Hot/cold applicator system
Heat transfer blanket
Heat exchange system for body skin
Temperature control fluid circulating system
Stretchable textile heat-exchange jacket
ApplicationNo. 316352 filed on 09/30/1994
US Classes:607/98Electric current
ExaminersPrimary: Sykes, Angela D.
Attorney, Agent or Firm
Foreign Patent References
International ClassA61F 007/02
AbstractThe present invention provides a method of abatement of pain using somatosensory stimulation and devices for implementing the method. The method involves application of spatially modulated temperature differences to the skin in the vicinity of pain. The application of a spatial temperature difference produces a large sensory stimulus along neural pathways the same as or adjacent to those transmitting the signals giving rise to the sensation of pain. This acts to cause the brain to block sensation from the affected area thereby alleviating the pain and the brain has no built in method of adapting or habituating to this type of sensory input. The temperature differential applied is up to 40°-45° C. with the high temperature maintained at or below 45° C. and the low temperature at or above 0° C. to prevent tissue damage. Several devices are disclosed for implementing the method with one being a hand-held device using a thermoelectric unit to both heat and cool adjacent parts of a surface which is in contact with the skin. Another larger device uses a thermoelectric unit disposed between two water pumps each of which pumps water to different sections of a flexible water bag which is strapped to the affected area of the user. Water pumped over one side of the thermoelectric unit is heated and water pumped over the other side is cooled.