Health

Skinny jeans given health warning

  • 23 June 2015
  • From the section Health
skinny jeans Image copyright Thinkstock

Skinny jeans can seriously damage muscles and nerves, doctors have said.

A 35-year-old woman had to be cut out of a pair after her calves ballooned in size, the medics said in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.

She had spent hours squatting to empty cupboards for a house move in Australia. By evening, her feet were numb and she found it hard to walk.

Doctors believe the woman developed a condition called compartment syndrome, made worse by her skinny jeans.


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Compartment syndrome is a painful and potentially serious condition caused by bleeding or swelling within an enclosed bundle of muscles - in this case, the calves.

The condition caused the woman to trip and fall and, unable to get up, she then spent several hours lying on the ground.

On examination at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, her lower legs were severely swollen.

Although her feet were warm and had enough blood supplying them, her muscles were weak and she had lost some feeling.

As the pressure had built in her lower legs, her muscles and nerves became damaged.

She was put on an intravenous drip and after four days was able to walk unaided.

Other medics have reported a number of cases where patients have developed tingly, numb thighs from wearing the figure-hugging low-cut denim trousers - although the chance of it happening is still slim for most people.

Priya Dasoju, professional adviser at the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, said: "As with many of these warnings, the very unfortunate case highlighted is an extreme one.

"There's no need to ditch the skinny jeans just yet, simply avoid staying in the same position for too long and keep moving throughout the day. If you do suffer any prolonged pain you should of course seek help, but no-one should be alarmed by this warning or change the cut of their jeans."

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