patient sits. A single-piece cushion shell may be provided as a unitary covering over the inner air chamber, or the cushion shell may comprise several disparate pieces. The “seat” upon which the pillow rests is not limited to a bed or chair, but may be any surface upon which a person desires cushioned support. By properly selecting the various pieces comprising the cushion shell, and by correlating the cushion shell components to the specifications of the inner air chamber, any individual patient may devise the ideal posture control for any seating location or posture condition. And, the same pillow may be adjusted for alternative locations and conditions quickly, easily, and at any time by swapping the inner components.

A third adjustable feature of the pillow of the present invention is inherent in the removable and customizable outer sheath. An optional outermost layer (“sheath”) of the pillow surrounds all of the inner pieces and may help to hold them in place relative to each other, although said inner pieces are preferably formed to snugly interconnect or fit around the inner air chamber. The term “inner pieces” means any of the cushion elements or air chambers. A zipper opens and closes the sheath while an optional second fastening means such as velcro flaps or snaps may provide for alternative and/or additional form control of the pillow unit. For example, the zipper and/or velcro flaps can be a first and a second sheath-closing means, respectively. An alternative nomenclature for these elements is: “means for fastening the outer sheath of the pillow in a closed configuration.” Different and alternative combinations of sheath-closing means may be incorporated into different embodiments of the pillow.

The sheath can be customized with respect to both shape and appearance to accommodate different seating environments. Note that the term “seating” is used broadly to simplify this discussion, and the term “seating” is intended to mean any type of support structure for a person's body. For example, a patient who desires to match the aesthetic appearance of the sheath to a particular sofa may utilize a sheath of a matching color and or fabric to that of the sofa. The same application could be made with a bed, chair, and the like. Alternatively, patients can personalize their orthopedic pillows of the present invention by using colorful custom materials or different fabrics for the sheath, even printing names and logos thereon. Furthermore, custom shapes and fabrics may be used to prepare sheaths suitable for distinctive patients or environments, including for rugged outdoor use, weatherproofing, sanitary use, sterile and hypoallergenic surfaces, and any other application. Similarly to the cushion elements, the sheath may be regarded as having two or more sections or sides, such as an upper section comprising a portion of the sheath that would be proximal to a person during use, and a lower section comprising a portion of the sheath that would be proximal to an underlying support such as a bed or chair.

Finally, the pillow can be broken down for carriage in a briefcase, suitcase, backpack, shrink-wrapped sterile package, and the like simply by deflating the inner air chamber and/or disassembling the inner components. Unlike other adjustable orthopedic pillows, the pillow of the present invention can be completely broken down and re-assembled in mere seconds, and all necessary components can be carried together in a small volume of space.

The forgoing summary has outlined some features consistent with the present invention in order that the following detailed description thereof may be better understood, and in order that the present contribution to the art may be better appreciated. The present invention is not limited in its application, details, or components merely to those set forth in the following description and illustrations. The present invention resides not merely in any one of the features set forth in this specification, but also in the particular combination of all of the features and improvements claimed. Methods and devices consistent with the present invention are capable of other embodiments. Also, the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting unless explicitly stated as such.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing a preferred embodiment of the pillow in its fully assembled configuration.

FIG. 2 is a side view of a cross section showing a preferred embodiment of the pillow differentiating between some of the inner components.

FIG. 3 is a top view of an inner air chamber of a variety that may be included among the inner components of the pillow.

FIG. 3a is a top view of another embodiment of inner air chamber of a variety that may be included among the inner components of the pillow.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view showing a second preferred embodiment of the pillow in its fully assembled configuration.

FIG. 4a is a perspective view showing another preferred embodiment of the pillow in its fully assembled configuration.

FIG. 5 is a side view of a cross section showing a second preferred embodiment of the pillow differentiating between some of the inner components and the outer sheath.

FIG. 6 is a side view of a person using the pillow of the present invention for orthopedic support while seated in an upright position on a couch.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view showing another preferred embodiment of the pillow in a fully assembled configuration (sheath not shown).

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Throughout all the Figures, same or corresponding elements are indicated by the same reference numerals.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing the top surface 1 of a first embodiment of the pillow 100 of the present invention without a sheath. A zipper 16 connects the two free ends of a single folded cushion element 2, which cushion element 2 comprises the entire outer cushion shell. An air chamber (not shown) can be inserted between two halves of the cushion element 2 in an inner pocket (not shown) by opening and closing the zipper 16. The broken line labeled “A” shows the plane bisected in the cross section of FIG. 2.

FIG. 2 is a side view of a cross section through the plane A of FIG. 1 which shows the same preferred embodiment of the pillow 100 while differentiating between some of the inner components. These inner components comprise compositional details of the cushion element 2 in a closed position in which the zipper 16 (not shown) is closed such that the two ends of cushion element 2 are fastened together. In preferred embodiments, surface material 3 is equivalent to the outer sheath described in other embodiments of the invention. In any embodiments, said surface material 3 may comprise one or more of various fabrics, including but not limited to a knit fabric, natural or synthetic textiles, leather or leatherette, or any other material suitable for surrounding a portion of the outside surface of cushion element 2. Surface material 5, which surrounds at least a portion of the inner surface of cushion element 2, may also comprise any of such materials, although it is preferably adapted to be suitable for surrounding at least a portion of the inner air chamber 12. In some embodiments where a very rigidly shaped pillow is required for some purpose, such as an orthopedic therapeutic purpose, said surface materials 3, 5, 6, and/or 8 and others may comprise more durable and/or molded materials such as plastic, rubber, metal, wood and any other material commonly used in the art for defining the geometry of furniture. In general, the surface materials of the present invention may be specially selected for their tendency to interact advantageously with the inner air chamber on the one hand or, on the other hand, with the outer sheath of the pillow and/or structural features in the environment. For example, a rubber or wooden surface material may be molded on the bottom half 26 of a cushion element to enable the pillow to fit snugly against the frame of a chair, wheelchair or couch. The region of the cushion element 2 defined as the region between surface materials 3 and 5 and comprising said surface materials 3 and 5 is the top half 25 of the cushion element 2. Likewise, surface materials 8 and 6 define a region constituting the bottom half 26 of cushion element 2. Stuffing materials such as cushion material 4 and 7 may be man-made fiber, natural fiber, memory foam, loose fill, open and/or closed cell foam, or any other resilient compressible substances that impart a cushioning property to a cushion element. When a rigid material is used in the construction of a cushion element, it may substitute for one of the surface materials or be inserted within the cushion element between a surface material and the inner stuffing of cushion material (not shown).

Situated between the top half 25 and bottom half 26 of cushion element 2 is a pocket for holding an air chamber 12 which may comprise a bladder having bladder walls 9 (upper bladder wall) and 11 (lower bladder wall) and an internal sealed compartment 10 for holding a volume of air or fluid. Said bladder walls 9 and 11 may comprise such materials as, but not limited to, polyurethane film, PVC film, or polyethylene film. The volume of sealed compartment 10 may be controlled by a valve or other means for regulating the ingress and egress of air or fluid (not shown). In summary, in this first embodiment, each of said top half 25 and bottom half 26 of said stuffed shell comprises a sandwich-like structure having two pieces of surface materials (3 and 5 for the top half; 8 and 6 for the bottom half) and two portions of stuffing comprising cushion materials (4 and 7) placed in between said surface materials, respectively.

The inflated air chamber 12 is capable of maintaining proper sitting support without collapsing under body weight and also allows the pillow 100 to constantly conform to a person's body. The cushion element 2 and its various surfaces and stuffing components (i.e., “cushion material”) combine to provide an overall texture, aesthetic appeal, and overall consumer experience comparable to a traditional bed or sofa pillow and can be constructed of materials that are soft, plush, hypo-allergenic, decorated, and otherwise made to resemble the features of traditional pillows for beds, sofas, and the like. For example, outside surface materials 3 and 8 may be selected for their particular texture or thread count, or alternatively for their ability to conform to a desired shape. With regard to functionality, surface materials 5 and 6 are selected so that air chamber 12 can be easily inserted between the different sides of cushion element 2 or any other types of cushion elements, and stably reside therebetween, as appropriate for any particular embodiment of the present invention. An outer sheath may cover one or more of these surfaces in other embodiments, in which cases the end-user experience is further regulated by the texture, shape and construction of the sheath (not shown).

FIGS. 3 and 3a each present a top view of an air chamber 12. Air chamber 12 has a shape and size that may be customized to achieve a particular therapeutic shape or orthopedic result for any particular end-user, to substantially match those of a cushion element 2, or to complement the shapes of other various cushion elements (not shown). A valve 13 allows the level of inflation inside said air chamber 12 to be finely adjustable, which allows user to further customize the pillows of the present invention to their need and comfort.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view showing the top surface 14 of a second embodiment of the pillow 101 of the present invention having a sheath 15. Note that the sheath 15 in this embodiment has a rectangular shape and that the fastener 17 is located on one side of the sheath 15, and thus the sheath 15 itself reinforces the overall configuration or shape of the pillow 101 and thus it contributes to the arrangement of the internal components (not shown). The fastener 17 may be any means for regulating the conformation of the pillow and/or sheath, such as zippers, snaps, buttons, straps, velcro, or any combination of such means for fastening the outer sheath of the pillow in a closed configuration. An air chamber 12 (not shown) can be inserted between any of the internal components, which internal components comprise the cushion shell, which in turn may comprise a single cushion element 2 as in the previous embodiment of FIGS. 1 and 2; or alternatively, the cushion shell may comprise multiple cushion elements of various shapes and compositions inserted in conjunction with each other beneath the outer sheath 15. The broken line labeled “B” shows the plane bisected in the cross section of FIG. 5.

FIG. 4a is a perspective view showing the top surface 14 of another embodiment of the pillow 101 of the present invention having a sheath 15. Note that while having a fastener 17 that is located on one side of the sheath 15, the sheath 15 has an additional closure 23 that comprises a set of Velcro strips shown by the dotted line. The Velcro closure 23 offers additional option for accessing the cushion element 2 (not shown) and air bladder 12 (not shown). The velcro also allows for more fine control over the pillow's shape because it can be fastened and unfastened to achieve different tensions in the sheath as it overlays the internal cushion elements of the pillow.

FIG. 5 is a side view of a cross section through the plane B of FIG. 4 which shows the same preferred embodiment of the pillow 101 while differentiating between some of the inner components. An outer sheath 15 is fastened around two separate cushion elements 4 and 7 having outer surfaces (3 and 8) and inner surfaces (5 and 6) each, respectively. Together elements 3-8 comprise the cushion shell of the pillow. Instead of only two halves or elements 4 and 7, the cushion shell could comprise any number and arrangement of pieces comprising various cushion materials such as, but not limited to, natural fibers, man-made fibers, foam, gel, rubber, wood or metal materials and structures, that fit together inside the pillow 101. In some embodiments, said cushion shell may incorporate various contour and mechanical structure for enhanced body positioning performance which is critical to user with poor neurological or muscular control in their trunk or upper body. Note that in this embodiment, the top and bottom halves of the cushion shell fit together spatially but are separate and independently-removable pieces.

Situated between the top and bottom halves of the cushion shell of pillow 101 is a pocket for holding an air chamber 12 which may comprise a bladder having bladder walls 9 (upper bladder wall) and 11 (lower bladder wall) and an internal sealed compartment 10 for holding a volume of air or fluid. The volume of sealed compartment 10 may controlled by a valve or other means for regulating the ingress and egress of air or fluid (not shown). Surrounding said cushion shell is a sheath 15 fastened in a closed configuration by one or more of a fastening means 17. The sheath may comprise different and distinct compositions on its upper and lower surfaces, 18 and 19 respectively. These alternative compositions may differ in terms of shape, material, and any other properties. In certain embodiments, pillow 101 is identical to pillow 100 but for the addition of the sheath 15.

FIG. 6 is a side view of a person 21 sitting on a sofa 20 while a pillow 101 of the present invention provides orthopedic support to the curvature of the lower back 22 of the person. The pillow is inflated and assembled so that this particular person 21 achieves precisely the desired angle and level of support for the particular location of this sofa 20, and experiences minimal deformation of the pillow 101 under his body weight, due to the interactive combination of the inner air chamber 12 (not shown) and the cushion shell inside of the pillow 101. And, the contact made between the top half of the pillow and the lower back 22 of the person 21 is substantially continuous, providing an unbroken layer of support underneath the person 21.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view showing inner components of another embodiment of the pillow 102. Note that the top half 25 of cushion element 2 has a concave contour designed for supporting the body of its user and enhancing lateral body positioning for the user. Such improved lateral body positioning is ideal for users with poor neurological or muscular control of their upper body or their trunk. The bottom half 26 of cushion element 2 has a rigid structure which helps to hold both the air bladder 12 and the top half 25 in the desired positions within the specified geometry of the pillow. The particular assembly in FIG. 7 is usable in a horizontal orientation such as in lying down position in a bed, as well as in a vertical orientation such as in an upright sitting position in a wheelchair. A sheath 15 (not shown) may surround the elements illustrated in FIG. 7 and this sheath may be fastened in a closed configuration by one or more of a fastening means 17. Said sheath 15 (not shown) will further enhance the structural integrity of the assembly of the components 25, 12 and 26.

A method for using the pillow of the present invention is as follows. Before use, a person simply needs to open the cover 15 via unfastening the fastening means 17, and/or select the desired cushion elements and/or assemble them into the desired cushion shell, and/or apply the appropriately selected inner air chamber 12 having the desired turgidity and/or inflate or deflate said air chamber 12 to the most suitable pressure or volume (which may be assisted through the inclusion of a valve 13 in some embodiments). Once the pillow is assembled and the fastening means are fastened shut, the pillow can be placed in the desired location to achieve the desired orthopedic effects or comfort result. Fine adjustments in all of the above features can be made by quickly unfastening the sheath and/or re-arranging the components of the cushion shell, and/or by letting air in or out of the air chamber (in embodiments that have a valve 13). The pillow can be positioned on a bed, chair, or sofa as is done with a conventional pillow. The pillow of the present invention is prevented from collapsing under the person's body weight due to the support provided by the air chamber and yet it will conform smoothly, comfortably, consistently and continuously with the contour of a person's body by virtue of the outer cushion shell in cooperation with said air chamber. Thereby, the person using the pillow of the present invention will receive constant ideal orthopedic support and comfort in any situation.

It should be emphasized that the above described embodiments of the present invention exemplify some, but not all, possible implementations of the present invention and have been set forth in order to provide a clear understanding of its qualities. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the conception upon which this disclosure is based may readily be utilized as a basis for designing of other structures, methods, and systems for carrying out the several purposes of the present invention. The following claims should be regarded as encompassing equivalent and various constructions insofar as they do not depart from the spirit and scope of the methods and devices consistent with the present invention.

Claims

1. A multiply-adjustable pillow comprising:

a removable air chamber situated inside of a cushion shell,
said cushion shell comprising at least one cushion element,
wherein said cushion element comprises an upper surface, a lower surface, and an interior portion between said upper and lower surfaces,
wherein said interior portion comprises at least one cushion material,
and wherein said cushion shell is fashioned such that it surrounds and is reversibly wrapped around said air chamber, such that said pillow can be rapidly assembled and disassembled by wrapping and unwrapping, respectively, said cushion shell around said air chamber,
and wherein said cushion shell is further divided into a top half and a bottom half, such that said top half is adapted to support a part of a person's body and said bottom half is adapted for placement adjacent to a seat,
wherein said adaptation for supporting the part of the person's body comprises a selection of a particular material composition for the top half of the cushion shell to conform it to a shape of said part of the person's body,
and wherein said adaptation for placement adjacent to the seat comprises a selection of a particular material composition for the bottom half of the cushion shell to conform it to a shape of said seat,
and wherein said cushion shell further comprises at least one fastening means for reversibly fastening the at least one cushion elements in a closed position, where said closed position is a position in which said cushion shell is reversibly wrapped around said air chamber,
and wherein said lower surface of the at least one cushion element faces towards the air chamber when the cushion shell is in said closed position.

2. The multiply-adjustable pillow of claim 1, further comprising at least one valve means for regulating a volume of air inside said air chamber.

3. The multiply-adjustable pillow of claim 1, wherein said cushion material comprises memory foam.

4. The multiply-adjustable pillow of claim 1, wherein said cushion material comprises a loose fill material.

5. The multiply-adjustable pillow of claim 1, further comprising a sheath for surrounding and retaining both the cushion elements and the air chamber in a desired configuration,

wherein said sheath comprises at least two sections, an upper section and a lower section, wherein said sections are joined at at least one seam, wherein said seams impart a three-dimensional shape to said sheath, such that said sheath inherently tends to conform to a certain geometry,
and wherein said sheath further comprises at least one fastening means for opening and closing the sheath, wherein each of said fastening means has an open position and a closed position,
wherein at least one of said fastening means in an open position provides access to the cushion elements and the air chamber sufficient for their emplacement in and removal from the pillow,
and such that each of said fastening means regulates the geometry of the pillow by alternatively transforming each of the at least two sections from an open conformation to a closed conformation.

6. The multiply-adjustable pillow of claim 5, wherein said upper section comprises a first material composition and said lower section comprises a second material composition.

7. The multiply-adjustable pillow of claim 1, further comprising a first configuration and at least one alternative configurations,

wherein said first configuration comprises a first set of physical specifications for both the inner air chamber and the cushion shell such that said first set of physical specifications corresponds to a set of specifications appropriate for a first orthopedic use of the pillow in a first environmental condition,
and further comprising at least one alternative cushion element for swapping in place of said at least one cushion element,
such that said pillow can be converted to adopt the at least one alternative configurations,
wherein said at least one alternative configurations comprises an alternative set of physical specifications for either or both of the inner air chamber or the cushion shell, such that said alternative set of physical specifications corresponds to a set of specifications appropriate for an alternative orthopedic use of the pillow in an alternative environmental condition,

8. The multiply-adjustable pillow of claim 7, further comprising an alternative air chamber for swapping in place of the air chamber.

9. The multiply-adjustable pillow of claim 5, further comprising a first configuration and at least one alternative configurations,

wherein said first configuration comprises a first set of physical specifications for both the inner air chamber and the cushion shell such that said first set of physical specifications corresponds to a set of specifications appropriate for a first orthopedic use of the pillow in a first environmental condition,
and further comprising at least one alternative cushion element for swapping in place of said at least one cushion element,
such that said pillow can be converted to adopt the at least one alternative configurations,
wherein said at least one alternative configurations comprises an alternative set of physical specifications for either or both of the inner air chamber or the cushion shell, such that said alternative set of physical specifications corresponds to a set of specifications appropriate for an alternative orthopedic use of the pillow in an alternative environmental condition.

10. The multiply-adjustable pillow of claim 9, further comprising an alternative air chamber for swapping in place of the air chamber.

11. The multiply-adjustable pillow of claim 9, further comprising an alternative outer sheath.

12. A method for providing orthopedic therapy to a person while seated, reclined, or otherwise positioned, the method comprising the steps of:

providing the multiply adjustable pillow of claim 9,
opening the fastening means to provide access to the cushion elements and the air chamber,
removing either or both of the air chamber and the at least one of the cushion elements,
inserting one or more alternative pieces of said either or both of the air chamber and the at least one of the cushion elements,
closing the fastening means,
depositing said pillow upon a surface upon which said person is to be seated, reclined, or otherwise positioned, such that said bottom half of the cushion shell substantially conforms to a shape of said surface, and such that said top half of the cushion shell substantially conforms to the shape of the part of the person's body,
thereby providing orthopedic therapy to the person while seated, reclined, or otherwise positioned on the surface.

13. The method of claim 12 further comprising the step of:

alternatively opening and closing one or more of said fastening means for regulating the geometry of the pillow.

14. The multiply-adjustable pillow of claim 1, further comprising one or more of a substantially rigid cushion element that imparts lateral stabilization to the part of the body of the person when the person uses the pillow.

15. The multiply-adjustable pillow of claim 1, further comprising one or more of a contoured cushion element that substantially conforms said cushion shell to a shape of the part of the body of the person.

16. The multiply-adjustable pillow of claim 1, further comprising one or more of a substantially rigid cushion element that imparts enhanced structural integrity to the pillow such that it maintains a desired conformation.

17. The multiply-adjustable pillow of claim 5, further comprising one or more of a substantially rigid cushion element that imparts lateral stabilization to the part of the body of the person when the person uses the pillow.

18. The multiply-adjustable pillow of claim 5, further comprising one or more of a contoured cushion element that substantially conforms said cushion shell to a shape of the part of the body of the person.

19. The multiply-adjustable pillow of claim 5, further comprising one or more of a substantially rigid cushion element that imparts enhanced structural integrity to the pillow such that it maintains a desired conformation.

Patent History

Publication number: 20140345055
Type: Application
Filed: May 27, 2013
Publication Date: Nov 27, 2014
Inventor: Conghua Li (Markham)
Application Number: 13/902,949

Classifications

Current U.S. Class: Support Means For Discrete Portion Of User, Useable With Bed Or Surgical Support (5/630)
International Classification: A47G 9/10 (20060101);