Looking Good! But Are You Feeling Pain In Those Skinny Jeans?

Looking Good! But Are You Feeling Pain In Those Skinny Jeans?

Wearing skinny jeans and other tight-fitting clothes may be causing a surge in a sometimes painful neurological condition called meralgia paresthetica.

Do you wear skinny jeans? If you do, you might be interested to know that some medical specialists have been seeing a spike in a particular condition that they believe may be associated with wearing tight-fitting pants.

Neurologists call this condition meralgia paresthetica (MP), a nerve disorder caused by pressure or pinching of the nerve that supplies sensation to the outer portion of the thigh. The nerve, called the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve, is pinched as it passes under the ligament of the groin.

With more and more people, mostly women, wearing skinny jeans and other tight-fitting pants, neurologists are reporting an upswing in this nerve condition.


Some of the symptoms of MP include:

  • tingling in the outer part of the thigh
  • numbness in or on the surface of the outer part of the thigh
  • pain that can radiate to other parts of the body, such as knee and buttocks
  • burning or dull pain in the groin area or across the buttocks
  • increased sensitivity to heat (warm shower may cause intense pain)
  • worsening of symptoms after activities, such as walking, that put thighs under more strain

The symptoms of MP can be worse when wearing tight belts, work belts, tight-waisted clothes, or high-heeled shoes. The high-heeled shoes tilt the pelvis forward and increase the pressure on the nerve.

Other causes

Though wearing pants that are too tight can be one common cause of MP, there are others:

  • obesity
  • pregnancy
  • scar tissue near the inguinal ligament (which runs along your groin from your abdomen to your upper thigh), due to injury or past surgery
  • walking, cycling, or standing for long periods of time
  • nerve injury due to diabetes or seat belt injury

Is looking fashion-forward really worth tingling, numbness, and pain? Don’t become a fashion victim—unless it’s really, really worth it!

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