Designer Jean Slouch

Among the many factors that contribute to the high incidence of back problems, we shouldn't overlook tight-fitting pants, especially if made of a material with very little stretch in it, such as denim jeans.

When jeans are very closely fitted, they allow limited movement at the hip joint. As a result, when sitting, the body cannot bend properly at the hip joints to allow the back to remain straight. Instead, the low back itself must bend at the base of the spine, causing a slouching posture and abnormal pressure on the discs, the joints between the vertebrae and the sacroiliac joints. The next time you wear tightly fitted pants or jeans, try to sit properly with the spine straight and take note of the amount of effort required to resist the pull of the fabric.

Another effect of tight-fitting jeans is increased pressure across the waist at the front while sitting. This can compress the abdominal contents, causing interference with proper functioning of the stomach and bowels. The result may be gas pains, heartburn, difficulty breathing, and in extreme cases, hiatus hernia, or herniation of part of the stomach through the diaphragm.

Luckily, today there are many fashionable alternatives to tight-waisted jeans, so it isn’t necessary to sacrifice your health to be in the mainstream of fashion.

Dr. Karin Mattern

6543 Portsmouth Rd.

Nanaimo, BC

V9T 1C4

250-933-3443

drkarin@shaw.ca

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