Adverse effects of shapewear

For generations, people have been struggling to find ways to mold their bodies in order to appear shapelier. The laced corset from the 1800s evolved into the girdles of the 1950s. Today, the appearance of Spandex in the world of textiles has given individuals the opportunity to smooth out unsightly bulges and hold in protruding bellies and thighs. Wearing tight, form-fitting garments is not without its price. Board-certified physicians have discovered that prolonged use of compression clothing can result in both temporary and long-term physical effects.

Digestive Problems

Wearing ultra tight clothing around the trunk causes all of the body’s internal organs to be pushed toward the center of the body. The unnatural positions of the body’s systems can cause a disruption in the digestive process. Additionally, pressure on the stomach and esophagus often results in acid reflux, heartburn and indigestion. People who have conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome may experience flare-ups after wearing snug garments.

Impaired Breathing

Garments that fit too snugly around the chest and upper abdomen can result in an inability to take a full, deep breath. Shallow breathing not only leads to feeling light-headed, but can make individuals more prone to developing lung infections.

Pinched Nerves

The use of tight clothing can also cause nerve compression, especially around the thighs, which can eventually lead to the need for spinal decompression surgery. People who are experiencing any numbness or tingling after using compression wear should consider other alternatives for producing a slimmer look.


The skin is the body’s largest organ, and it requires an ample supply of hydration and airflow in order to stay healthy. The prolonged use of snug garments prevents air from reaching the skin and allows perspiration to become a breeding ground for bacterial and yeast infections.

Compromised Circulation

Many patients are given prescription compression stockings after surgery in order to increase return circulation in the lower extremities and help deter sluggish blood flow and subsequent thrombi, or clots. Improper use of snug clothing can hinder circulation and promote the formation of thrombi in some people, especially those who are smokers, diabetic, or obese.

For more information on spine health or to discuss possible treatments for ongoing back pain, schedule an in-person consultation with an experienced Los Angeles spine surgeon at The Spine Institute Center. Call (310) 828-7757 today.