A recent Australian episode, which made the news wires globally, demonstrated the danger of skinny jeans. A 35-year-old woman wearing skinny jeans had been helping with a family member’s moving process.
Her activity involved a lot of bending and squatting as she unloaded cupboards and shelves and loaded items into boxes. After a day of this activity while wearing those super tight skinny jeans, the woman lost control of her feet and fell while walking home and was unable to get up and continue walking.
She was experiencing bilateral foot drop, which means control of the front part of both her feet was lost due to nerve compressions with resulting muscle deterioration.
She wound up lying on the ground for several hours with those too tight skinny jeans. Paramedics found her, cut off her jeans to relieve the pressure, and rushed her to the Royal Adelaide Hospital in Adelaide, Australia, where she was held four days until she could walk again.
Skinny jeans or other tight clothing that doesn’t expand with the body’s movements have been cited for various physical maladies because they’re so restrictive and don’t stretch or give with the body’s expansions and movements.
Tight clothing that does stretch with the body’s movements include yoga or dance tights and spandex outfits.
Explaining foot drop and related damages
Foot drop is caused by peripheral neuropathy induced paralysis of the muscles used for lifting the front part of the foot. Some diabetics experience this malady. But foot drop may involve nerve damage from excessive kneeling, squatting, or even prolonged sitting with legs crossed, especially with tight jeans.
When this occurs, the front part of one’s feet drag or don’t compliment the leg’s lift as one walks. The only way to compensate this and still walk is to lift both legs high, similar to climbing stairs or exaggerated marching in place.
The Australian woman didn’t realize that technique in time to prevent her fall. Her jeans had to be cut off due to the swelling from excess tissue liquids in her legs, a condition that could lead to life or limb threatening rhabdomyolysis, where muscles and tendons shred and fall apart.
By the way, rhabdomyolysis is also common among heavy statin drug users and has occurred randomly among patients prescribed fluoroquinolone antibiotics, ciprofloxacin (Cipro), gemifloxacin (Factive), levofloxacin (Levaquin), moxifloxacin (Avelox), norfloxacin (Noroxin), and ofloxacin (Floxin).
She was hydrated intravenously to relieve the swelling and released from the hospital after she could walk unaided again. Although this was the first recorded incident of foot drop from tight jeans, other incidents involving upper leg neuropathy and groin injury from normal physical activity with skinny jeans have been recorded.
What about guys and skinny jeans?
Of course, they could develop the same foot drop syndrome that afflicted the Australian woman. But a UK medical study involving 2000 British men reported one in 10 men who wore skinny jeans had cases of testicular torsion, or twisted balls.
Others involved in this same study had bladder problems and urinary infections attributed to skinny jeans.
The testicular torsion malady is created by the tight jeans’ constricting free movement of the spermatic cord, which then gets twisted. This cuts off blood the supply and can lead to gangrene. Quite a price to pay for being fashionable with current styles.
A direct connection to tight clothing and low sperm counts has not been researched, but it has been noticed that sperm counts tend to be higher among men who wear boxer shorts for underwear instead of tight fitting briefs.
Fashionable skinny jeans for women and men may compliment one’s physique if physically well proportioned. But the adverse medical consequences aren’t really worth it. If you have to struggle getting jeans on and off, don’t wear them.