Another reason to loathe skinny jeans

Why bear the pain?
Why bear the pain?
Image: AP/Alastair Grant
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A 35-year-old woman in Australia became an actual “fashion victim” when she found herself in the hospital having her super-tight skinny jeans cut off after she fainted and spent several hours lying on the ground. Her case was recounted in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, in a report warning that tight jeans could cause nerve problems in the legs.

The woman (who, it should be noted, is only one of the millions of people who wear skinny jeans, mostly without incident) had been wearing tight jeans while helping a friend to move, a favor that had her squatting down to pack boxes. She recalled feeling ”increasingly tight and uncomfortable” during the day (Who wouldn’t?) and when walking back home, she noticed “foot numbness” and fell.

The report says she suffered from “bilateral peroneal and tibial neuropathies as a result of squatting.” It took her four days to be able to walk normally again. The condition was caused by the compression of her thigh muscles, thigh bones, and far-too-tight jeans, the authors concluded: “The wearing of ‘skinny’ jeans had likely potentiated the tibial neuropathies by causing a compartment syndrome as the lower legs swelled.”

The unfortunate Australian is not the first victim of denim trends (who could forget the acid-washed 1980s?) and she probably won’t be the last. Men are not safe either.

But before you throw out all your skinny jeans, it may be wise to wait for more study on this problem. To date it appears that only 13 cases of medical problems caused by tight jeans have been recorded.

Of course, for some people fashion will involve a degree of discomfort. For the rest of us, fortunately, the comfy sweatpants and athleisure market is booming.