Physical Benefits of Wearing a Corset

Click here to read a free Kindle preview of Solaced (the official Corset Benefits book)

Corsets may help to stabilize the body, prevent injury, correct past injuries, change body morphology and more – read below to read about the physical/medical benefits to corseting, or read about mental/emotional benefits, or the social benefits on their corresponding pages. Or, you can go back to the main “Corset Benefits” page.

Physical Benefits of wearing a corset:

The black, bolded notes are the chapters and stories where you can read truthful, in-depth cases about these in the official Corset Benefits book, Solaced.

  1. Corsets help control back pain and correct posture, to help those with past injuries (e.g. car accidents, vertebral fractures, slipped discs), to wear and tear injuries (e.g. osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease). (For another account of this not featured in Solaced, read this post on Staylace about a man with congenital deterioration of the spine).
    Refer to Chapter 1: Back Injuries
    *
  2. Corsets can help stabilize spinal curvature of scoliosis, kyphosis, and lordosis patients and help alleviate their back pain and muscle tension from their curve. Some have even said that corsets have corrected their curve! Some experienced corsetieres design corrective corsets that may help to stop the worsening of the curve or reduce the curve over time.
    Refer to Chapter 2: Spinal Curve
    *
  3. Corsets can conceal asymmetries and help people prevent tension or injury associated with skeletal asymmetries (PFFD and other birth defects) and also muscular asymmetries (after unilateral strokes, or after asymmetric surgical removal of muscles).
    Refer to Chapter 6: Physical Disorders & Disability
    *
  4. Correction of the posture also helps prevent other skeletal issues. One viewer has experienced relief from her plantar fasciitis while wearing a corset because her corset encourages redistribution of her weight evenly across both feet. I have experienced considerable pressure taken off my knees since wearing corsets (bad knees run in my family), as corsets have changed the way I sit and stand, and encourage me to keep my hips level. Two people have said that their corset has corrected their turned foot (in-toeing and out-toeing) and helped them walk properly.
    Refer to stories “From Duck-Butt to Pin-Up” and “Corsets Corrected my Walk”
    *
  5. Corsets can also help relax trigger points and alleviate/ prevent some muscular pain, fatigue and and tension from autoimmune disorders (e.g. fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, lupus, etc.) and after injury (e.g. post-traumatic dystrophy)
    Refer to Chapter 7: Fibromyalgia
    *
  6. Corsets, especially overbust corsets, and support the bustline. For those who have very heavy breasts, this can help alleviate back pain and neck strain, reduce headaches (see below) and help prevent Neurogenic Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (inflammation of the brachial nerve plexus, which is often caused or exacerbated by the weight of the breasts).
    Refer to Chapter 3: Breast Support
    *
  7. Corsets have also been known to reduce the intensity of headaches or migraines, and over time, some wearers have noticed that the corset has stop their headaches completely as proper posture can take tension off the neck and shoulders. Also, by potentially reducing the hyperlordosis in the lumbar spine, a properly-fitting corset can act as an orthopedic traction unit to prevent the spinal cord from being pinched or stretched (thereby preventing or helping to improve nerve problems).
    Refer to stories “A Glimmer of Hope”, “Liberation from Joint Pain”, “A Bride’s Tips on Pacing”, Wisdom and Autonomy”, and “Life with Intracranial Hypertension”
    *
  8. Corsets are used as lumbar support to prevent potential back injuries and give support during work — e.g. during heavy lifting, repeated tasks or long hours on one’s feet, or in front of a computer. This has been known to benefit those working trade careers like plumbing and automechanics, those in retail who lift stock or stand for many hours, and those in the medical and nursing fields when having to lift patients, etc.
    Refer to stories “Corsets Saved my Career” and “Outdoing the Spring Chickens”
    *
  9. Those who have hypermobility or connective tissue disorders like Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (H) sometimes experience injury due to weakness and hyperextension in their joints, and they may also experience chronic pain. Wearing a corset has helped some of these people by bracing the torso and preventing spontaneous movements that could lead to sprains, dislocations or other injuries.
    Refer to Chapter 5: Hypermobility & Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS)
    *
  10. For people who suffer from chronic low blood pressure, or postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (PoTS) wherein the heart beats unusually fast but the blood pressure isn’t stabilized when going from sitting to standing, corsets can help to raise and stabilize blood pressure, preventing it from dropping too quickly or erratically. *Torso compression is usually paired with compression socks and other devices. Please speak with a doctor before you manage your blood pressure with a corset.
    Refer to Chapter 5: Hypermobility & Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS) and also the story “Corsets for Orthostatic Hypotension”
    *
  11. For people with Sensory Processing Disorder and other neurological/ sensory afflictions, where they are unable to tune out or desensitize to light touch or other sensations, a corset provides a firm, equal pressure evenly around the torso and helps “turn down” sensation. The thick layers of a corset also provide a barrier against the light fluttery touch of a shirt or from other people, preventing sensory overload.
    Refer to the story “Corsets and Sensory Processing Disorder
    *
  12. Corsets are sometimes used by singers and public speakers as diaphragm support; they provide resistance against which the diaphragm can push, which may help the singer achieve higher or more powerful notes. Some operatic singers also find it useful to rehearse in corsets, since they are often required to wear corsets in performance.
    Refer to stories “Corset Solutions” and “Finding my Voice”
    *
  13. Two viewers have mentioned that wearing a corset has helped improve their asthma. The upper lungs and bronchi may not be fully open or utilized with very poor posture, and correcting posture using a corset may help to open up the chest, relax the windpipe and allow easier breathing.*Asthmatics, please consult with your doctor before trying a corset, as not everyone has the same experience.
    Refer to the story “A Home Found in Corsets”
    *
  14. (Added Nov 30 2018) Corsets may help with sleep and insomnia. A number of corset wearers have written Lucy to say that they sleep better in a corset compared to not wearing a corset at night. One in particular participated in a sleep study and found that wearing a corset seemed to reduce the number of events of their sleep apnea. While their story is not in the Solaced book, here’s a quote from their experience: 
    • “Last month, I headed in to see the sleep doctor. I brought my corset with me, and we chatted about how sleeping in it seems to help me sleep more soundly and wake better rested and in less pain.We decided to do another sleep study. In case you are unfamiliar, during a sleep study, one of the things that they check is how often you either stop breathing, or have such shallow breath that your O2 levels go down.One of the nights I slept without my corset, I:
      -Had an average of 34.8 respiratory events an hour, and
      -a total of 224 eventsOne of the nights, I wore my corset and I:
      -Had an average of 15.5 events per hour
      -87 total events

      I really am sleeping better in my corset! I have fewer respiratory episodes, and they are shorter in duration. Neat! Moral of the story: Talk to your doctors if corsets and medical concerns intersect.”
      * Sleep quality in a corset is highly subjective and may not always help with apnea or respiratory events. Always consult a doctor before trying a corset for any reason.
      *

  15. Corsets can also help to protect the organs during horse-riding or motorcycling, acting like a kidney belt to prevent bruising of the retroperitoneal organs. Corsets can also be used to help with balance and communication while riding on horseback.
    Refer to “Getting Back on the Horse”, “My Journey Back to Health”, “Corsets in Action: Fashionable Healing”, and “Biker ‘Chic’ ”
    *
  16. Corsets have provided actual protection as armor for a few lucky individuals, from motor vehicle accidents, to being shot, stabbed, punched and kicked in the gut. One ER doctor asked “Why don’t NASCAR drivers wear those things?” *NB It’s not recommended that the corset be used as a bullet-proof vest, or any deliberate armor. These were serendipitous events.
    Refer to Chapters 11 (Armor) and 20 (Noteworthy Newspaper Clippings)
    *
  17. Corsets are helpful in minimizing menstrual cramps in women. Many women temporarily relieve their dysmenorrhea by lying in the fetal position, which exerts pressure on the peritoneal organs and somewhat diminishes the painful uterine contractions. Corsets can mimic this position by exerting pressure on these same organs, reducing uterine contractions (and thus cramping) while her posture remains erect.
    Refer to Chapter 9: Dysmenorrhea & Endometriosis
    *
  18. Corsets can prevent some types of abdominal hernias by exerting external pressure on the abdomen, or may act like a girdle to prevent pre-existing hernias from worsening while the wearer waits for surgical repair. *NB: this may only help specific types of abdominal hernias, and results may vary – misuse of the corset may result in worse hernias in the case of hiatal/inguinal/femoral hernias. Always consult a doctor before trying a corset for any reason.
    Refer to stories “My Exoskeleton”, “Are Corsets Good Back Support?”, and “My Armor, My Weapon”
    *
  19. If extensive injury to the abdominal wall has already occurred (from automotive accidents, surgeries or procedures like ileostomies, etc.) and the muscles are unable to heal properly, corsets may provide a source of protection and can help increase the intra-abdominal pressure to prevent the muscles from collapsing.
    Refer to Chapter 10: Post-Surgical Abdominal Weakness
    *
  20. Corsets can sometimes help to correct diastasis recti, the separation of the abdominal muscles that some experience during their last term of pregnancy, if the corset is used postpartum to hold the muscles together and prevent them from separating further while they heal together again.*Again, please check with your OB/GYN to see if compression wear is appropriate for you after childbirth.
    Refer to Chapter 13: Postpartum & Motherhood
    *
  21. For those who have ligament disorders that may affect the position of the stomach and liver, or for those who have had major surgery which has resulted in shifting of their organs, a well-fitting corset can lift up and support these organs and prevent “floating” or dropped liver (hepaptosis). See my interview with Kitty.
    *
  22. Corsets may be used as a weight loss aid – they act as an external gastric band and do not allow much expansion of the stomach, thus helping to control appetite and reduce food portions. Wearing a corset can also help the wearer to see themselves as a smaller person, ‘planting the seed’ of belief in their minds that weight loss is achievable, and acting as a strong motivation for these wearers to improve their nutrition and fitness regimen.
    Refer to Chapter 4: Weight Loss & Lifestyle, and stories “The Art of Aging” and “Shattering the Stigma”
    *
  23. Corsets give some women an hourglass shape that they may never be able to achieve naturally (through diet and exercise). Medications like steroids, or conditions like thyroid abnormalities or PCOS can make weight loss nearly impossible for some. On the other end of the spectrum, some patients with hyperthyroidism, pituitary issues, extremely fast metabolisms, or muscle wasting conditions may find it difficult or impossible to put on weight. However, the use of corsets can make it possible for women in both these situations to temporarily experience more of an hourglass shape even if their current gene expression or health situation dictates otherwise.
    Refer to Chapter 12: Body Positivity
    *
  24. Corsets can change a wearer’s figure semi-permanently through changes in muscle and fat pad morphology. Many athletic women use corsets to make their waists smaller. Female body builders have used corsets to reduce the size of their waists so they will have a more competitive edge in fitness competitions. Ex-professional swimmers have also used corsets after their careers to help reverse the effect of the “Swimmers’ barrel chest” and give them back the smaller ribcage they had before swimming.
    Refer to Chapter 4: Weight Loss & Lifestyle, and stories “Wesley” and “The Art of Aging”
    *
  25. It is even possible that the compression of a corset can undo the damage caused by wearing skinny-jeans or ill-fitting bras, by providing gentle consistent pressure over the area where permanent dents occur on the back or the hips, and providing a barrier to prevent outer clothes from pinching the same way again. While minor fat pad migration is disputed (in the context of breast tissue especially), some corset wearers have seen noticeable results even when the corset is off.
    Refer to the stories “Dent Repair” and “Paradoxical Liberation”
    *
  26. Corsets are used to reshape and feminize the figures of trans women or gender fluid individuals: often making the ribcage more narrow, raising the apparent height of the waistline, and making the hips look fuller in contrast. These changes may help with any dysphoria they may experience by creating a figure they may consider more desirable or more easily identify with.
    Refer to Chapter 14: Gender Identity
    *
  27. Corsets are also worn by men who need back support – a custom fit piece can help them keep a masculine physique, so they don’t have to be concerned about inadvertently creating any feminizing effects. Special custom corsets can also be used by trans men to change their figure into one that presents as more stereotypically masculine.
    Refer to the story “Paradoxical Liberation”
    *
  28. In those who have slow bowels/ constipation issues, the pressure of wearing a corset can sometimes stimulate the intestines and may allow a brief increase in peristalsis immediately after taking off the corset, making it easier to have a bowel movement. In those who have issues with diarrhea or fast bowels, wearing a corset  snugly can sometimes slow down peristalsis, possibly lengthening the time between bowel movements. *this doesn’t work the same way for everyone – if you already experience abdominal pain, bloating or irregularity, ask your doctor before you’d like to try corseting.
    Refer to the story “Pain Free and Pill Free”
    *
  29. The gentle compression from corsets can also sometimes help with cramping associated with gastrointestinal disorders. While highly disputed, four writers featured in Solaced have experienced relief from their gastric/ intestinal pain caused by ulcerative colitis, IBS, fibromyalgia, and idiopathic causes.*Please speak with your doctor if you have a gastric or intestinal issues before considering a corset, as normally corseting is not recommended for these individuals.
    Refer to Chapter 8: Gastrointestinal Disorders, and also the story “Story of a Scar and a Swan”

Jump to the mental/ emotional benefits to corseting, or the benefits with societal impact.

*Please note that this article is strictly for information purposes and not intended to replace the advice of a medical physician. Please talk to your doctor if you’d like to start wearing a corset for any reason.*

66 thoughts on “Physical Benefits of Wearing a Corset

  1. I have some joint hypermobility, and weak ab muscles and back pain which originally led me to looking into corsets because I saw that other people with similar issues to mine were using corsets as support garments and feeling less pain and having better posture overall. I also have pretty severe GERD (at least when unmedicated, although recently had an endoscopy and my esophagus isn’t inflamed and looks good, so it could be worse…..). But I have been told by 2 different gastroenterologists I “may” have a hiatal hernia causing the GERD (because the level of acid originally found in my esophagus was so high, it would apparently have to be caused by a physical issue, either hiatal hernia, or a weakness in the opening and closing of the esophageal sphincter). However neither dr. has told me that I -do- have a hernia or not. I would have thought this could be seen in the endoscopies they did (first to test acid levels and the 2nd recently to see how my esophagus was doing.) Yet I’m still being told I “may” have one but that with the diet and treatment plan my current gastro has for me, it can be treated without surgery. I feel like I spent last appointment literally trying to ask IF I ACTUALLY have one and couldn’t get a clear answer? That’s my own problem and issue to take up with doctor but basically, I ordered a corset and am seasoning it but started reading that corsets can raise the stomach higher and can be a problem for GERD, but paradoxically some people experienced improvement of their GERD. I’m going to be asking my drs for a clearer answer, if there’s a test I need, and if wearing a corset could be safe for me but in the meantime I’m curious if there’s much written about experiences w hiatal hernia and/or GERD with corsets?

    1. Hi Ezra, I doubt that there is medical literature about corseting per se and GERD, but there may be some regarding some corset-adjacent therapeutic garment – say, scoliosis bracing and GERD, for instance something like this.
      It’s not an exact parallel because bracing tends to place a lot of pressure on the skeletal structure, and the study involves growing children (who should not be wearing corsets at all) but it’s a place to start.

  2. I have tried a couple of different corsets–one from another seller, and more recently, the Artemis from Lucy’s shop. For context, I have very frequent, debilitating migraines which are not related to tension, but can be triggered by certain kinds of tension. Shoulder relief and posture improvement are big reasons why I wanted to try corsets.

    My old corset, which had a very conical rib shape, made my migraines worse, as the tension on my ribcage ended up being enough to trigger my migraines. I thought this would pass once the corset was better seasoned, but unfortunately, in the end it just wasn’t working for me.

    The Artemis, however, greatly helps my migraines. With the pressure taken off my ribcage (much more of a cupped rib shape), the overall “hug” effect works similarly to menthol patches I use to “distract” my nervous system, preventing it from generating false signals of “phantom pain” that my migraines cause on the affect side of my body, and helps to alleviate some of my other symptoms as well–and it’s not even fully seasoned yet. (Yes, the distraction method was actually recommended by my neurologist.) My migraines are a whole mess, so this is really a huge win for me, better than I had hoped. Additionally, it also helps mellow my period cramps, which is not something I had expected. Win win win.

  3. I have hEDS, POTS, IBS with gastroparesis, degenerative disk disease, and recurrent issues with the fibrous joints in my pelvis slipping out of place. I am also fairly busty for my frame (32F) and struggle with the weight pulling my shoulders and neck. I also deal with ribs going out. For me, a corset has been absolutely life changing and enhancing. It helps tremendously with pain, prevents a lot of subluxations so that I can be more active with less worry. I am able to manage my conditions with less medications. And corsets are much cheaper, much more comfortable, and much more discreet than the alternative medical grade braces I have used in the past. I was blown away that you specifically mentioned so many of these conditions in your article. I’m very excited to have found your site and suspect I will wind up joining your patreon group at some point…and I’m definitely buying that book!

    1. Thank you for sharing your experience, Alicia!

  4. I just want to say Thank You to Lucy for all of the work that has gone into this site, and all the information she has made available. I don’t know how I would have found all of the information Lucy has collected in one place if I had not found her site.
    In February 2020 I underwent back surgery that went very badly, and I died in the surgery. Two weeks in the ICU, a half million dollars in bills and a year of “recovery” and February 4th this year the pain management specialist informed me I had been referred to him because I had a “Failed back surgery”. I was given an option of getting epidurals for my pain, or what they really pushed, an implant to electrically intercept the pain signals. I already have an onboard defibrillator that I didn’t really want, that itches and irritates me, so those options were out. My first thought after I calmed down from the initial freakout was how did they do it in the old days? The answer being old fashioned back braces and trusses. I being a little different anyway immediately thought of a corset as a “modern” alternative and turned to Reddit to search for information and found the corset reddits, and the links to Lucy’s Corsetry. I have been able to learn so much and have just bought Solaced and look forward to reading it to learn even more. I have learned enough to be confident in telling my doctor that corseting is the alternative I will be using to complete my healing.

    Thank You once again for your site and the library of information you have compiled and made easily accessed.
    Dave

  5. Hi, Lucy,
    I am absolutely charmed by your site. The WORK that has gone into this passion! It’s been very helpful as I started by trying to find a corset for horseback riding–the more I hang out here on your site and read your essays (I’ve also ordered your book) the more I think I may need corsetry as a way of life. Thanks for sharing your extensive experience, and for your generosity in promoting all the makers around the world. Wow! I’m a fan.

    1. Thank you so much, Mamie!

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