Since developing a parastomal hernia, I have been wearing a hernia support belt from SuportX for exercise. The belt serves its purpose well and being adjustable you can make it as tight as you’d like. But are there alternative support options available?
Vanilla Blush is an award-winning Scottish company run by ostomate Nicola Dames that specialises in underwear, sportswear and swimwear for men and women with stomas. They also have a range of hernia support belts and underwear including boxers which I already owned but had not yet tried on.
I originally had a pair sent to me as part of prescription order in August 2019 but had never got around to trying them on. When it came around to ordering new support belts from SuportX I remembered that as well as getting those on prescription I could also get up to three pairs of support underwear.
SuportX offer a similar garment but as I already had a pair from Vanilla Blush I finally made the effort to try them on and was surprised at how comfortable they were. I’d always found the support belts a bit restrictive to wear and over time the velcro sections would curl up and end up digging into your skin. The Vanilla Blush boxers felt a lot more comfortable and natural and provided the right amount of cover over the hernia. The level of support felt good, and comparable to the SuportX belt, and they didn’t roll down.
To give them a real test I decided to wear them for a trail run instead of wearing the usual SuportX belt.
Supporting My Trail Run
Wearing a support belt when running and exercising has become another part of a routine related to having a stoma. It’s not a difficult thing to do but it’s just another reminder of having the stoma and the things related to it. If I could remove that element, it’s a step towards ‘normality’. Quite often I start my runs away from home so put on the support belt when I arrive and then head off on my run. With the support boxer it means I’m already kitted up and ready to roll.
For the test run I’d chosen a new trail route consisting of an 8 mile circular route through woodlands and fields with plenty of hills thrown in. The type of terrain would mean a variety of speeds, stopping and starting on tougher sections and climbing over stiles in between fields which would give the garment a good workout.
The boxers did a great job of ensuring that the hernia was well supported throughout the run and by staying in place throughout I could forget that I was wearing them and concentrate on enjoying exploring the countryside. As this was the first time wearing the boxers, and the first time running in them, there was a risk that there could be some chafing but there were no issues at all.
After struggling with a decision on what to do with the hernia and not being a big fan of wearing the support belts, the support boxers are a great alternative and will be switching to them for runs, particularly the longer runs.