Tight waistband abdominal pain

CHICAGO (CBS) — From digestive problems to headaches to numbness, all kinds of health problems can pop up simply from the clothes that you’re wearing.

It’s one thing to be fashionable. It’s another to be so uncomfortable that you have to go to the doctor, CBS 2’s Mary Kay Kleist reports.

“The skinny jeans in themselves are too tight sometimes,” Maribel Martinez says.

Too much squeezing yourself into matchstick jeans can cause nerve compression.

Dr. John Michael Li, a neurologist at Rush University Medical Center, says that can lead to “Meralgia Paresthetica,” in which a nerve running from your abdomen to your thigh is compressed by tight clothing.

“Some people get numbness, tingling,” Li says.

Jamming into tight jeans can also cause abdominal discomfort, heartburn and belching. “Tight pants syndrome” happens most often when someone’s waist is at least 3 inches larger than their pants size.

Cinch belts can also cause similar problems.

“The pain and discomfort, for some patients, it’s very uncomfortable, and so they require medication,” Li says.

If you wear body shapers, remember they’re made for smoothing, not squeezing you down a full size.

And if worn too tight or for too long, some shapers can also prevent the lungs from fully inflating, reducing oxygen intake, making you feel lightheaded.

Men aren’t immune from health-related problems associated with tight clothing.

The crisp combination of a dress shirt and tie can make any guy look put-together. But about seven out of 10 men buy shirts that are too small, according to a Cornell University study.

“You have your carotid vessels going up to the brain, and so sometimes people can have some restriction in blood flow,” Li says.

And that can cause headaches and blurred vision. Tight shirt collars and ties can also increase muscle tension in the back and shoulders.

“There’s no need to cause yourself injury to just be fashionable,” Li says.

High-heeled shoes and heavy handbags can also create problems. Heels higher than two inches have been linked to bunions, hammer toes and ankle sprains. And heavy handbags worn on the shoulder can throw your back out of line.

The American Chiropractic Association recommends that women carry no more than 10 percent of their body weight in a bag.



When we posted this story in May 2016, skinny jeans were at the height of their popularity. This fall, boot-cuts and wide-leg jeans have come back into favor. But shapewear that is worn to make the body conform to a fashionable ideal is as in demand as ever. For more on the subject of underwear, be sure to read this Wednesday’s post about an exhibit on underwear.

IF YOU’RE HAPPY with your skinny jeans and Spanx, go for it! But if you’re looking for excuses to scale back on such constricting fashions, associated health issues abound.

Many people suffer from “tight pants syndrome”—abdominal discomfort, heartburn and belching, as Chicago’s Rush University Dr. John Michael Li told CBS Miami. He said pants are often three inches too small for the person’s waist. Pressure on the abdomen interferes with digestion. Tight clothes have also been blamed for blood clots as well as bladder and vaginal infections.

“Skinny jeans are meant to accentuate the way you look, not to make yourself look another way,” New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University vascular surgeon Nicholas Morrissey told HealthPop. “Clothing isn’t designed to give us a shape that we don’t have.”

For a 35-year-old British woman, tight pants caused her legs to swell until she collapsed at the side of the road and later at the hospital needed her pants cut off to release her legs. After squatting a lot during the day to help a family member move, she noticed numbness in her feet and then had trouble lifting them to walk. The diagnosis: extremely dangerous “compartment syndrome,” the result of increased pressure in a confined body space usually caused when limbs are crushed in massive construction accidents or during earthquakes.

As for “low-rise” pants, they can compress nerves in the hips, causing burning, tingling and numbness in the legs due to a condition called meralgia paresthetica, a nerve disorder like carpal tunnel syndrome. A teenager who wore shapewear under her soccer uniform until she felt numbness in her thigh and persistent abdominal pain was diagnosed with nerve damage caused by meralgia paresthetica.

The cause: pressure on the nerve that supplies sensation to the upper thighs. Meralgia paresthetica symptoms often occur on only one side of the body and can also be caused by nerve damage due to diabetes or seat belt injuries. Tight pants can also limit mobility of the hip joints, putting strain on the joint capsules and on the spine.

While reluctant to “Spanx-shame anyone,” Elizabeth Enochs on Bustle quotes physicians saying shapewear can cause nerve impingement and decreased circulation. And high-waisted shapewear that cover your whole abdomen can affect digestion and lead to bloating, gas and acid reflux.

Any synthetic material worn next to the skin, especially when it’s tight, can irritate the “lady bits,” according to Bustle. Wearing yoga pants all day—as well as tight underwear—can raise the risk of yeast and bacterial infections, caused when heat and moisture from your body as well as sweat remain trapped in the material and create good conditions for these to grow. Urinary tract infections, which can affect any part of the urinary tract, result when bacteria multiply in the urine and move into the bladder or kidney. Cystitis, a common UTI, inflames the bladder in response to chronic pressure or when yeast or fecal bacteria travel up the urethra.

“Super-tight jeans can push the fabric of your underwear all the way up into your crack, which transfers fecal bacteria from your butt toward your urethra and vagina,” Ob/Gyn professor Rebecca Amaru at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City told Cosmopolitan. “The rubbing itself could cause inflammation and break the skin, which makes it even easier for bacteria to get into your system.”

Cosmo suggests alternating between skinny jeans and looser-fitting bottoms—to “give your immune system a chance to clear out any bacteria that gets into your urinary tract during skinny jean days”—and warns that bacterial UTIs can be cured only with antibiotics, so see a physician ASAP.

Some women are genetically predisposed to UTIs while, for others, a series of infections can lead to chronic, repeating UTIs. An aggregated review of studies on cranberry juice concluded that it did not significantly reduce the incidence of UTIs.

While these may seem like extreme cases, wearing tight clothing is related less to health and more to fashion because what is compressed in one area will try to pop out somewhere else. So, when you’ve nailed the fitted look, it’s wise to change into something looser when you can.

—Mary Carpenter
Read more of Mary’s posts here.

You know when you’re bloated; your stomach starts to balloon and you get that “stuffed” uncomfortable feeling. It’s easy to assume our food is to blame, but when there’s no rich meal to point the finger at, it’s worth considering other lifestyle factors.
Here are some unexpected reasons that may have you feeling the bloat.
Skinny Jeans
It may sound odd at first, but wearing tight pants can give you a sense of bloating due to the pressure on your abdomen. As your stomach naturally relaxes and contracts throughout the day, wearing constrictive clothing—like skinny jeans—makes stomach pressure increasingly noticeable and uncomfortable. Instead, opt for looser fitting clothes especially when you know you’re in for a rich meal.
We already know stress has negative effects, but did you know it’s also closely tied to your gut health? Stress signals slow down the blood flow to your digestive system which can leave you backed up and bloated. We can’t avoid stress altogether, but it’s worth looking into practices that could help you best manage it, such as exercise, getting enough sleep or taking up yoga.
Sedentary lifestyle
Desk jobs require many of us to sit for extended periods of time on a daily basis. Excessive sitting or lying down after a meal causes your GI tract to slow down which stalls the digestive process and can aid the onset of bloating. Taking a walk after a meal allows the digestive tract to move food through your stomach at a faster rate which in turn, will help to get things moving.
We’ve all heard of the acronym FODMAP, but what does it mean? FODMAPs are food groups that get fermented by gut bacteria and can cause digestive symptoms like gas to build up. Cutting down on these foods––think dairy, wheat, lentils, onions—may ease your uncomfortable digestive issues and reduce bloating.
Eating too fast
When we eat too fast it’s easy for excess air to be swallowed which can cause your stomach to balloon. Try to remove yourself from common distractions (cue: computers + mobile) when it’s meal time. Not only will this help you become more aware of how fast you’re eating, but when you chew your food properly, it helps improve your digestion.
Chewing Gum
Similar to eating quickly, when you chew gum, you could be swallowing air that can cause a build up of gas in the abdomen. Many types of gum also contain artificial sweeteners which can contribute to bloating. If you’re an avid gum chewer but also find you bloat easily, try cutting back or switching from a sugar-free option to see if this may be the cause of your stomach discomfort.

The health dangers of wearing the wrong belt

Lower back pain, heartburn, rashes and constipation: can be wearing the wrong belt cause all these health problems?

Wearers sometimes have no idea some of their most common health issues come from the belt they put on. The wrong size may be the most obvious reason for pain, heartburn and discomfort. But did you know the manufacturing process and the buckle might play a role in getting rashes and other allergic reactions?

Here is what you.re risking when wearing a bad quality belt, and how to easily avoid any of the 100% preventable health problems it might cause.

Wrong measure: Wearing a Belt that’s Too Tight

Even though a belt that’s too tight doesn’t look good and can be uncomfortable, wearing one can also put your health at risk. Here are the health issues you expose yourself when wearing a belt that’s too tight:

1. Heartburn (Acid reflux)

Heartburn (acid reflux) is the most common problem caused by wearing a belt that’s too tight.

The explanation is simple: a tight belt puts pressure against your stomach, causing acid to go back into your throat. The result is a burning sensation in the stomach, chest and throat and a bitter, acidic taste in your mouth.

A medical study carried in Glasgow (UK) researched if wearing your belt too tight can even cause throat cancer. The study showed a link between wearing tight belts and throat cancer, caused by acid reflux. However, the NHS has dismissed the study quickly, because it was unnecessary alarmist. The experiment was carried out on only 24 volunteers, on a short term period with interpretable results.

2. Abdominal pain

Using a tight belt can disturb the digestive flow, slowing down the whole process. Pressure makes it difficult for gas and food to move down, which often leads to bloating, pain and constipation.

3. Lower Back and Spinal Pain

Research has shown that increased pressure in the abdomen can cause stiffness in the spine and stress on the back. If the belt is too tight and low riding, it causes nerve compression in the back.

A tight belt may also affect your centre of gravity, as well as increasing pressure on the knee joints.

4. Leg Tingling and Numbness

Not only can tight belts be uncomfortable (especially after a big meal), but they can cause burning pain, numbness, sensitivity at a light touch and tingling in the legs. This condition is known as meralgia paresthetica.

The cause is exactly what a tight belt would do: put pressure on a nerve which runs from your abdomen to your lower outer thigh. The condition is common in people who carry things on their hips or wear tight belts and clothing.

5. Reproductive System Damage

Tight belts affect the reproductive function for men and women alike. The reduced air access and increased temperature, also known as ‘heat castration’, overheats genitals and increases humidity and the risk of infectious diseases.

6. Immune System Damage

Applying pressure on your abdomen with a belt can complicate the immune’s system normal way of functioning.

Blood vessels below the belly button take care of the lymphatic drainage. If the belt is too tight on the waist, it slows down the lymph flow, which then directly interferes with the immune system.

On top of this, vital internal organs can suffer from insufficient blood supply.


The solution is simple: remember that, after a meal, the stomach needs to relax. Putting pressure on it with a belt is likely to cause pain. Try loosening the belt after meals and you will reduce the risk of any of these problems.

Allergies to Belt buckles and Fabrics

1. Allergies to Metal Belt Buckles

People often experience a rash when wearing belts with big buckles. This condition is known as belt buckle rash and takes place when the person is allergic to certain metal objects that contain nickel. Nickel is one of the most common cause for allergic contact dermatitis and is commonly used in the production of cheap belt buckles.

When sensitive skin comes in contact with the irritant metal, it turns red, gets blisters and can break if it.s exposed to the offending material for too long. Some people have tried coating the belt buckle with clear nail polish and even using different types of fabric or leather to cover the metal part. This measure helps to avoid skin contact on a short term, but could prove inefficient in the long run.

This is why it.s best to avoid metals that aren.t hypoallergenic and might be inappropriate for your skin.

Belts without nickel in their buckles may be worth looking up.

2. Fabric Chemicals

If you don.t know where and how your belt was produced, you might be experiencing exposure to belts who have been chemically treated or produced with cheap leather substitutes.

Always find out what is the type of material used in the manufacturing process. A report from Greenpeace detailed the toxic chemicals used in clothes from fast fashion chains. According to Greenpeace, “Many chemicals that are used in the dying and processing of fabrics can become hormone disrupting and even cancer-causing when they break down in nature, and those chemicals are being dumped into rivers right near the factories.”

Buy locally sourced accessories, and seek out manufacturers whose production practices are transparent.

All these problems can be easily avoided by taking some elementary preventive steps, the simplest being: loosen up! Let your belt out a few notches, and always buy your belts from a local manufacturer.

Belts From OZ is a family owned business from Melbourne, Australia. We manufacture and sell high-quality genuine leather belts and a range of enameled and plain pewter belt buckles. We do not use any cheap substitutes, only real genuine Australian and Italian leather.

Yes. A tight belt or waistband is like a tourniquet around your gut, disrupting the flow of your digestive system. “Tight-fitting pants increase abdominal pressure, making it difficult for gas and food to move downward,” says Russell Yang, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of gastrointestinal and liver diseases at the Keck School of Medicine at USC. Stomach acid goes back up, and you’re more likely to suffer heartburn and acid reflux. A tight belt or waist also magnifies bowel discomfort and stomachaches. There was even a theory that tight belts contributed to rising esophageal cancer rates–suspicious Europeans were blaming a societal shift to belts from suspenders–but a new Swedish study debunks that idea. You should be able to comfortably slide two stacked fingers between your waistband and skin. When buying pants, remember, “a size 36 isn’t the same at every store,” says Davide Cotugno, of the Custom Tailors and Designers Association of America. “Manufacturers use different cuts, so pants can fit 2 inches bigger or smaller.” Try everything on.

Tight Stomach

Some common causes of tight stomach include the following:


Indigestion can be caused by a variety of triggers. Many of them are related to lifestyle and include:

  • overeating or eating too quickly
  • consuming too much caffeine or alcohol
  • smoking
  • anxiety
  • certain medications

Other symptoms that may accompany indigestion include:

  • uncomfortable fullness during or after a meal
  • a burning sensation in the upper abdomen
  • nausea
  • belching

While indigestion can be caused by other digestive diseases — such as pancreatitis or celiac disease — most cases can be treated with lifestyle changes and medications.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

IBS is a group of intestinal symptoms that may include stomach tightening. Other symptoms of IBS may include:

  • cramping
  • abdominal pain
  • gas
  • constipation
  • diarrhea

IBS can often be managed with dietary and lifestyle changes. In some cases, medication may be necessary.


Constipation results when stool remains in the colon too long and becomes hard and difficult to pass. A poor diet is typically the cause of constipation. Other symptoms of constipation may include:

  • fewer than three bowel movements a week
  • passing hard, dry stools
  • straining or pain during bowel movements
  • a feeling of fullness, even after having a bowel movement
  • experiencing a rectal blockage

Constipation can typically be treated by making dietary changes, such as consuming adequate amounts of water and fiber. Supplements, probiotics, and laxatives may also help treat constipation. In more serious cases, medications are prescribed.

Food poisoning

Food poisoning occurs when you eat contaminated, toxic, or spoiled food. Beyond stomach tightening, it’s typically accompanied by the following symptoms:

  • abdominal cramps
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • loss of appetite
  • mild fever
  • weakness
  • nausea
  • headaches

Most cases of food poisoning can be treated at home with rest, proper hydration, and over-the-counter medications. In severe cases, hospitalization and hydration with intravenous fluids may be required.


In some cases, stomach tightening may be brought on by anxiety and what’s known as a nervous stomach. Other signs of anxiety may include the following:

  • nervousness, restlessness, or being tense
  • feelings of danger, panic, or dread
  • rapid heart rate
  • rapid breathing, or hyperventilation
  • increased or heavy sweating
  • trembling or muscle twitching
  • weakness and lethargy

Depending on the type of anxiety, treatment may range from dietary and lifestyle changes to alternative medical treatments, mental health care, or medications.

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)

A woman may feel abdominal tightness as part of PMS. PMS generally occurs leading up to menstruation. Other symptoms may include:

  • abdominal pain
  • sore breasts
  • acne
  • food cravings
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • headaches
  • sensitivity to light or sound
  • fatigue
  • irritability

While PMS can’t be cured, symptoms can be eased by dietary and lifestyle changes and over-the-counter pain medications. In severe cases, your doctor may prescribe medication.


If you’re pregnant, stomach tightening may be normal. In early pregnancy, what you’re feeling may be your ligaments stretching. Later in the pregnancy, stomach tightening could be related to contractions — either Braxton-Hicks or those that signal impending labor.

Your stomach may also feel tight as a result of your baby moving around inside the uterus. Gas may also be a culprit. Consult with your doctor about any stomach tightening you may have.

Neurologists have long known about the dangers of girdles. But until recently, when a fifteen-year-old girl came to me complaining of persistent abdominal pain and numbness in her thigh, I had no idea teens could be at risk. It turned out she had been wearing Spanx under her soccer uniform, and the snug Lycra garment had caused nerve damage in her leg, a condition called meralgia paresthetica, as well as her abdominal pain. And research suggests that tight clothing can cause all sorts of other health problems, including blood clots and bladder and vaginal infections. istockphoto

(CBS News) Wearing skinny jeans and other restrictive, tight clothing might seem like the more fashion-friendly choice, but it may come with a hefty price tag – for your health.

Fashion harmful to health? Not these 2012 trends

“When you’re wearing skinny jeans to make yourself skinny that’s not the point,” Dr. Nicholas Morrissey, vascular surgeon with NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital / Columbia University Medical Center, told to HealthPop. “Skinny jeans are meant to accentuate the way you look, not to make yourself look another way.”

“Clothing isn’t designed to give us a shape that we don’t have, and that’s where people get in trouble,” he added.

What exactly can go wrong when wearing too-tight clothing? A common complaint is a numbness going down one’s thigh known as meralgia paresthetica. Morrissey explained that there is a sensory nerve that comes from your pelvis that provides sensation to parts of your thigh. People who wear skinny jeans sometimes say they feel a numbness going down their leg because of the constriction. Their thigh then goes to sleep, and when they stand up, it feels like their foot isn’t under them.

Morrissey said that the condition itself isn’t dangerous, but if you keep having repeat episodes it can cause permanent damage.

Dr. John Michael Li, a neurologist at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, told CBS Miami that other people suffer from “tight pants syndrome,” marked by abdominal discomfort, heartburn and belching from wearing those skin-tight slacks. Normally the pants are three inches too small for the person’s waist.

“It’s a very common problem,” Dr. Orly Avitzur, medical adviser to Consumer Reports, said to HealthPop. She’s frequently covered the issue for the magazine.

“When you put pressure on the abdomen, your food doesn’t digest. It risks not being able to be digested properly especially for people who have reflux esophagitis, heartburn or chronic heartburn. Tight clothing can aggravate those problems,” he added.

Men should be especially concerned when trying to squeeze on tight pants. Morrissey cautioned that one of the problems with wearing skinny jeans is that it can cause a testicular torsion, where one testicle gets twisted on itself. If left untreated, the torsion can cut off circulation and cause the testicle to die. While there have been reported cases of testicular torsion from tight clothing, none have got so severe that a man has lost one of his testicles. Normally the condition is so painful that people seek help pretty quickly, he said.

“Men only need one, but it would be a heck of a thing to lose one because of your jeans,” Morrissey commented.

A recent survey of 2,000 British men conducted by TENA Men, which makes garments for men with bladder problems, showed that one in 10 men have had discomfort from wearing skinny jeans, the Telegraph reported. Half of those men said they had problems with their groin, while over a quarter of them had bladder trouble. One in five had a twisted testicle.

When asked why they still wore the skinny jeans, the most common survey answer was “to show I can still fit in them” and “because they look good.”

“Obviously the answer is it’s not worth going to a doctor, it’s not worth starting along the path of lots of medical tests. If you’re not comfortable, if your body is talking to you, listen because it can save you a lot of problems down the road,” Avitzur advised.

Fashion harmful to health? Not these 2012 trends 9 photos

Skinny jeans and other hidden health risks in your wardrobe

Skinny jeans have been given a health warning after a 35-year-old woman had to be cut out of a pair because her calves “ballooned in size”.

Doctors believe the woman developed a condition called compartment syndrome, made worse by her tight jeans.

She previously spent hours squatting to empty cupboards for a house move in Australia according to the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.

It’s rare to develop this condition from skinny jeans.

Twelve cases were talked about in the journal.

Read more: My skinny jeans gave me nerve pain

Image caption Corsets were also linked to health problems

But rummage through your wardrobe and there are other dangerous accessories waiting to cripple, strangle or squeeze you if you wear them incorrectly.

You’ve probably learned about women in the 18th and 19th centuries who wore corsets, often laced so tightly they caused people to pass out or even bruised internal organs.

However, plenty of modern styles can impact our health too.


High heels have been associated with corns and calluses which the NHS describes as “areas of hard thickened skin” and can be very painful.

Heels can also cause bunions, where the big toe points inward towards the other toes.

Although it is thought the condition runs in families, bunions can be made worse by shoes that don’t fit properly. The pain can be so bad that you may need surgery.

Image caption This is what a bunion looks like, now you know

Wearing heels can also make some back conditions worse as they increase pressure on the spine.

The College of Podiatry has warned employers, such as airlines and some shops, not to insist female staff wear heels because they can cause so many problems.

Wearing heels for longer than six months can cause the calf muscle to shorten and tighten permanently, which forces the knees and back to compensate.

Women who wear heels or badly-fitting trainers could also be putting themselves at risk of arthritis.

According to a study from the Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery, women aged 20 to 29 are most at risk of high-heel related injuries.

Zip flies

Stop concentrating for one second while zipping your fly and you can find yourself in a very painful situation.

A study of zip injuries over eight years showed that among adult men, zips were the most frequent cause of penis injuries.

Between 2002 and 2010, more than 17,500 patients had to go to accident and emergency departments with the problem in the US.

Tight shirt collars and neckties

One small study suggested that men who wear ties too tightly could be at a greater risk of Glaucoma.

It’s thought this is because they are restricting blood flow to the brain. Tight ties can also restrict movement, causing tension in the muscles of the back according to a study of workers in a South Korean Journal.

Earrings and flesh tunnels

Image caption An extreme example of ear-stretching or ‘flesh tunnels’

Aside from the danger of wearing earrings while playing sport (they can catch and cause your earlobes to tear) wearing heavy earrings can cause ear lobes to sag over time.

There has been a rise reported in ear lobe surgery with people wanting doctors to correct their “flesh tunnels”.

There is a point of no return when lobes have become so stretched that reconstructive surgery is necessary.


G-string underwear can damage the skin and cause infections.

If you wear pants that are too tight or that are badly-stitched the friction can cause genital irritation and lead to infections.

Tight pants

For women, overly tight pants or jeans can lead to fungal infections like Thrush.

Experts have also warned against wearing control underwear in a size too small saying they can cause acid reflux and heartburn, as well as making you need the toilet more.

Image caption Spanx: modern day corsets?

One neurologist wrote a blog about a 15-year-old football player who was referred to her “because of numbness, tingling, and discomfort in her left thigh that had bothered her for a few weeks” because of this type of underwear.

The girls in the team had been wearing them under their loose soccer shorts while they played.

For men, there’s been some suggestion that tight underwear or jeans can affect sperm count because testicles get too hot to allow the sperm to mature.

Doctors treating male fertility problems are told to consider how much people drink, smoke and take drugs as well as if they wear tight pants.

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There are a lot of things that can go wrong with your vagina. From yeast infections to toxic shock syndrome, problems range from straight up uncomfortable to flat out dangerous if you’re not treating your lady parts with care. So naturally, we got a little nervous when we heard that the clothes we wear might be unknowingly wrecking havoc down there.

If you search the Internet to find out what causes yeast infections or other ailments like bacterial vaginosis, chances are you’ve stumbled upon the notion that wearing tight pants can cause some issues.

Does this mean you have to give up your skinny jeans to avoid an obnoxious itch? We asked someone whose job it is to keep vaginas healthy.

Tight pants can definitely irritate the lady bits, but usually the problem only seems like an infection.

The biggest problem with tight pants, especially jeans, is that they can rub up against the vulva and cause irritation. “Some women have more sensitivity,” Tami Rowen, M.D., an ob/gyn at UCSF Medical Center specializing in sexual health concerns, tells SELF. “Tight pants rubbing and putting pressure can cause irritation.” This can lead to symptoms that look very similar to an infection, like itchiness, redness, and irritation. But what’s really happening is that the skin is inflamed. “I’ll do a biopsy, and it comes down to that something is irritating the skin tissue,” Rowen explains. “The biopsy shows inflammation that just shouldn’t be there.” Some people may mistake this irritation for infection, which is why it’s important to see your gyno instead of trying to self-treat.

Chances are slim, though, that your skinny jeans themselves will cause an overgrowth of yeast or bacteria. Theoretically, however, they could be one small part of the larger equation. “You could, in theory, say yes,” that tight pants may increase your risk, Rowen says. They decrease breathability, helping trap heat and moisture in your vagina, which can promote an environment where yeast and bacteria thrive. It makes sense. But what you have on underneath those jeans is more important.

“For women with chronic yeast or bacteria infections, something is clearly disturbing the pH of the vagina, so we do look at what kind of detergent they’re using or underwear they’re wearing,” she says. Underwear made of synthetic materials traps moisture, decreasing the air flow in that area. When you pair the two together, it could potentially make a greater impact that either factor itself. (Underwear made of wicking materials, like polyester, is good for a very sweaty workout, but not necessarily everyday use.)

So, what can you do to keep your vagina happy when you’re squeezing into your favorite pants?

If you suffer from irritation, Rowen says it may be worth switching to a skirt for a little bit or at least pants that don’t cause friction, to see if it helps. All women, but especially those prone to irritation or yeast or bacterial infections, should wear plain cotton underwear and change it often. “Once a day should be enough, but if you’re having excessive discharge, you should be changing it more frequently or using a panty liner and replacing it when it gets near full.” If you’re experiencing recurrent yeast or bacterial infections, or simply don’t know your diagnosis, see your doctor to figure out the underlying cause. As easy as it is to point fingers when you’re uncomfortable and desperate for an explanation, it’s probably not your Levi’s’ fault.

Plus! Skinny Jeans and Your Skin:

Photo Credit: Valerie Fischel

Maybe it’s the fact that jeans are a casual style, but when jeans don’t fit right you end up looking extra sloppy.

I’ve always preached that getting clothes that fit properly will solve 90% of your style problems.

Today we’re going to go over how your jeans should fit. Here’s a bit of a bonus, you can apply these tips to any other type of pants, like chinos.

What Most Guys Get Wrong: Going Too Big

After helping thousands of guys with their style, I’ve come to the conclusion that most guys are afraid of wearing clothes that are too tight.

They don’t want to be “uncomfortable”, so they overcompensate by wearing clothes that are too large because it’s not “constricting.”

Why is this a bad look? Because you lose the shape of your body in that volume of fabric. It makes your legs look bigger and fatter than they actually are. That’s never a good look. What you end up with is the dreaded dad jean look that even George Clooney can’t pull off.

Think “Fitted”, Not “Skin Tight”

For some of you, wearing clothes that fit you properly might feel a little alien. I think it will help by debunking the myth that roomier clothes are more comfortable.

Clothes that actually fit you are going to feel more comfortable they’re so much more functional. When clothes properly fit your body, it’s easier to move. You’re not fighting all that fabric.

Think about it this way, if you put on a pair of boots that are 2 sizes too big, you could call it “roomy” and not constricting. But how well do think you can run in them?

I don’t like to use the words “skinny fit” or “tight” because it comes with certain connotations. I prefer to use the words fitted or tailored. But even that can be a little confusing.

So I have a few rules of thumb when it comes to jeans.

  1. If you need a belt to hold up your jeans, it’s too big. This goes for all pants.
  2. If you can trace the outline of your leg shape and butt (see right), it’s too tight. If your jeans look like denim printed yoga tights, they’re way too tight.

Those are some solid rules of thumbs. Now let’s get into the details.

How Your Jeans Should Fit: Point by Point

Overall fit: Your jeans should fit your waist without needing a belt. It should fit close to your body but not be skin tight. For most guys, you want to go with a slight taper in the leg, which helps prevent a bell-bottom look. The image above left is a great standard to go by, even if you don’t have the same body type as him. It’s not too tight where you can see the outline of his leg shape. It’s not too baggy where his pants are falling, or his legs are unusually wide looking. It’s just right.

Waist: Should comfortably sit on your waist without needing a belt. If you need a belt, it’s too big. If you can’t button it up, it’s obviously too tight.

Butt/Seat: It should hug your butt slightly without feeling constricting. (Image above, right) If you can’t lift up your legs or squat without feeling like your jeans might rip, it’s too tight.

If you can grab a handful of denim from butt area, or confidently smuggle a football thanks to the extra room, it’s too big/baggy.

Thigh: The trickiest part for a lot of guys.

For this, I recommend “The Pinch Test”

Stand relaxed and pinch the fabric around your thigh horizontally between your thumb and forefinger. You want to pinch around a finger tip worth (.5”-1”) of fabric.

Any less, it’s too tight. Anymore, it’s a bit too baggy.

Calves: Use “The Pinch Test” the same way you did on your thighs.

Length/Inseam: You want a bit of a break when it comes to your jeans, like the image above. Some men like to wear jeans super straight with no break. I think this looks strange for the most part. Too much stacking looks sloppy and is best avoided.

Also, keep in mind you might want to allow a bit of extra length if you want to cuff them and show off some selvedge. Anywhere from .25-1”.

It’s all personal preference, but I go for more subtley. I like no cuff to a small, .25″ cuff. Anything more can start looking ridiculous.

Don’t Forget: Not All Cuts Are Created Equal

The guidelines above apply to all men, regardless if you’re 5’6” and 230lbs or 6’ with a 28” waist.

In order to get that kind of fit though, you have to make sure you’re buying the right cut for your body type.

You don’t know how many guys I’ve worked with who complain that jeans never fit when they go shopping, and I find out that they’re shopping in the skinny fit section when they look like they should be over at the big and tall.

And while everything seems to be “skinny fit” these days, there’s actually a method to the madness. Here’s how to decode your local denim section:

Skinny fit: For guys with skinny thighs and skinny calves. True skinny fit jeans are meant for guys who basically have pencils for legs, they’re roughly the same straight, slim shape from their thighs to their calves.
Best for: Guys who have really skinny legs all the way through.

Tapered fit: For guys with a bit of thigh and butt muscle, but calves smaller than their thighs, hence the tapering of the cut.
Best for: Average to Fit guys that don’t have big thighs.

Straight fit: For your average guy that has a bit of muscle in him all around.
Best for: Average guys with a bit more size in their butt, thighs, and calves.

Athletic Cut: This is a relatively new cut. Basically, it’s a nicely tapered fit with a lot more room in the thigh and butt area. Great for guys that don’t skip leg day or larger guys who’ve always found that when they went up a waist size in, they were left with bell bottoms.
Best for: Athletic guys with large thighs, or larger guys in general

Boot cut: Jeans that have more room below the knee/calf area to accommodate cowboy boots. Unless you’re rocking jeans in Texas, you don’t need to be concerned with these.
Best for: Cowboys

Relaxed cut: From my experience, relaxed cut is what athletic cut used to be, but without as much taper. I generally prefer going for athletic cuts over relaxed now, and lot of brands have phased “relaxed” out in favor of the term “athletic”.
Best for: Athletic guys with large thighs, or larger guys in general

Final Thoughts: Finding Your Perfect Pair

Even with these guidelines, keep in mind that each brand has their own in-house definitions. Just look at Levi’s, who has a “Regular Straight”, “Original Straight”, and “Slim Straight”!

I don’t recommend just purely going off the sizing tags or labels like “skinny” or “straight”. They’re good starting points, but it’s going to take some trial and error.

Some final recommendations:

  1. Use sizing and labels as a starting point.
  2. Use the “Pull 3” Trick: When shopping in person, grab your size, then one size up and one size down. This will save you a lot of time going in and out of dressing rooms.
  3. When shopping online, you can do something similar. Order your size, one size up, one size down. Make sure you read the stores return policy. (Also keep in mind that many online stores do not accept returns on sale items, so I don’t recommend doing this on sale items.)
  4. Use the tips I listed above as well as the “Pinch Trick” to find the right size.

What You Need to Know About Skinny Pant Syndrome

It may sound silly, but Skinny Pant Syndrome really is a thing, and due to the popularity of tight “skinny” jeans, it‘s becoming more prevalent than ever before. So, what is this condition, and what can you do to protect yourself from it?

Skinny Pant Syndrome? What‘s That?

Skinny Pant Syndrome, officially called meralgia paresthetica, is a very real medical condition that causes numbness of pain in the outer thigh that occurs as the result of nerve injury rather than injury to the thigh. The lateral femoral cutaneous nerve, which is located on the front of the thigh, is the nerve that is injured in cases of Skinny Pant Syndrome.

In the past, meralgia paresthetica was seen primarily in obese individuals who work tight belts and spent a lot of time sitting. This can cause compression of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve between the hip bones and the belt. Patients who suffer from this condition typically experience numbness, pain and tingling on the front of the thigh.

Now, thanks to the growing popularity of “skinny” jeans, we‘re seeing an increasing number of thin young adults with Skinny Pant Syndrome.

How It‘s Treated

Fortunately, skinny pant syndrome is usually easy to cure. First and foremost, if you are experiencing pain, numbness or tingling in the outer thigh, stop wearing tight belts and pants immediately, and switch to something with a bit more room. Next, call your chiropractor.

When you visit Denver South Chiropractic for your initial consultation, we will listen to your concerns and get to work diagnosing your problem and developing an effective treatment plan. If you have Skinny Pant Syndrome, we will likely adjust your hip bones to get them in proper alignment and prescribe a series of stretches.

You should never let fashion take a toll on your health. Nerve damage, even when it‘s caused by pants that are simply too tight, is serious, and when left untreated, further complications could arise. If you are experiencing tingling, numbness or pain in your other thigh, ditch the skinny jeans and call Denver South Chiropractic today at 303-757-7272 to schedule a consultation with a Denver chiropractor.

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