High heels aren’t the only fashionable health hazard


I've lamented many times on this site about how my beloved high heels make my bunions and arches ache, and now it appears as though medical experts have taken aim at some of my other closet staples. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) recently reported that skinny jeans, cinched belts and control-top pantyhose may also be a threat to my health.

Apparently, doctors just won't be happy until I'm left schlepping around in loafers and mom jeans, because the news source spoke with a number of experts about how certain clothing items can lead to potentially serious or painful conditions.

According to the WSJ, one woman experienced pain and numbness from her pelvis to her knee, and a neurologist told her that her cinched belts were the cause. Evidently, these waist-slimmers can pinch a major nerve that extends from the abdomen to the outer thigh, resulting in a condition known as meralgia paresthetica.

The woman's pain was alleviated by simply loosening her belt, the article's author, Melinda Black, reported. The writer went on to check skinny jeans off the list of health-conscious clothing.

Tight denim can compress nerves in the legs and interfere with the digestive system. This problem used to be one that more commonly affected aging men who were in denial about their true pant size, but now the issue touches a younger and more fashionable crowd with the popularity of skin-tight jeans.

I can also say bye-bye to Spanx, which are possibly the greatest invention ever. These slimming undergarments appear to pose the same risks as skinny jeans, as they squish your organs to oblivion.

Let's see, what else is Black ruining for me? Oh, oversized handbags? Evidently, carrying these huge accessories has a tendency to throw the spine out of alignment, leading to back and shoulder pain.

And we all should know by now what those lovely leg-lengthening high heels are doing to our feet. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons reports that towering footwear can exacerbate bunions, hammer toe and fallen arches.

Luckily, I have my own effective weapons against these foot conditions: bunion splints and orthotics. The devices help me steer clear of painful bunion surgery, which can result in scarring or recurrence of bony deformities.