Skinny jeans have received plenty of attention in the last couple of days, and not in a good way. Takeaway on all the news articles was: don’t squat too long while wearing them, otherwise some muscle damage might ensue.
It all started with reports of an Australian woman, 35, having been hospitalized for four days following nerve blockages, severe muscle damage and swelling in her legs. She had reportedly spent several hours squatting in tight-fitting denims while helping her sister pack her things and emptying cupboards.
Doctors treating her were surprised to see how much damage could skinny jeans cause, according to the statement given by Dr. Thomas Kimber of the Royal Adelaide Hospital. The unidentified patients said she could feel her legs swelling up in the tight-fitting jeans to the point they became numb during her trip home.
After falling because she couldn’t walk anymore, the patient checked into the hospital several hours later; her story was first published on Monday in the online version of the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.
Dr. Kimber said that tight jeans already had a pretty bad rep even before this case, known to cause nerve lesions in the groin area. But doctors were shocked to see the kind of severe nerve problems along the lower leg that were the result of continuous squatting and wearing too tight jeans.
Whenever you squat for longer periods of time, nerves in the lower leg get compressed, leading to a significant lowering in the blood supply to the calf muscles. If you combine this physical activity with unfit clothing, the problem gets even worse.
The Australian woman that was brought into the ER had such swollen legs that the jeans had to cut off; treatment lasted for the next four days, when the woman was finally able to walk on her feet, but still experienced some weakness. Follow-up reports have her fully recovered in the days to come.
Dr. Kimber warns against wearing tight and constraining clothing at all times – especially jeans, which leave little to no room to elasticity – but especially while performing physical activities that could lead to muscle or nerve lesions.
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