WO2005122997A1 - Therapeutic thermal pressure device - Google Patents

Therapeutic thermal pressure device Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2005122997A1
WO2005122997A1 PCT/GB2005/002359 GB2005002359W WO2005122997A1 WO 2005122997 A1 WO2005122997 A1 WO 2005122997A1 GB 2005002359 W GB2005002359 W GB 2005002359W WO 2005122997 A1 WO2005122997 A1 WO 2005122997A1
Authority
WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
inflatable body
fluid
inflatable
body according
body
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/GB2005/002359
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Ross Weir
Original Assignee
Ross Weir Designs Limited
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to GB0413531.5 priority Critical
Priority to GB0413531A priority patent/GB0413531D0/en
Application filed by Ross Weir Designs Limited filed Critical Ross Weir Designs Limited
Publication of WO2005122997A1 publication Critical patent/WO2005122997A1/en

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Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61HPHYSICAL THERAPY APPARATUS, e.g. DEVICES FOR LOCATING OR STIMULATING REFLEX POINTS IN THE BODY; ARTIFICIAL RESPIRATION; MASSAGE; BATHING DEVICES FOR SPECIAL THERAPEUTIC OR HYGIENIC PURPOSES OR SPECIFIC PARTS OF THE BODY
    • A61H9/00Pneumatic or hydraulic massage
    • A61H9/005Pneumatic massage
    • A61H9/0078Pneumatic massage with intermittent or alternately inflated bladders or cuffs
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61HPHYSICAL THERAPY APPARATUS, e.g. DEVICES FOR LOCATING OR STIMULATING REFLEX POINTS IN THE BODY; ARTIFICIAL RESPIRATION; MASSAGE; BATHING DEVICES FOR SPECIAL THERAPEUTIC OR HYGIENIC PURPOSES OR SPECIFIC PARTS OF THE BODY
    • A61H2201/00Characteristics of apparatus not provided for in the preceding codes
    • A61H2201/01Constructive details
    • A61H2201/0103Constructive details inflatable
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61HPHYSICAL THERAPY APPARATUS, e.g. DEVICES FOR LOCATING OR STIMULATING REFLEX POINTS IN THE BODY; ARTIFICIAL RESPIRATION; MASSAGE; BATHING DEVICES FOR SPECIAL THERAPEUTIC OR HYGIENIC PURPOSES OR SPECIFIC PARTS OF THE BODY
    • A61H2201/00Characteristics of apparatus not provided for in the preceding codes
    • A61H2201/01Constructive details
    • A61H2201/0115Constructive details used in water
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61HPHYSICAL THERAPY APPARATUS, e.g. DEVICES FOR LOCATING OR STIMULATING REFLEX POINTS IN THE BODY; ARTIFICIAL RESPIRATION; MASSAGE; BATHING DEVICES FOR SPECIAL THERAPEUTIC OR HYGIENIC PURPOSES OR SPECIFIC PARTS OF THE BODY
    • A61H2201/00Characteristics of apparatus not provided for in the preceding codes
    • A61H2201/02Characteristics of apparatus not provided for in the preceding codes heated or cooled
    • A61H2201/0207Characteristics of apparatus not provided for in the preceding codes heated or cooled heated
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61HPHYSICAL THERAPY APPARATUS, e.g. DEVICES FOR LOCATING OR STIMULATING REFLEX POINTS IN THE BODY; ARTIFICIAL RESPIRATION; MASSAGE; BATHING DEVICES FOR SPECIAL THERAPEUTIC OR HYGIENIC PURPOSES OR SPECIFIC PARTS OF THE BODY
    • A61H2201/00Characteristics of apparatus not provided for in the preceding codes
    • A61H2201/02Characteristics of apparatus not provided for in the preceding codes heated or cooled
    • A61H2201/0214Characteristics of apparatus not provided for in the preceding codes heated or cooled cooled
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61HPHYSICAL THERAPY APPARATUS, e.g. DEVICES FOR LOCATING OR STIMULATING REFLEX POINTS IN THE BODY; ARTIFICIAL RESPIRATION; MASSAGE; BATHING DEVICES FOR SPECIAL THERAPEUTIC OR HYGIENIC PURPOSES OR SPECIFIC PARTS OF THE BODY
    • A61H2201/00Characteristics of apparatus not provided for in the preceding codes
    • A61H2201/02Characteristics of apparatus not provided for in the preceding codes heated or cooled
    • A61H2201/0221Mechanism for heating or cooling
    • A61H2201/0242Mechanism for heating or cooling by a fluid circulating in the apparatus
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61HPHYSICAL THERAPY APPARATUS, e.g. DEVICES FOR LOCATING OR STIMULATING REFLEX POINTS IN THE BODY; ARTIFICIAL RESPIRATION; MASSAGE; BATHING DEVICES FOR SPECIAL THERAPEUTIC OR HYGIENIC PURPOSES OR SPECIFIC PARTS OF THE BODY
    • A61H2201/00Characteristics of apparatus not provided for in the preceding codes
    • A61H2201/02Characteristics of apparatus not provided for in the preceding codes heated or cooled
    • A61H2201/0221Mechanism for heating or cooling
    • A61H2201/0257Mechanism for heating or cooling by a heat accumulator, e.g. a sand or liquid reservoir

Abstract

The present invention relates to an inflatable body which may be used for the application of directional pressure and/or thermal treatment, for example, for the treatment of a injured body part in order to reduce swelling, haematoma, pain or the like, and to a corresponding method of treatment.

Description

THERAPEUTIC THERMAL PRESSURE DEVICE The present invention relates to an inflatable body for treatment of a body part and to a corresponding method. In particular, but not exclusively, the present invention relates to an inflatable body for the application of directional pressure and/or thermal treatment, for example, for the treatment of a injured body part in order to reduce swelling, haematoma, pain or the like, and to a corresponding method of treatment. Current thermal treatments available for the treatment of joint pain or sports injuries, for example, extend to the application of heat or ice packs and to the manual application of pressure on the injured body area. Indeed, the application of ice to an injured limb, especially for sporting injuries, is widely used. However, the application of ice packs may only reduce swelling short term. Furthermore, it has been suggested that prolonged application of ice to an injured area may increase the amount of blood flooding into an injured part of the body, increasing the chance of developing a haematoma. This will obviously increase the recovery time for an athlete. In particular, it has been suggested that, as the temperature of the injured area is reduced and continues to drop, by application of an ice pack, the activity of nerves in the area is also reduced resulting in the re-opening of blood vessels, which were initially constricted due to the onset of cold in the injured area caused by application of an ice pack. This may allow blood to flood into the injured tissues, leading to an increase of temperature in the injured area even though an ice pack is still applied. An increased risk of developing severe bruising is then incurred. The use of ice packs is also problematic in that they have a limited time of use and over exposure could result in tissue damage (as described above) or skin burn. A further means to reduce swelling caused by an injury to the body is the application of pressure to the injured area. However, compression sleeves, for example, are rarely used in the sports industry, due to their dependence on mains electricity (reducing portability) as well as the weight of the compressor and the price of the equipment . Current thermal/pressure products on the market include the Cryo Cuff™ and the Polar Care Cub™. The Cryo Cuff, for example, is a device used within the sports industry which allows the application of continuous cold and pulsating pressure. Continuous cold is provided by the use of an electronic pump to exchange warm water for cold water, whilst pulsating pressure is provided by the use of an electric pump or by gravitational means. The Polar Care Cub is provided with a hand bulb operated circulation device in order to recirculate cold water around the cuff encircling the injured limb when required. The gravitational means provided by the Cryo Cuff is problematic in that to apply pressure and cooled water the fluid reservoir must be kept higher than the injured joint that is to be treated. Conversely, when the water in the cuff is to be replaced and recirculated the injured joint must then be higher than the fluid reservoir. The electric pump for use with the Cryo Cuff is problematic when the device may be required to be used on a sports field with no access to an electric supply. The Polar Care Cub only provides a handheld pump, which will require substantial effort by the user to apply sufficient pressure on the cuff in order to provide an effective pressure on the injured limb. Embodiments of the present invention are intended to obviate and/or mitigate the aforementioned disadvantages. Embodiments of the present invention provide an inflatable body for applying directional pressure to an injured body part. Without wishing to be bound by theory, it has been suggested that it is advantageous for fluid generated and that may collect at a site of injury to be directed towards the lymph nodes for recirculation via lymphatic vessels into the cardiovascular system. This recirculation of excess fluid from the injured area, for example, is intended to reduce local swelling and pressure in the injured area, prevent haematoma, reduce pain and/or to increase recovery time of injured area. In a first aspect of the present invention there is provided an inflatable body to be applied to a body part, the body defining a fluid flow path and configured to inflate sequentially to apply a substantially directional pressure to a body part. The inflatable body of the present invention is intended to fit a body part, for example knee, arm or ankle. Therefore, said inflatable body may be of differing size or shape depending on which area of the body it is to be applied. The inflatable body may comprise one or more inflatable chambers or capillaries intended to be inflated sequentially from a first end, such that inflation of said chambers or capillaries is directional towards a second end. The chambers or capillaries are intended to support fluid flow, such as water and/or air. Therefore, said chambers, preferably allow inflation such that pressure may be applied to a body part. The chamber (s) of the inflatable body of the present invention may be manufactured of a flexible, non- permeable material to allow pressure and fluid to be applied to said chamber (s) without pressure/fluid loss. Typically, hot or cold water may be applied to said chambers for therapeutic treatment of a body part. Therefore, said material used is preferably conductive to heat so that heat/cold may be transferred from the inflatable body to the limb or joint in question, for example. Typically, plastics or fabrics, which are both flexible and non-porous and known to the man skilled in the art may be used. Typically, the first end of the inflatable body may contain an inlet. The second end may contain an outlet. The inlet and outlet may be in the form of a valve. Preferably, said valves may allow the control of fluid flow in/out of said inflatable body. This is advantageous in that it may also control the length of time that pressure is applied to the body. In use, therefore, this may be used to apply intermittent pressure to the body, in a directional manner, thereby creating a "massaging" effect, for example. Therefore, without wishing to be bound by theory, in use fluid may be applied to one or more inflatable chambers of the body at the inlet, such that a first chamber is inflated with fluid thereby applying pressure on the body part adjacent to said first chamber. As more fluid is applied to said inlet a further (second) chamber, interconnected to said first chamber for example, may be filled with fluid being forced from said first chamber such that pressure is applied to the body part adjacent to said second chamber and so on. Finally, all chambers may be fully inflated until the outlet valve is opened to allow flow out of said fluid. In a further aspect of the present invention said inflatable body further comprises: a fluid reservoir; and/or a pressure source for providing continuous or intermittent pressure pulses; and fluid connection means coupled at a first end to said fluid reservoir and/or pressure source and at a second end to said inflatable body. Typically, more than one of said fluid connection means are provided. For example, a first fluid connection means attached at one end to the fluid reservoir and at its opposite end to the inlet. A second fluid connection means may be connected at one end to the outlet and at its other end to the fluid reservoir or distinct fluid collection means. Advantageously, the layout of said fluid connection means allows the flow of fluid from the reservoir in through the inlet and through said flow path of the inflatable body of the present invention and out through said outlet through a second fluid connection means to the fluid reservoir. Conveniently, in use this allows the recycling of water. Preferably, said fluid connection means are manufactured of a flexible, non-permeable material suitable for the transfer of fluid without leakage.

Typically, said fluid connection means are in the form of a tube or the like. Preferably, one end of each fluid connection means is connected to said outlet or inlet in order to form a seal and allow the transfer of fluid without leakage.

More preferably, said connection is not permanent and the fluid connection means may be detached from said outlet or inlet to allow easier transport of all components of said inflatable body. Connection may typically be achieved by the use of male and female connectors. Similarly, the first end of said fluid connection means is connected to the fluid reservoir directly or indirectly. For example, said connection means may be attached indirectly via said pressure source. Preferably, said inflatable body further comprises a refrigeration unit or heater. Said, refrigeration unit or heater may be connected or built in to the fluid reservoir in order to maintain a supply of cooled or heated fluid respectively. Alternatively, cooled fluid may be provided and/or maintained by adding ice, for example to said fluid reservoir. Typically, fluid may be drawn from the bottom of said fluid reservoir via the first fluid connection means, whilst expelled fluid from the chamber (s) of the inflatable body may be returned to the top of said fluid reservoir. In use, this is advantageous as when cooled/heated fluid is required, it may be drawn from the cooled/heated fluid available at the bottom of the reservoir. The "expelled" fluid returned to the top of the reservoir may be recycled and "recharged", whereby recharging of said fluid involves the cooling or heating to a suitable temperature lower or higher than ambient temperature. Cooled fluid is understood to mean fluid at a temperature lower than ambient temperature. Heated fluid would be higher than ambient temperature, typically higher than body temperature. A thermostat may be used to monitor the fluid temperature for safety reasons and to avoid burns when said device is applied to the body. The pressure source for providing continuous or intermittent pressure pulses according to the present invention may be in the form of an electric or manual pump. Typically, the manual pump may be in the form of a bilge pump. An electric pump according to those known in the art may be used in the device of the present invention. Conveniently, an electric pump may be used that can be adapted to be powered by a 12V vehicle battery or the like for remote use of the device of the present invention. Conveniently, the manual and electric pump are connected in series such that fluid flow may be pumped from the reservoir through both the manual and electric pumps, then through the fluid connection means and chamber (s) etc. using the manual and/or electric pump. In a further aspect of the present invention there is provided a timer connected to the pressure source of the inflatable body of the present invention. Conveniently, said timer may control the length of time that said pressure source is on/off when an electric pump is used. Said timer may in series control the opening/closing of said inlet/outlet. In use, a controlled time regime of active/non-active electric pump and open/closed inlet/outlet may advantageously provide intermittent pressure and cause a "massaging" effect on the limb or body part that the device of the present invention is attached to. The "On" to "Off" time may typically be at least 3:1. Preferably, it is 5:1 or 6:1. A typical "on" time period for therapeutic application may be 20 minutes followed by an appropriate "off" time period to allow recovery of the body tissues being treated or prevent frostbite, for example. Without wishing to be bound by theory, prolonged exposure to extreme temperature can increase blood flow to an injured area thereby increasing the risk of the development of haematoma and the like ( ' Hyperaemia Following Sustained Contracts at Different Temperatures', J. Applied Physiol., vol. 137, p45, 1957; 'Vascular Reactions of the Human Forearm to Cold', Clin. Sci., Vol. 17, pp 165 - 179, 1958) . Therefore, controlled exposure of an injured limb to a chilled inflatable body of the present invention, for example, is preferable to decrease this risk of increased blood flow. Typically, the pressure applied to the body part on which the inflatable body is attached may be controlled. For example, the longer the time period of fluid being applied to said inflatable chambers the higher the pressure placed on the body to which the inflatable body is applied. This time period may be controlled by said timer. Conveniently, the pressure applied to the body part by said inflatable body in use may enhance venous and lymphatic return. This may be achieved by the directional pressure applied by said inflatable body on the body in use. Advantageously, such intermittent or continuous pressure pulses causing pressure on the body in a directional manner may aid circulation. Moreover, the inflatable body may reduce post-traumatic or postoperative swelling. Without wishing to be bound by theory it is understood that fluid build-up following trauma on an area of the body may be directed to the lymphatic vessels and lymph nodes by use of the inflatable body of the present invention. The lymphatic vessels should then aid the passage of excess tissue fluids back into the cardiovascular system. Advantageously, the application of pressure by the inflatable body of the present invention may reduce fluid build-up and swelling in the traumatised body area or limb leading to a reduction in pain. Typically, also, the application of pressure and heated or cooled fluid to an injured area of the body using the inflatable body of the present invention may provide further therapeutic effect. For example, for the treatment of joint or muscular pain. The use of hot fluid through the inflatable body may be used to treat rheumatoid arthritis or the like, for example. The use of cooled liquid may be used to diminish the movement of blood to the site of an injury to the body and therefore reduce the likelihood of a haematoma being formed at the injured site. The inflatable body of the present invention may also be used to control oedema, haemarthrosis or pain. In a further aspect of the present invention the inflatable body of the present invention further comprises means for attaching to the body. Typically, said inflatable body is fastened around an injured limb using fastening means known in the art. For example, non-permanent fastening means such as Velcro or a buckle. Optionally, said inflatable body may further comprise a sleeve or cuff that may envelop the inflatable body of the present invention. Advantageously, said sleeve or cuff comprises fastening means therein for attaching said inflatable body to a body part to be treated. Preferably, said sleeve is of a shape suited for attachment to a limb of choice. For example, a cuff of a size suitable for attachment to the thigh. This will of course be larger than that for attachment to a forearm. Such a sleeve or cuff may be made of a material of similar properties to that of said inflatable body. Preferably, said material must be flexible and conductive to heat/cold. Preferably, the fluid reservoir and pressure source is housed in a distinctive unit to the inflatable body. Such a unit may be, in part, waterproof for purposes of housing said fluid reservoir. Typically, said unit comprises a handle and is manufactured of a light but strong material for easy transportation. The unit may further comprise a power cable and cable winding means. Said power cable is intended for connection to said electric pump and/or refrigeration unit and mains electricity supply or battery. The power cable may also be connected to a transformer. In a yet further aspect of the present invention there is provided a method of treating the body comprising the steps of: providing the inflatable body of the present invention; locating said inflatable body of the present invention in an appropriate orientation with the body; applying pressure to the body in a directional manner via the inflatable body and dependant on the orientation of the inflatable body relative to the body. Features of the method are defined above in terms of the inflatable body of the present invention and the inflatable body in use. In a further aspect of the present invention there is provided use of the inflatable body of the present invention for the therapeutic treatment of the body wherein said inflatable body provides thermal and/or directional pressure treatment to the body area to which the inflatable body is attached. In use, the inflatable body is applied to the injured area such that pressure is applied in a directional manner towards the lymph nodes, for example. To increase circulation in an area of the body the direction of pressure would be intended to be towards the heart, for example. The inflatable body may typically be used to treat a human or animal. Embodiments of the present invention will now be described, by way of example and with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which: Figure 1 is a schematic and exploded view of inflatable body of present invention incorporating fluid connection means, and separate unit housing pressure source and fluid reservoir; Figure 2 is a top view of an inflatable chamber arranged to create a fluid flow path between an inlet and outlet; Figure 3A is a schematic view of embodiment of present invention depicting pump and refrigerated fluid reservoir; Figure 3B is a circuit diagram intended to represent embodiment of invention as shown in Figure 3A. Turning firstly to Figure 1, there is shown an exploded representation of an inflatable body in the form of an inner sleeve 18 comprising an inlet valve 20 and an outlet valve 22 to be connected to a remote pumping/fluid reservoir unit 24 via fluid connection means 26 and 28, respectively. The inner sleeve 18 comprises an inflatable chamber or a plurality of interconnected chambers 30. The inner sleeve 18 may further comprise ribs 32, which are intended to provide support means for applying the inner sleeve to a body part. For convenience, the inner sleeve may further comprise an outer sleeve 33, which may be made of a suitable material to aid the attaching of the inner sleeve to a body part. The outer sleeve may permanently be attached to the inner sleeve and may comprise fastening means such as Velcro or a buckle and strap, for example. The inlet valve 20 and outlet valve 22 may comprise connector means 34 for easy connection to said inlet and outlet fluid connection means 26 and 28, respectively. The pumping/fluid reservoir unit, in the present embodiment depicts a connector 36 for connection of said inlet fluid connection means 26. The fluid connection means 26,28 are in the form of a hosepipe. The outlet fluid connection means 28 may be connected to the pumping/fluid reservoir unit 24 by a connector 38. Fluid directional flow from the pumping/fluid reservoir unit 24 to the inner sleeve 18 is shown by way of arrowheads . The pumping/fluid reservoir unit comprises a handle 40, a lid 42, an eight-pin relay socket 44, an eight-pin "On" delay timer 46, a pump switch 48, a diaphragm 50, a clamping ring 52, a manual (bilge) pump 54, bolt means 56, a hollow elbow joint 58, a non-return valve 60, electric immersion pump 62, internal pump shelf 64, screw means 66, tank and connector means 68, a lid buckle housing a buckle clip and pin 70, cable ender 72, standard plug 74, 240 volt ac - 12 volt dc transformer 76, 12 volt car (cigarette) socket plug 78, refrigerated unit base 80, fluid reservoir 82 and lid pin 84. The manual pump 54 in the present embodiment is intended to further comprise an outer clamping plate and pump handle (not shown) . In the embodiment as shown the fluid connection means 26 is connected to the inlet valve 20. In use, the pump, whether electric pump 62 or manual pump 54, pumps fluid from the fluid reservoir 82 into the inflatable chamber(s)30 via the electric or manual pump and fluid connection means 26. The electric or manual pump in the present embodiment are in series. When the outlet valve 22 is opened the fluid would then return via the fluid connection means (out) 28 to the fluid reservoir 82. The fluid on entering the inflatable chamber (s) would occur in such a way that the part of an inflatable chamber or first inflatable chamber proximal to said inlet valve 20 would in turn be filled with fluid such that pressure would be applied on the limb that said inner sleeve 18 is applied. The pressure on said limb would be in a directional manner from the inlet valve to the outlet valve 22. It will be appreciated that the inner sleeve 18 should be in a shape suitable for application to a particular body part. Preferably, the inner sleeve is intended to envelop said body part. Therefore, if the inner sleeve 18 is to be applied to a forearm the inlet valve end of the inner sleeve should be applied at the wrist end, whilst the outlet valve end of the inner sleeve should be adjacent to the elbow. It would therefore be appropriate for the circumference of the inlet valve end of the inner sleeve to be less than the circumference of the outlet valve of the inner sleeve, in most cases. This would advantageously allow pressure to be applied from the wrist towards the elbow and therefore encourage the passage of fluid from an injured forearm towards the lymph nodes in the body or to aid circulation in the direction of the heart. The embodiment shown in Figure 1 shows the pumping/fluid reservoir unit in one complete unit distinct to the inner sleeve 18. The pumping/fluid reservoir unit could be incorporated as distinct units, however, for convenience it is housed in one unit. Generally, the unit would be manufactured from a insulating material, such as materials used for cool boxes, both for its light weight and to maintain the temperature of the fluid contained therein. The material used would of course be waterproof to avoid leakage of said fluid. Advantageously, the manual pump 54 and electric pump 62 are displaced in series so that fluid may be withdrawn from said fluid reservoir by either said manual or electric pump. Typically, said fluid connector means (in) 26 and (out) 28 may be connected at either connector (s) 36,68 directly or indirectly. It is intended that connectors 34, 36, 68 would allow fluid to flow from the unit 24 via the fluid connector means 26,28 without loss of fluid to the outside. Typically, fluid out from the fluid reservoir 82 is drawn from the bottom of said fluid reservoir and fluid returning from the outlet valve of the inner sleeve 18 is discharged to the top of said fluid reservoir 82 via the tank and connector means 36. This is advantageous as when said refrigeration unit 80 is used, refrigerated (cold) water will collect at the bottom of said fluid reservoir 82 and may be easily drawn to be passed into said inner sleeve 18 for therapeutic use. Warmer discharged fluid would return to the top of the fluid reservoir and so on. In a further embodiment of the present invention there is shown in Figure 2 a top view of the inflatable body 8 comprising an inlet valve 2 and outlet valve 4, and inflatable chamber 6, which provide a fluid flow path (said fluid flow path is indicated by arrow heads) between said inlet and outlet valves. The inflatable body 8, shown in the form of a sleeve or cuff, is provided in a shape suitable for application to the thigh, for example. Therefore, the short end 10 is intended to be wrapped around the lower portion of the thigh adjacent to the knee, whilst the long end 12 is intended to be wrapped around the larger upper end of the thigh. However, it will be understood that the shape of said inflatable body 8 comprising the inflatable chamber 6 will be dependent on the shape and size of the limb or body part to be treated. The perimeter 14 of the device and sections 16 between the arrangement of the inflatable chamber may be manufactured by common sealing techniques, such as heat sealing separate pieces of material together. The "unsealed" areas are therefore intended to be filled with fluid and support fluid flow in the "zigzag" pattern of fluid flow as indicated by arrowheads. The nature of the layout of the inflatable body depicted in Figure 2 provides unique directional flow of fluid and also pressure applied to the body part to which said inflatable body is applied to, when fluid is applied through inlet valve 2 and out through outlet valve 4. Figure 3A is a schematic diagram illustrating the principal operative components of one embodiment of the present invention encompassing a portable unit such as the pumping/fluid reservoir unit 24 shown in Figure 2.

Claims

1. An inflatable body which is capable of being applied to a body part, the inflatable body defining a fluid flow path and configured to inflate sequentially to apply a substantially directional pressure to a body part.
2. An inflatable body according to claim 1, wherein the inflatable body is capable of being fitted to a knee, arm or ankle.
3. An inflatable body according to any of claims 1 or 2, wherein the inflatable body is capable of having a variable size or shape depending on which area of the body it is intended to be applied to.
4. An inflatable body according to any preceding claim, wherein the inflatable body comprises one or more inflatable chambers or capillaries intended to be inflated sequentially from a first end, such that inflation of said chambers or capillaries is directional towards a second end.
5. An inflatable body according to claim 4, wherein the chambers or capillaries are intended to support fluid flow, such as water and/or air.
6. An inflatable body according to claim 5, wherein the chambers of the inflatable body are manufactured of a flexible, non-permeable material which allows pressure and fluid to be applied to said chambers without pressure/fluid loss.
7. An inflatable body according to any of claims 4 to
6, wherein said chambers are filled with hot or cold water for therapeutic treatment of a body part.
8. An inflatable body according to any of claims 6 or
7, wherein the flexible, non-permeable material of the inflatable body is conductive to heat so that heat/cold is capable of being transferred from the inflatable body to a limb or joint.
9. An inflatable body according to any of claims 6 to
8, wherein the flexible, non-permeable material of the inflatable body is a flexible and non-porous plastics or fabrics material.
10. An inflatable body according to any of claims 4 to
9, wherein the first end of the inflatable body contains an inlet and a second end of the inflatable body contains an outlet.
11. An inflatable body according to any of claims 4 to
10, wherein the first and second ends are in the form of a valve.
12. An inflatable body according to claim 11, wherein the valves allow the control of fluid flow in/out of said inflatable body.
13. An inflatable body according to any of claims 11 or 12, wherein the valves are used to apply intermittent pressure to a body, in a directional manner, thereby creating a massaging effect.
14. An inflatable body according to any of claims 4 to
13, wherein, in use, fluid is applied to one or more inflatable chambers of the inflatable body at the inlet, such that a first chamber is inflated with fluid thereby applying pressure on the body part adjacent to said first chamber .
15. An inflatable body according to any of claims 4 to
14, wherein as more fluid is applied to said inlet a further (second) chamber, interconnected to said first chamber, is filled with fluid being forced from said first chamber such that pressure is applied to the body part adjacent to said second chamber.
16. An inflatable body according to any preceding claim, wherein the inflatable body further comprises: a fluid reservoir; and/or a pressure source for providing continuous or intermittent pressure pulses; and fluid connection means coupled at a first end to said fluid reservoir and/or pressure source and at a second end to said inflatable body.
17. An inflatable body according to claim 16, wherein more than one fluid connection means is provided.
18. An inflatable body according to any of claims 16 or 17, wherein a first fluid connection means is attached at one end to the fluid reservoir and at its opposite end to the inlet and a second fluid connection means is connected at one end to the outlet and at its other end to the fluid reservoir or distinct fluid collection means .
19. An inflatable body according to any of claims 16 to 18, wherein the fluid connection means allow the flow of fluid from the reservoir in through the inlet and through said flow path of the inflatable body and out through i said outlet through a second fluid connection means to the fluid reservoir.
20. An inflatable body according to any of claims 16 to 19, wherein, in use, water is capable of being recycled.
21. An inflatable body according to any of claims 16 to 20, wherein the fluid connection means are manufactured from a flexible, non-permeable material which is capable of transferring fluid without leakage.
22. An inflatable body according to any of claims 16 to 21, wherein one end of each fluid connection means is connected to an outlet or inlet in order to form a seal and allow the transfer of fluid without leakage.
23. An inflatable body according to any of claims 16 to 22, wherein the inflatable body further comprises a refrigeration unit or heater.
24. An inflatable body according to any of claims 16 to 23, wherein fluid is capable of being drawn from the bottom of said fluid reservoir via a first fluid connection means, whilst expelled fluid from the chamber (s) of the inflatable body is returned to the top of said fluid reservoir.
25. An inflatable body according to any of claims 16 to 24, wherein the pressure source for providing continuous or intermittent pressure pulses is in the form of an electric or manual pump.
26. An inflatable body according to claim 25, wherein i the electric and manual pump are connected in series allowing fluid flow to be pumped through the reservoir through both the manual and electric pumps, then through the fluid connection means and chamber (s) using the manual and/or electric pump.
27. An inflatable body according to any preceding claim, wherein the inflatable body further comprises a timer connected to a pressure source of the inflatable body.
28. An inflatable body according to claim 27, wherein the timer controls the length of time that said pressure source is on/off when an electric pump is used.
29. An inflatable body according to any of claims 27 or 28, wherein in use a controlled time regime of active/non-active electric pump and open/closed inlet/outlet provides intermittent pressure and causes a massaging effect on a limb or body part.
30. An inflatable body according to any of claims 27 to 29, wherein the pressure applied to a body part on which the inflatable body is attached is capable of being controlled, the time period being controlled by said timer.
31. An inflatable body according to any preceding claim, wherein the pressure applied to the body part by said inflatable body in use enhances venous and lymphatic return.
32. An inflatable body according to any preceding claim, wherein the application of pressure and heated or cooled fluid to an injured area of a body provides therapeutic effect for the treatment of joint or muscular pain.
33. An inflatable body according to any preceding claim, wherein the inflatable body further comprises means for attaching to the body.
34. An inflatable body according to claim 33, wherein the means for attaching the inflatable body to a body comprises fastening means such as Velcro or a buckle.
35. An inflatable body according to claim 33, wherein the inflatable body further comprises a sleeve or cuff that is capable of enveloping the inflatable body.
36. An inflatable body according to any preceding claim, wherein a fluid reservoir and pressure source is housed in a separate unit to that of the inflatable body.
37. A method of treating the body comprising the steps of providing an inflatable body according to any of claims 1 to 36; locating said inflatable body in an appropriate orientation with the body; applying pressure to the body in a directional manner via the inflatable body and dependent on the orientation of the inflatable body relative to the body.
38. Use of an inflatable body according to any of claims 1 to 36 for the therapeutic treatment of the body wherein said inflatable body provides thermal and/or directional pressure treatment to a body area to which the inflatable body is attached.
PCT/GB2005/002359 2004-06-17 2005-06-15 Therapeutic thermal pressure device WO2005122997A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB0413531.5 2004-06-17
GB0413531A GB0413531D0 (en) 2004-06-17 2004-06-17 Therapeutic thermal pressure device

Publications (1)

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WO2005122997A1 true WO2005122997A1 (en) 2005-12-29

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WO (1) WO2005122997A1 (en)

Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3521621A (en) * 1967-12-11 1970-07-28 Mary G Smith Suit for circulation of fluid around body
US4149529A (en) * 1977-09-16 1979-04-17 Jobst Institute, Inc. Portable thermo-hydraulic physiotherapy device
US4762121A (en) * 1981-08-14 1988-08-09 Mego Afek, Industrial Measuring Instruments Massaging sleeve for body limbs
US5086771A (en) * 1991-09-05 1992-02-11 Cincinnati Sub-Zero Products, Inc. Configured pad for therapeutic cooling effect
US5672148A (en) * 1991-12-06 1997-09-30 Maunier; Daniel Hydraulic device for lymphatic drainage and massage of the human body

Patent Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3521621A (en) * 1967-12-11 1970-07-28 Mary G Smith Suit for circulation of fluid around body
US4149529A (en) * 1977-09-16 1979-04-17 Jobst Institute, Inc. Portable thermo-hydraulic physiotherapy device
US4762121A (en) * 1981-08-14 1988-08-09 Mego Afek, Industrial Measuring Instruments Massaging sleeve for body limbs
US5086771A (en) * 1991-09-05 1992-02-11 Cincinnati Sub-Zero Products, Inc. Configured pad for therapeutic cooling effect
US5672148A (en) * 1991-12-06 1997-09-30 Maunier; Daniel Hydraulic device for lymphatic drainage and massage of the human body

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
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