Using Corsets for Medicine, Therapy & Posture

We've already said so much about the many ways that corsets can improve your life. Skinnier waist, sexier figure, greater confidence, more intense workouts...the list goes on. But did you know that corsets can even have medical and therapeutic benefits too? That's right! Corsets can improve your posture, prevent or heal various injuries, and help manage chronic pain and a variety of mental conditions.

Nowadays, some doctors will even specifically prescribe corsets as a treatment for a number of illnesses and conditions. If you believe that wearing a corset or other type of waist trainer for medical purposes might be helpful for you, we strongly recommend talking to your doctor before beginning. It is extremely important that corsets used for medical or posture-correcting purposes fit properly, as an incorrect fit can make the damage worse instead of fixing it.

Medical corsets may also require a longer break-in period to avoid causing pain or discomfort in the first days of wear. However, if you're not sure whether medical or therapeutic corseting will work for you, or if you just want to learn more, read on! We've created this list featuring just a few of the various ways that corsets can improve both your mental and physical health:

Corsets as Medical Treatment

Healing Injury

Because corsets provide excellent support to the chest, abdomen, and lower back, they can be used to alleviate pain caused by injured ribs, hips or spine. In the case of broken bones, corsets will hold them in place until they have knitted together and healed properly.

The corset can also serve as a sort of protective armor shielding bruised organs such as kidneys from further damage. Wearing a corset when performing certain extreme activities such as sports can also prevent internal bruising or damage. For example, many professional horseback riders have now begun to include corsets as part of their regular riding outfit.

However, we don't recommend using a corset to entirely replace pre-existing safety equipment - such equipment is always extensively tested, while your corset may not have been.

Helping with Chronic Pain

A number of chronic health conditions, particularly those affecting the spine, can be helped significantly by wearing a corset. Pain caused by arthritis, scoliosis, or fibromyalgia has been reported to lessen significantly when the affected individual regularly wears a corset. As a bonus, many scoliosis sufferers find corsets to be a far more fashionable alternative to the more traditional, bulky and often awkward-looking back brace.

Individuals with an excessively curved spine (called hyperlordosis) or an excessively straight one (called kyphosis) may also find relief in the regular wearing of a corset. The corset redistributes their weight, making it easier for their hips and lower body to take up the burden of the upper body's weight which the spine is not supporting correctly.

Lastly, those with weak or loose joints or improperly formed connective tissue may find carrying out their daily routine easier while corseted. The corset "keeps everything in place," preventing key parts of the body from shifting around or deforming even if the joints and tissues are not performing their job correctly. The corseted individual may also experience less pain, as the joints will not stretch or twist into uncomfortable positions throughout the day.

Regulating Breath

While the connection between corsets and the relief of breathing problems such as asthma may not be quite as immediately clear, the effects are nonetheless significant. Wearing a corset keeps your shoulders back and pushes your chest out and forward in order to emphasize the bust as a key part of the hourglass figure.

However, what this also does is keep the chest open and not compressed, giving the lungs plenty of room to expand and contract as deep breaths are taken. Individuals suffering from asthma or similar conditions might find breathing easier to do and to require less focus when in a corset. It allows for deep, regular, healthy breaths which ensure the body and brain are always getting plenty of oxygen.

Corsets as Therapy

Corseting has also recently begun to become a recommended form of treatment for individuals suffering from anxiety and a wide range of sensory processing disorders, including Asperger's syndrome.

But what possible connection could their be between corsets and anxiety? many of you readers are probably wondering right about now. How could something as simple as a corset help with feeling nervous or experiencing sensory overload?

The answer lies in a technique known as compression therapy. Compression therapy explains that a feeling of snug, firm but not painful compression around the upper body can lead to a person feeling safe and being able to relax more easily. This is due to the brain's association of this compression with the feeling of a hug. The person feels that they are safe in a caring embrace and can relax and feel protected. An anxious person, no longer feeling that they are in immediate danger, can focus on slowing their breathing and heartbeat to return to a calm state. Someone suffering from sensory processing issues can focus intently on the feeling of being hugged in order to tune out other, more uncomfortable sensations that their other senses such as sight, hearing or smell might be experiencing.

Compression therapy got its start with special blankets and eventually heavy clothing such as thick jackets or sweaters. Corsets were a natural thing to include in compression treatments because they already provided this feeling without needing any new or special designs. If you plan on using your corset for therapeutic purposes, we recommend that you start slowly and give yourself a long break-in period. Start with a few hours in the corset per day to give your body time to adjust to the new sensation and begin associating it with comfort, safety and other positive emotions.

Corsets as a Way to Improve Posture

Understanding Good and Bad Posture

In the modern world, many of our daily lives actually encourage bad posture rather than promoting sitting or standing up straight. We spend our days peering down at smartphone screens or typing on increasingly smaller computers with our shoulders hunched and our chests closed in. We walk with our hands thrust in our pockets and our eyes on the ground rather than looking confidently forward. Gradually, our necks droop, our heads hang, our shoulders slouch - day after day until it's too late.Whether you are standing or sitting, the ideal posture remains pretty much the same. Your shoulders should be slightly back and pushed out wide. This causes your chest to thrust forward and keeps your chest cavity wide and open. Your head should be steady on top of your neck and kept as even as possible without tilting too much in any one direction. Maintaining good posture as described above may seem simple. However, it can in fact be very difficult. It is very easy to stop concentrating throughout the day and let your body slump or twist in uncomfortable ways. Sometimes, you may not realized that you have been standing or sitting with poor posture until several hours later, when the damage has already been done.

The Risks of Bad Posture

Bad posture, unfortunately, can feel more comfortable than correct - at least at first. However, neglecting your posture over a long period of time can in fact cause long term damage. Luckily, most of this damage is not fully permanent and can be corrected using corsets, physical therapy, and other methods.

However, the healing process will involve large amounts of pain and bodily discomfort which can be avoided if you begin improving your posture before the damage is done. Improper posture distributes the weight throughout your body incorrectly. Typically, to much pressure is put on the shoulders and possibly the neck, causing them to warp and twist.

Meanwhile, the core and lower body do not engage properly and fail to bear their share of the weight. The chest cavity is kept in a compressed position, meaning that the lungs are not able to expand or contract as much as they can. This results in the person being forced to take short, shallow breaths, which can lead to increased heart rate and stress levels and even cause hyperventilation or anxiety over time.

Two of the conditions mentioned in the above sections, hyperlordosis and kyphosis, can be exaggerated or even caused by bad posture.

Hyperlordosis involves the spine curving too much, while kyphosis features a spine which is too stiff and straight and cannot bend properly. In both cases, the spine is unable to properly support the weight of the chest and head, adding additional presure to the shoulders and neck which can cause further damage.

Probably the most common condition caused almost entirely by bad posture is the protracted shoulder girdle. This condition with its creepy sounding name occurs when the scapula, or the bones of the shoulder blade, are forcibly pushed backwards into a rotated position and frozen there. (To get just a small idea of how this feels, roll your shoulders back as far as they can go, and then try to hold that position for thirty seconds. Hurts, doesn't it?)

Doctors can usually identify protracted shoulder girdle by observing that the scapula are prominently visible when looking at the patient's bare back. This condition is sometimes referred to as bird shoulders or wing shoulders due to the permanently rotated scapulas giving the appearance of folded wings.

Protracted shoulder girdle is extremely dangerous because it can lead to increased risk of various other injuries and physical problems. These include but are not limited to shortness of breath, weakning of joints, degradation of connective tissue, arthritis, and bruised or broken ribs. Even if nothing more serious occurs, your range of motion will be severely limited and you will find performing everyday tasks becomes significantly more difficult.

How Can Corsets Help?

Wearing a corset is a great way to ensure that you are maintaining correct posture without having to dedicate a lot of thought and concentration towards remembering to do so.

A corset will keep your spine straight and your core muscles engaged. It will be much more difficult for your shoulders to slump forwards, as the compression of the corset will make you more aware that you are doing so. It also keeps the chest open and wide in order to encourage normal, regular breathing rather than short, shallow breaths which come too quickly.

Corseting for even a period of just a few weeks - with 6-8 weeks usually being the recommended time frame - can successfully "train" your body to sit, stand and walk straighter and more confidently than before. Even if you have a desk job where you are typing all day or are constantly walking around while looking at your phone, a corset can - and will! - improve your posture by leaps and bounds.

Trust us, your body will thank you later in life! If your poor posture has caused you to develop one of the conditions described in the previous section, have no fear! It's not too late! Corsets can still help you! Sufferers of hyperlordosis and kyphosis can give their spine that extra bit of support it needs, while individuals with protracted shoulder girdle can slowly encourage their scapulas to rotate back into their original, less harmful position.

As we said at the beginning of this article, talk to your doctor before deciding whether or not to use a corset for medical or therapeutic reasons or to heal a condition caused by bad posture. However, once your doc has given you the A-OK, head right back to us here at Get Waisted, because we're ready and eager to help you! Our catalog, found here, contains a huge selection of corsets and other types of waist trainer for every possible purpose and need you might have. In addition, you are welcome to contact us at any time with questions, comments or simply to share stories of your own wonderful corseting experiences!