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Corset for back pain

 
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I made a corset to help deal with the severe back pain I have. (Actually made 2, only photo'd one.) It's meant to be worn under my clothes, not to be visible. My back was damaged badly in a car wreck 38 years ago (yay drunk drivers :P) and I have had surgery, and for many years I sometimes have to use two canes to walk due to incredible amounts of pain. I have work to do, and I have been wearing a stretchy back brace from the drugstore, that isn't designed for what I need. I have made corsets before, so I made myself one designed to do exactly what I need.

I started with the same pattern I always work with from here Draft Your Corset Pattern Working my way through all the measurements, and marking here and there and connect them, etc, I got this:



Tracing out the cuts, these are my pattern pieces:



Sewed it all together into this:



It's hard to see on the black fabric where the steel coil boning is, so I marked them on this picture:



So the way it's designed, like I said, to be worn under clothes, is to support the L2-S3 area, where the vertebrae are damaged, and weak muscles can't hold it all straight. When my hips tilt off level, nerves are pinched, the pain is incredibly bad, and I tend to be unstable when I walk or stand. For what it's worth, at this point, when I'm not tilted, and my back is stable, the pain is tolerable, so that's the state I want it to be all the time.  

It fits tight against my ribs to hold the top still, that makes the steel coil boning have to push down into position, as it has no way to move upwards or sideways. The stays down each side of my spine, to the tailbone, support the damaged area and keep it from compressing or tilting off level. The pressure downwards from the top forcing the stays down presses the spinal stays so they open up the compressed areas, which relives a LOT of pain. The stays on the sides are just to hold the corset in position. The ones on the front help keep my stomach muscles from pulling my back out of alignment when they get tired and I can't hold them in. The effect of that is kind of how a pregnant lady's back arches weird to balance her tummy, it hurts really bad when my back gets like that, so the front stays help keep my weight balanced.

It has laces so I can adjust the tension as I need to, two laces, from the center upward, and from the center downward, so I can control exactly where I need it looser or tighter. It's counter-intuitive, but due to how I designed it, I can lace the top tight, and the bottom looser, and it's very supportive and comfortable. You'd think I'd need the low part tight, but that really doesn't work as well. The looser low half lets my body do as much as it can, keeps me from getting weak muscles due to disuse and stiff due to lack of flexion, but supports it when it starts to get tired so it can't go into the most painful position.

All in all, it works really well, and so far has caused me no problems. The elastic one I had been using, to hold anything in place has to be cinched so tight it compress my intestines, and doesn't allow any movement, so the muscles get weaker, making a vicious cycle. It also slides out of place all the time. This one doesn't do any of that, and I wore it one day when i was up and down on my knees planting, and walking on uneven ground, and should have been hurting bad in an hour or two, I worked about 5 hours and felt fine. Well worth the time it took to sew! It's the most effective pain control I have come up with in years. I'm really pleased. The design is worth looking at if you can sew easily and have very low back pain.

:D
 
Pearl Sutton
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For what it's worth, if you can read MRIs, this shot will make you cringe. If you can't read MRIs, trust me, this hurts. this is the tilt that I am trying to keep under control. The corset goes from right about the top to the bottom of the picture. This is what I'm stabilizing.

MRI-08-19-back.jpg
[Thumbnail for MRI-08-19-back.jpg]
MRI of my low back when my hips are tilting off level. This is incredibly not good.
 
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Oh my. That mri says it all. I am so sorry.

And,

You never cease to amaze me. Your perseverance. Your creativity. You possess gumption.

I am inspired by you.

May this latest creation serve you well.
 
Pearl Sutton
steward & bricolagier
Posts: 5518
Location: SW Missouri
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And incidentally, if anyone follows the What Is It? game...this thing I posted, that was identified as a button hole spacer, spaces corset grommets really nicely too!

 
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