Here’s another reason to embrace looser-fitting denim: Tight jeans have been linked to tingling thigh syndrome.
MSNBC reports that super-tight denim might be at the root of a temporary nerve condition, meralgia paresthetica, or tingling thigh syndrome. The condition is most often found in employees that wear heavy belts for work, like police offers and construction workers, or people that carry around extra weight, like pregnant women and obese people. Tightly pulled seat belts can also be a culprit.
In recent years, though, doctors have begun to diagnose otherwise healthy women with the condition, which is characterized by a numb, tingling or burning feeling in the thigh. The tingles are caused by the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve being pinched by pressure from jeans.
“The nerve, in some people, is susceptible to compression,” said Dr. John England, a neurologist and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. The affected nerve is located outside of the pelvis and continues through the thigh. “It is a pure sensory nerve — it doesn’t go to muscles or provide strength. Anything that is tight around there could potentially compress the nerve that goes there.”
If you’re one to accessorize your skinny jeans with high heels, then you’re at an even greater risk. Stilettos increase pressure on the nerve and thereby make the sufferer more likely to feel numb thighs, Dr. William Madosky, a chiropractic physician, explained to MSNBC.
The good news is that the syndrome isn’t likely to cause long-term damage. “Typically it’s not permanent,” William said. “The key is, you remove the pressure, and the nerve regenerates.”
Parmeeta Groman, a former tingling thigh syndrome patient, told MSNBC that she has given up on her skin-tight jeans, but is considering switching to denim leggings.
“Have you heard of these things — they’re called jeggings? Or treggings?” she asked. “I haven’t tried them yet, but people are saying they’re comfortable.”
Sounds like the perfect compromise!
— Whitney Teal