Q:  I have been fascinated by corsets for a long time and have tried wearing them for short periods (2 hours) as well as extended periods (3 weeks) and have noticed that, no matter the duration, after about 90 minutes my right thigh experiences a burning and tingling sensation. Do you know what it is, what causes it, and what I can do to stop or diminish it? --- Ryan (4/22/03)

A: This is fairly common, and the right-side bias has to do with the slight asymmetry in which the leg nerves exit from the spine.  In general this is an issue when the corset is not properly fitted in the back and pushes in next to the spine.  Sometimes it's caused by tight-lacing a corset that was not designed for tight-lacing.  As a result, the soft spiral boning that is often used dips in too sharply in the back.  A heavier style will solve the problem, but also, slightly moving it upward should bring relief as well. 

Generally speaking, lightly built corsets that wrinkle under the strain of tight-lacing can and will be very uncomfortable. A corset that is fitted and designed for the task will remain smooth over the high-stress areas and be completely comfortable even if laced to smaller proportions! Be careful with this, as repeated irritation of the nerve will cause inflammation, which can take a while to heal. It's better to experiment a little by moving the corset around (up), or looking for a corset designed for the purpose. For examples, look at the C&S webpage, which shows some very small but very smooth waists.

4/25/03) -39

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