A new study says squatting in the tight jeans for a long time may lead to nerve and muscle fibre damage in legs and feet.
Published in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, the study points to the case of a 35-year-old woman who was treated at the Royal Adelaide Hospital in Australia for severe weakness in both ankles.
“On the day prior to presentation, she had been helping a family member move house. This involved many hours of squatting while emptying cupboards. She had been wearing ‘skinny jeans,’ and recalled that her jeans had felt increasingly tight and uncomfortable during the day,” the study says.
“Later that evening, while walking home, she noticed bilateral foot drop and foot numbness, which caused her to trip and fall. She spent several hours lying on the ground before she was found.”
The woman’s jeans had to be cut off of her and she spent four days in hospital until her lower limb function improved enough for her to be able to walk unaided.
“We were surprised that this patient had such severe damage to her nerves and muscles,” “We were surprised that this patient had such severe damage to her nerves and muscles,” Dr. Thomas Kimber of the Royal Adelaide Hospital told The Associated Press, adding that it could have been the non-stretchy nature of the jeans that was the problem.
The study says that while previous reports have linked skinny jeans to nerve problems in the thighs, this case showed the damage that could potentially be done to a wearer’s lower leg.
Risk of nerve damage from clothing is not limited to skinny jeans, neurologists have in the past highlighted the dangers of other tight-fitting garments such as body shaping or slimming underwear.
However, this particular study only discusses one case in which skinny jeans may have played a role in causing injury. To confirm a broader health threat, research would need to track a large group of people who wear skinny jeans, as well as a control group of people who do not wear them. In other words, this is not the last word on this.