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. Hello!
    I am just presently turned 16, and I have been researching the benefits of corsets as I have horrible migraines that cause me to almost pass out. Along with back pain from bad posture and terrible menstrual cramps. I’ve been trying to convince my mom to let me try a corset for a short time, but I’ve gotten only hard ‘No’s. What are some other benefits you could give to help convince her?

  2. Dear Lucy,
    I have severe back problems. I have herniated disks in my lumbar spine down to my sacroiliac joints. I purchased a steel bone corset at a fair in a size 34” ( my waist in 38”). I truly hope it will work with all my back pain as I am very limited to do almost anything do to pain. I figure I will start waist training with this one and purchase additional ones if this works. I’ll keep you posted on the progress. Thank you for your book and advice on your site.

  3. Hello, I am very interested in trying corsets as I have bad posture and a massive slouching habit, however, I was born with an extra rib on my left side (genetic mutation) which does not currently impair me in any way. I know that you aren’t a medical professional, but do you think that this would be problematic if I started wearing corsets?

  4. Nr 13, corsets helping asthma probably has to do with the lighter breathing that yo have when you have a corset. Paradoxically, asthmatics breathe too deep and/or fast. The Buteyko breathing method (reduced breathing) has been proven effective for asthma in multiple trials.

  5. Hello. I am a tall thin 21 year old man with back muscle weakness and significant postural issues. Can you direct me to a maker or makers who specialize in making men’s corsets to assist with my issues? Thank you.

    1. Hi Gustav, have you seen my gallery of men’s corsets here? You can click through any of the photos or links to be directed to that maker / brand’s website where you can learn more about them, ask them questions, or start a commission once you’ve settled on one you like. I know that Dark Garden also makes medical / therapeutic corsets.

  6. Hello,
    I am new to corseting and have already done a tone of research (this was very helpful by the way), I am looking for my first corset. I found that it will help with posture and have been hocked ever since. I was just wondering if you have any idea of were would be a good place to buy my first and if you had any advice for a first timer.

    1. Hi Amber, there’s no one corset that fits every body differently, but if you’d like to know which specific style might work best for your body, your budget and your goals, you are welcome to fill out the contact form on this page and Lucy will get back to you personally. :)

  7. I know this is going to sound a bit odd, but would you be willing to send me an email saying that some people do use corsets for back pain caused by scoliosis? I work at Amazon and have been threatened with termination over repeatedly setting off our metal detectors. However the head of security said if I could get an email from someone knowledgeable about corsets, saying that they can indeed be used for pain management and breast support, not just fashion, that he would approve a medical exemption badge so I don’t get fired.

    1. Hi Kayla, I’ve sent you an email just now. Good luck!

  8. I have spinal arthritis and degenerative disc disease. I own several corsets, both over and under bust. I’ve also read a lot about latex waist trainers. Which do suggest is best for me? Btw, I’m decently experienced with corsetry, and understand you’re not a doctor. I just thought I’d ask your opinion :)
    Also, should I sleep in them, or only do a few hours during the day and remove at night?

    1. Hi Charlotte, I would recommend checking out the corsetiere map for the best possible results. All of the markers in yellow (or in the directory the ones with “medical” beside their names) are people who are experienced making medical / therapeutic corsets, and some of them even work with medical insurance companies! While I do know some people who wear their medical corsets 24/7, only removing them to bathe, that should be something you discuss with your doctor and the corsetiere you’re working with because each case is different.

  9. Dear Miss, i am a heavy set guy, tall, in my early 60s, a motor cycle accident 9 years ago showed up a stenosos problem, which has led to sciatica and a growing issue with walking and everyday tasks.
    I have tried weight lifting belts with no success in the past, but wondered if a corset would be much different?…..

    i might add, although i have a very vanilla partner, i do lean towards kink, but not too obviously in public….

    any comments would be interesting…


    1. Hello, sorry for my late response! A corset feels different to a waist training belt – it can be constructed to your unique body measurements and made to the length, the color and even the material that suits your lifestyle best. Corsets can also be made to be very discreet under clothing. If you’d like something made to your measurements, check the gallery of corsets for men – clicking through each photo will redirect you to that maker’s website where you can learn more, contact them with questions, and start a commission.

  10. have very bad low back pain for years at present i have on an open bottom firm girdle high waist it helps greatly i have been thinking about a corset but don’t know where to buy

    1. Hello, if you’re interested in buying locally and having a piece custom made for your body and your needs, I recommend seeing the Corsetiere Map and contacting the makers who live closest to you. If you think you might be okay with ready-to-wear or off-the-rack corsets, you are welcome to try out my sister site, the Corset Database, and see what works for your body. I also sell various OTR corsets on my site and I do mini-consultations on which corsets in my shop might fit you.

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