Is health being sacrificed in the name of style? According to consumer research by the British Chiropractic Association, this may be the case. From their findings, they discovered that almost three quarters or 73 percent of adults have suffered back pain that may have been caused by their wardrobe choices. One third or 33 percent of the women were unaware that their choice of clothing may have an impact on their neck or back health. Conversely, over a quarter or 28 percent of women were aware of the effects their fashion had on their health but did not let this influence their selection of clothing.
Day-to-day clothes such as skinny jeans, pencil skirts, and furry hoods were found to cause muscular pain and affect posture and blood flow, reports the Daily Mail. The newspaper recently collaborated with Consultant Podiatric Surgeon Ron McCulloch, to test the effects many popular fashion choices had on the body.
Skinny jeans -- Wearing these too-tight pants can dramatically impact your knees, digestion, and blood circulation, McCulloch notes. Skinny jeans don't allow your knees to extend correctly and placed unnecessary pressure on tissues and nerves. These problems could lead to joint pain concentrated in the knee area, as well as swollen ankles.
Over-sized bags -- A bag that's too heavy can throw your posture out of order and put your neck and back at risk. A gait weighed down by a bulky bag places everything from the toes to the shoulders, and even the spine, in an uncomfortable position. Of the dangers from carrying hefty totes, McCulloch has listed shoulder pain, neck pain, back pain, trapped nerves, and arthritis as some of the risks.
Coats with large hoods -- Wearing a hood will force the neck to extend, and constantly leaning forward can cause fatigue, tension, and even tension headaches over time. Poor balance, aching shoulders, severe backache, and persistent headaches are some of the notable long-term effects of pulling up hoods.
High heels -- These shoes offer little support for the heel and ankle while pushing the toes downward into the point of the shoe. In the long run, wearing high heels constantly could lead to bunions, callouses, and Morton's neuroma, a condition where a trapped nerve in the foot causes intense pain. McCulloch has also stated that wearing heels can shorten the calf muscles, which in turn can cause collapsed arches when in flat shoes.
Heavy necklaces -- Much like hoods, heavy necklaces can cause neck pain and backache by pulling the neck forward.
Pencil skirts -- Movement is highly restricted in pencil skirts, and this can induce muscle problems similar to repetitive strain injury. In the most extreme cases, Davis's Law can occur, where the body's soft tissue conforms to the shape of the skirt and the muscles would not be able to stretch properly.
Even with all these potential issues, you can still remain fashion-forward without harming your body. Wearing identical clothing pieces everyday can trigger back pain, so by varying your style you shift pressure to and from different areas on your body. Opting to wear loose clothing such as maxi skirts or baggy pants ensures that your body isn't regularly bound by cramped garments. What you wear under your clothes also counts for a lot, so be sure to wear bras that offer excellent support.
As chiropractor Tim Hutchful said in an public release on Chiropractic UK: “Whilst we are certainly not saying stop wearing your favourite [sic] clothes altogether like most things in life, moderation is best and there are easy ways you can reduce the impact on your posture and overall health.”