I remember the day that skinny jeans became popular and bell bottoms fell out of fashion. I was in college and was so disappointed because skinny jeans clung in all the wrong places and made my already short lower legs look even shorter. Well, as iturns out, skinny jeans do not only cramp my style, but also can cause nerve and muscle damage. WHOA.
A case report published last week in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry demonstrated a case of a woman who was squatting for prolonged periods of time while helping her friend move, all the while wearing (you guessed it!) skinny jeans. She felt her jeans get more tight and uncomfortable as the day passed, and by the time she got home she had trouble moving her feet due to bilateral foot drop and developed numbness on her feet as well. She ended up falling because of these problems and was on the ground for hours before anyone came to her rescue. She was treated with IV hydration and actually regained full function of her lower limbs and was able to walk normally by the time of discharge four days later.
The doctors who tended to her think that the prolonged squatting damaged her muscles and caused calf swelling. Because her calves were trapped in a fixed space in the skinny jeans, the swollen muscles ended up compressing the nerves supplying the feet, therefore affecting her ability to move and her sensation.
Other potential side effects of skin tight jeans include indigestion, numbness in the thigh, and heartburn.
My takeaway from this? If something doesn’t feel right, trust your gut instinct! Skinny jeans don’t randomly get substantially tighter throughout the day for no reason. And if you like to wear jeans that too tight to begin with and have a full day of strenuous physical activity planned ahead, I’d advise you to just reach for your sweats.
photo credit: 233/365 – i via photopin(license)