Craig Tingey, M.D. is an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in shoulder problems in a busy orthopedic practice in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he was also born and raised. He received his undergraduate degree at Brigham Young University, where he attended on an academic scholarship. He moved to North Carolina for medical school, where he graduated at the top of his class at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. Upon taking the United States Medical Licensing Exam, his score put him at the 96th percentile (top 4%) nationally among all medical school graduates. His orthopedic surgery residency was at Loma Linda University Medical Center in California, where as chief resident, he was awarded the prestigious Leonard Marmor award for “Excellence in Orthopedic Surgery”, as well as multiple awards for his medical research. He then moved back to Las Vegas in 2004 to begin his orthopedic surgery practice, with an emphasis on treating people with shoulder problems.
Over the years, Dr. Tingey has listened to many, many patients as they complain about their shoulder problems. One of the most common complaints is that their shoulder hurts at night, especially when lying on their side. Their sleep is disrupted and they are miserable.
With these complaints in mind, the idea for The Shoulder Pillow came to Dr. Tingey in the operating room. When a surgeon positions a patient on their side during surgery, a padded cushion known as an “axillary roll” is put under the patient’s side chest wall. This raises the chest wall off the table and decreases pressure on the shoulder. Starting with this simple idea, and with his patient’s complaints in mind, Dr. Tingey worked through multiple designs to produce a pillow for night time shoulder pain.
His goal was to design a pillow that is comfortable, and supports the body and head while unloading the shoulder and allowing it to lie in an anatomic position. His first few prototypes were cut by hand with a kitchen knife from a foam cushion. He revised and improved the pillow until his final design was awarded a United States patent. He gave prototypes of his new pillow to his patients that were suffering shoulder pain at night and in response got strong, positive feedback that encouraged him to take steps to manufacture the pillow so that others can benefit from this brilliant design.