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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

Hey Nancy,

Hope you are doing OK. I think Emily had a good idea on the bra/underwire thing, I have also heard that wearing a sports bra under the brace can also work pretty well. I don’t remember if you mentioned it or not but does your brace cover your breasts or does it stop underneath them with a t-bar type chest extension?

Mine was the type that completely covered my breasts, which made me look even bigger than I already am (38D) so boy-0-boy, could you see me coming from a mile away! - LOL. At least I got a few laughs while being out in public. I mean, my God, men are just so damn obvious!! I'm not sure if I even made eye contact with half of them I pass by while out and about. It was actually very funny! Sorry, I digress.

Anyway, back to you, one thing that I found work really well for me during my recovery was to wear one of those one-piece foundation body suits (aka a longline body briefer/girdle)underneath my CTLSO. Seriously, don’t laugh; it really did worked great for me. It provided good support up top (get one w/o an underwire) and the “boob” chafing problems that I had went away. Also, mine was a very, very snug fit so I never got anymore of the pressure points or hot spots underneath the brace, like you mentioned. It also provided good padding for the brace to rest on, especially in the hip and torso area and on the top of the thighs while sitting (it helped keep the edge of the brace from cutting into the top of my thighs, like you mentioned). Just make sure get one that is a long leg version, not the brief model. Also important, when going to the girls room, is to get one with the split or snap crotch (sorry, but that is a must!) I would change mine every day since they would get dirty so I had bought a few to rotate in and out of.

As for the brace riding up while sitting, I know exactly what you mean and that can be a real challenge. When you go back to your brace fitter, make sure they trim the front, bottom of the brace to provide relief for your thighs when you sit. Also, always try and sit up as straight as possible and sit on a hard chair. Avoid soft, cushy chairs or couches as the brace (especially the chin and head piece portion) will really ride up and make it uncomfortable. Is the cervical portion of your brace a SOMI style neck brace? That is what mine was and after 4 weeks my doctor allowed me to remove the chin piece during meals as long as I used the forehead strap, which would snap to the back portion of the headpiece and come around the forehead. Yes, that was a sight to be seen! Actually, sometimes I would cheat, especially if I were eating out in public, and just lower the chin piece a few notches to make it easier to chew.

I know this a very difficult time for you and the brace is a real pain in the “you know what” but hang in there, try some of the things I mentioned above and don’t be afraid to go back to the Orthotist or your Doctor if something does not feel right, no matter how many times it takes.

My Orthotist told me that the CTLSO is probably the most uncomfortable and difficult brace for patients to wear so the fit needs to be as close to perfect as possible in order for the brace to be even "tolerable" to wear.

Hang in there Nancy, it will get better and just remember, when this is all over your back and neck will feel so much better and more importantly, you will get your life back!!

Take care,


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