Q#1: I've read the other question on corset wearing & scoliosis; however my situation is somewhat different, as I suffer constant back pain. After wearing my off-the-rack corset for a few hours my pain increases considerably. I've read that wearing a corset should not be uncomfortable, but as I have chronic pain, that wouldn't apply to me. Would a custom-made corset be less pain inducing, or is any waist reduction going to cause pain? I've had my curve corrected with a spinal fusion, but my rib cage protrudes on one side of my back & one side of my waist is more pronounced. --Karina (4/14/00)

A#1: The issue with scoliosis is that the spine and ribcage are rotated with respect to the vertical body axis. As a result, muscle tone is asymmetric and subsequent constriction will relax some muscles, but (over)tension others. Within a short while, fatigue of those muscles will cause discomfort and then pain. What you will need is a proper orthopedically designed corset, which is supportive enough to allow most of the torso muscles to relax when laced in. Off-the-rack is not an option. A custom-designed corset from a fashionable designer will only work if he or she is experienced with proper orthopedic corset construction, and then a personal fitting will be essential. E.g., a Milwaukee brace is constructed from a body mold, as there are simply too many dimensions to consider.

The compressing of the waist and lower ribcage will be constrictive, but should never be painful. It is possible to accept considerable reductions without any pain whatsoever. Pain from incorrect corseting is primarily a result of muscle tension, or pinching of the skin. Proper equalization of pressure allows for considerable force to be tolerated without any discomfort. Again, the girdle of a Milwaukee brace produces significant constriction of abdomen and waist. Due to its design it is tolerated without any issue. Adjustment problems can cause chafing, but in general, once solved, it is trouble-free.


Q#2: For many many years, I slouched by keeping my left leg locked and my  right leg loose.  This has caused many upper body structural changes. The muscles to the left of my spine are more pronounced, I think my  spine has curved some, and most notably are my ribs.  On the left side, they are very rounded and in front there is a noticeable angle where  the ribs end and stomach begins.  However, on the right side, the  ribcage is far more u-shaped, and the transition in the front is very subtle.  As well, the back of the right side of the ribcage is tapered in.  I recently got a corset, and have started wearing it for a few hours each day.  The difference in ribcage is still noticeable.  

My main question is if wearing a corset (with steel boning) would help fix these problems, and how long should I wear the corset each day to help the most? Should I get a special corset with stronger boning on one side or the other?  Any other suggestions? -- Anne (10/30/03)

A#2: You may have, as you have indicated, slight scoliosis. In fact many people actually do and it is without consequence if the curves are mild. Corseting certainly helps to alleviate some of these issues, it can also cause
new issues as the asymmetry really would benefit from a custom made corset, allowing for some of the this asymmetry. As you mention, steel boning will certainly provide more support or structure to help with your issues, but make sure the custom corset maker is familiar addressing this type of issue; if not the new corset could be uncomfortable. I agree with your suggestion of steel vs. spiral boning, as the latter provides minimal structure. However, avoiding potential pressure spots is important, and added padding over the stays may be a good

During the 19th century corset period, some cases of scoliosis were addressed by tightlacing the ribcage, but this did not correct the curves, as the constriction was uniform, rather than focused, as is the goal with scoliosis 
bracing.  For mild curves however, a well constructed corset should provide a measure of relief.  Some women with scoliosis who were braced during their teenage years, have, as adults, transitioned with some success to modern
"fashionable" corsets, often because they have grown accustomed to being supported. The brace tightness is similar to that of fashionable corsets. 

Return to Main Medical Advice Page

Return to LISA's Main Page


We provide fast success in ccnp by using our high quality gre prep. We also offer up-to-dated mcat practice test exams and 70-412 with definite guarantee of success in 117-102