December 19, 2016— John W. Fiore, DC, inventor of the ground-breaking Back-Huggar lumbar support cushion and founder of Bodyline Comfort Systems, passed away November 29, 2016, after a brave battle with cancer. He was 85.
Fiore – known affectionately to his patients as “Dr. John” – made several important chiropractic contributions during his career, which spanned six decades. He was a pioneer in the use of ice therapy to diminish chronic pain and inflammation, and advocated its use throughout his lifetime. In 1968, Fiore also invented the first lumbar cushion to support adjustments made to his chiropractic patients. Recognizing that his patients were unable to sustain spinal adjustments during the car ride home from his office led Fiore to experiment with cutting lumbar support cushions out of foam rubber, which he then loaned to his patients.
When these cushions proved beneficial and demand by patients increased, Fiore created foam molds for the product, which became known as the original Back-Huggar. He established a manufacturing and distribution process so that other chiropractors and their patients also could benefit from his discovery. This invention led to the formation of Bodyline Comfort Systems, an orthopedic supply company in Jacksonville, Fla., to distribute Back-Huggars and other chiropractic medical devices more widely throughout the industry. To date, more than two million Back-Huggars have been sold. Fiore was honored by the Florida Chiropractic Association with the Distinguished Service Award in 2010 for his contributions to the advancement of the chiropractic profession.
Fiore strongly emphasized the need for continuing education throughout his career, and maintained his chiropractic license until 2015. “Learn like you will live forever, but live like you will die tomorrow,” is one of Fiore’s favorite maxims. In 1974, Fiore also contributed to the body of chiropractic knowledge by authoring a forward-thinking study, Discaltic Aberrations of the Spine, in which he promoted the herniated disk theory over subluxations. In later years, MRI scans proved his theory to be correct.
Born in Altoona, Penn., to Sicilian immigrants Fortunato Fiore and Polina Bonerigo, Fiore studied at Purdue University and matriculated from Lincoln College of Chiropractic in Indianapolis in 1949. Fiore left his studies in 1950-52 during the Korean War to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps as a field artillery surveyor, attaining the rank of Sergeant. Following his enlistment, Fiore resumed his chiropractic training and graduated in 1954. A year later, Fiore married Marjorie (“Margie”) Lee Urbain of Indianapolis and the couple moved to Jacksonville, Fla., where he opened his first chiropractic office. His brother, Joseph Fiore, DC, soon joined his Jacksonville practice, and the brothers opened a state-of-the-art clinic there in 1963. In the mid-1980s, two of Fiore’s three sons, Michael and Timothy Fiore, DCs, also entered the chiropractic field and joined the practice for five years before moving to their individual offices in the Jacksonville area.
Fiore is survived by Margie, his wife of 61 years, and three sons: Michael Fiore and his wife, Isabel; Richard Fiore, who managed Bodyline Comfort Systems for 25 years; and Timothy Fiore. He also is survived by his brother, Joseph Fiore, his sister, Marguerite John, and three grandchildren.
Source: Bodyline Comfort Systems