The surprising link between your wardrobe and your health
If you’ve ever worn an uncomfortably tight outfit you may have suffered a few hours of discomfort. But did you know that doctors and other healthcare professionals believe that wearing tight clothing on a regular basis can cause long-term damage to your health? It turns out that clothing may suppress your lymphatic system, compress certain nerves in your body and also lead to other health issues.
The effects of tight clothing on stomach health
According to Richard Bricknell of the Bristol Physiotherapy clinic, wearing tight underwear such as shape wear can cause stomach acid to rise into the oesophagus. This can result in heartburn, ulcers and may even increase your risk of oesophageal cancer.
Another risk from shape wear comes in the form of breathing difficulties. Restrictive clothing does not allow your diaphragm to move in a normal, healthy manner. This restricts your oxygen intake, which can result in hyperventilation and even panic attacks.
The importance of maintaining a healthy lymphatic system
One of the main reasons why tight clothing may negatively impact upon your health is that it has the potential to render your lymphatic system less efficient.
The lymphatic system operates throughout the body and is a key way in which waste products and toxins are eliminated. As you can see in the diagram below, the lymphatic system spans your neck to your lower limbs.
When you wear tight outfits or pieces of clothing that prevent products flowing through the lymph nodes, you place your immune system under threat. Your body is less able to process toxins, and this could leave you prone to infection.
Why wearing skinny jeans could lead to nerve damage
The Canadian Medical Association Journal reports that tight-fitting pants could result in nerve pain and compression. For example, they can increase the risk of leg and thigh pain via compression on the nerves that run from the pelvis to the thighs. Symptoms may be extremely painful and include tingling and numbness. Fortunately, it can be alleviated by switching to looser-fitting styles.
Bras – why they are a common source of health problems
Wearing the wrong-sized bra can lead to shoulder, back and neck pain according to Leeds-based chiropractor Rachael Lancaster. If your bra is not correctly fitted, the weight of your breasts may not be evenly distributed across your back. This leaves you vulnerable to crippling pain which may require professional help to resolve.
Lancaster explains that push-up bras may also cause breathing problems because they put excessive pressure on the ribs and collarbones. Researchers from the University of Portsmouth agree that poorly-fitting bras are a significant health risk, and urge women to try on a variety of sizes and styles to find a bra that feels comfortable and supportive.
Ill-fitting shoes leave you vulnerable to a range of foot-related health problems. For instance, tight shoes can trigger bunions, which may be expensive and painful to treat.
Hammer toe is another common condition that arises from wearing shoes that are too small. Those afflicted notice that their toe joints become deformed and can no longer remain in a flat, comfortable position.
Choosing healthier outfits
The best approach is to choose clothing that does not restrict your movement in any way. Whilst occasionally wearing a close-fitting outfit is unlikely to do you any harm it’s much better for your health to wear looser, comfortable clothing in everyday situations. When you next go clothes shopping, consider not only how a piece looks on you but the damage it could potentially do to your body.