Study: Skinny Jeans Can Damage Muscle, Cut Off Circulation To Legs, Feet

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Fashion hurts from time to time, but a new study has found that skinny jeans can damage muscle and nerve fibers in the legs, making it difficult to walk.

According to a study published in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, doctors found that the culprit for a 35-year-old woman’s severe weakness in both her ankles were the skinny jeans she had worn while helping a relative move.

The woman told doctors she’d spent many hours squatting while emptying cupboards and her skinny jeans had felt increasingly tight and uncomfortable as the day wore on.

She later experienced numbness in her feet and found it difficult to walk, which caused her to trip and fall. Because she could not get back up, she lay on the ground for several hours before she was found, according to the journal.

The woman’s calves were so swollen her jeans had to be cut off, and she couldn’t move her ankles or toes properly in her lower legs and feet, the journal’s authors said.

“You’re essentially creating a situation almost like having a tourniquet on your arm if you were bleeding,” CBS News medical contributor Dr. Tara Narula told “CBS This Morning.” “This was really the extreme of something that could happen.”

Doctors later found that she had damaged muscle and nerve fibers in her lower legs as a result of prolonged compression while squatting, which her tight jeans had made worse, doctors said. The jeans led to the development of compartment syndrome, which reduces blood supply to the leg muscles, causing swelling of the muscles and compression of adjacent nerves.

The woman had to be put on an intravenous drip, according to the article, and was only able to walk without help after four days.

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