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Why doctors are warning about the health risks of too-tight skinny jeans

WATCH ABOVE: A warning is going out to wearers of skinny jeans – avoid prolonged periods of squatting. Doctors in Australia report that a 35-year-old woman was hospitalized for four days after experiencing muscle damage, swelling, and nerve blockages in her legs after squatting for several hours while wearing tight-fitting denims.

Her calves ballooned, her skinny jeans had to be cut off of her body and she spent four days in hospital. In a new study documenting the dramatic incident, Australian doctors are warning women about damaging nerve and muscle fibres in their legs from wearing tight-fitting pants.

A 35-year-old Australian woman couldn’t move her ankles or toes and lost feeling in her lower legs and feet after squatting in her skinny jeans, according to scientists out of the Royal Adelaide Hospital in Australia. She was helping a family member move homes, and was squatting for hours while emptying out cupboards.

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That night, she felt “increasingly tight” and “uncomfortable” sensations in her legs, the researchers say. It turned into numbness and difficulty walking. She ended up tripping and falling.

“Unable to get up, she spent several hours lying on the ground before she was found,” the researchers explained in a press release. She managed to hail a taxi to get her to the emergency room.

That’s where doctors learned she developed compartment syndrome, a reduced blood supply to the leg muscles. It caused muscle swelling and compression of her leg nerves.

The woman needed an IV drip and hospital care for four days before she could walk again on her own.

The jeans were pretty tight, co-author Dr. Thomas Kimber told Australian radio station 891 ABC. The woman’s relatives even “noticed they were somewhat tight.”

“When she arrived [at hospital], she had massive swelling of her calf muscles, they had to actually cut the jeans from her, they weren’t able to remove them any other way,” Kimber said.
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“She had quite severe ankle and foot weakness for several days and she’d suffered quite significant calf muscle injury and, as a result of that, some proteins are released into her blood stream and she needed to be on an intravenous drip to flush those proteins through so that she wouldn’t develop any damage to her kidneys,” he explained.

On the heels of the painful incident, Kimber is warning women to think twice about their fashion choices, especially if they impede their health.

“The take home message I would like to leave people is if they are going to be doing a lot of squatting…wear something looser, with more elasticity perhaps,” he advised.

If your legs feel tingly, stretch them out and go for a walk to get the circulation going again. Change your pants while you’re at it, the expert suggests.

This isn’t the first piece of research wagging a finger at skinny jeans – doctors have warned that the tight-fitting pants could cause “twisted testicles,” bladder weakness and even urinary tract infections.

The Australian research was published Monday night in the  Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry. Read the full findings here.

carmen.chai@globalnews.ca

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