Jane Bates: Too tight to call

Fashion can be a health hazard, says Jane Bates.

Fashion can be a health hazard, says Jane Bates

Walking around in your birthday suit can get you into all kinds of trouble, but wearing clothes can be almost as hazardous. Recently, stories of jeans-related nerve damage have abounded, with some women even sustaining compartment syndrome through the wearing of skinny strides.

But before we judge, we must remember that every era had its own fashion disasters. Remember the platform shoes of the 1970s, and how often we fell over? It was like being a human skittle. Those flowing, floral dresses we wore may have looked romantic, but they were a disaster waiting to happen – one friend fell off her bicycle on a busy London street when her floaty dress became entangled in the chain, almost bringing the capital’s traffic to a standstill.

And don’t get me started on trousers, which are the sartorial version of the Bermuda triangle. There are so many trouser-related injuries in the home that I am surprised you don’t need a licence to wear them – there should be an instruction manual at the very least.

Thousands of people are hurt every year by getting their feet caught in a trouser leg during the dressing/undressing process and then tumbling down steps or into furniture, helpless to extricate themselves until they hit something solid. And as for parts of the anatomy caught in zips…

Even nurses, canny as we are, can get it wrong at times. An erstwhile colleague of mine had a dodgy back and thought her drainpipe denims, as well as looking cool, would be therapeutic, supporting her lumbar region like a brace. That was her rationale, and it did sound vaguely logical.

But the odd thing, she noted, was that her back didn’t hurt half as much when she was at work. It took a while for her to figure out that the skinny jeans, far from affecting a cure, were so tight that they were actually the root cause of the pain. Nurses, eh?

About the author

Jane Bates

Jane Bates is an ophthalmic nurse in Hampshire

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