Apparently, Spanx-wearers are not the only people who should be worried about “ominous tingling” caused by constraining garments. It turns out that wearing uncomfortably tight jeans is not only bad for your self-esteem, but could also be hazardous to your health.
A new report details the case of a 35-year-old Australian woman who was hospitalized after suffering nerve and muscle damage caused by a pair of too-tight skinny jeans. According to the case study, published yesterday in Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry, the woman had been wearing the jeans while helping a family member move, which involved many hours of squatting. Later, while walking home, her feet felt increasingly numb, and she eventually collapsed. Unable to get up, she was found hours later and taken to the hospital, where her legs were so swollen that the staff had to cut off her jeans.
Doctors found evidence of muscle and nerve damage — the result of prolonged squatting, which reduces blood supply to the lower leg, made worse by the pressure exerted by the constraining jeans. Though swelling of this nature can lead to permanent muscle and nerve damage or amputation, this woman made a full recovery, returning home after four days of bed rest and an IV drip.
Luckily, thanks to the dedicated work of athleisure activists, there are plenty of good alternatives for those who wish to eschew masochistic denim for good. Now you can say that you’re wearing sweatpants for your health.