Recently, a poor girl ended up in hospital due to skinny jeans. In short, her skinny jeans weren’t the best apparel choice for her repetitive lifting activity – and she was taken to hospital with nerve damage and weakness in her legs.
It may sound extreme – but can skinny jeans really hurt our bodies? And why does this even happen?
What is Compartment Syndrome?
The skinny jeans girl was suffering from a condition known as compartment syndrome. Compartment syndrome is most often found in high performing athletes or to people post-fracture, while their limbs are healing in a cast.
What Causes Compartment Syndrome?
All of our muscles, organs, nerves, everything – are covered in connective tissue called fascia. This fascia is a fairly rigid tissue, which divides areas up into compartments.
In compartment syndrome, a prior injury causing internal bleeding or excessive inflammation in a compartment can lead to a build up of pressure. When there is too much pressure, blood vessels and nerves are pressed on and compromised.
This can lead to further tissue damage, such as cell death. In serious cases, amputation may be necessary. Thankfully, in most cases, pressure can be relieved by surgically cutting into the fascia to release the pressure.
The lady in the skinny jeans simply had to rest up and made a full recovery.
Who is Most Likely to get Compartment Syndrome?
Athletes. Especially those athletes who perform vigorous activity regularly – putting them at risk of minor muscle tears that remain undetected.
These tears built up over time, turning into a chronic condition.
In addition to athletes, people who have recently broken a bone can get compartment syndrome. Their broken bone is likely set in a cast. However if that cast is too tight, the increased pressure can cause harm to an area. This would be an acute condition, where it comes on very quickly over hours.
So, Skinny Jeans are Harmful?
People aren’t being rushed to hospital everyday simply for wearing skinny jeans.
Skinny jeans aren’t harmful in isolation. But performing some repetitive activities while wearing skinny jeans can increase your likelihood of injury.
Our lady in question was helping someone move house, requiring her to squat down again and again. It was this repetitive activity, coupled with her skinny jeans that lead to her nerves and blood vessels being compromised. Perhaps she also had a prior injury which could have made her further susceptible.
How to Prevent Compartment Syndrome
Compartment syndrome is often a quick and spontaneous condition. There are acute (quick) and chronic (long term) presentations. Chronic compartment syndrome may be prevented by being cautious around any injuries you may have while exercising. It is always a good idea to rest an injury before continuing with vigorous and repetitive exercise.
Plus, wear clothing that is suited to the activities you are performing.