Is Your Shapewear Causing You Pain?


More and more women and men purchase shapewear for yoga, meditation, or working out. But can shapewear be dangerous, even going so far as to cause leg or back pain? According to a recent article on Malaysian Digest (, your shapewear can be doing more harm than good.

Shapewear is essentially restrictive clothing, but of course, that’s the purpose of shapewear: it’s tight for a reason. However, as Dr. Kuemmerle says, tight shapewear, such as Spanx, can compress organs like your stomach, colon, and intestines, which has adverse effects. Shapewear also affects digestion, bowel disorders, and breathing.

Shallow breath is another effect of wearing shapewear, because it restricts movement of the diaphragm so that it can’t expand properly, which affects the respiratory system, according to chiropractor Dr. Erickson. Wearing shapewear for too long also affects the digestive tract, because of the compression of the intestines, which can halt proper digestion and cause bloating, gas, and pain in the abdomen.

In addition to the above symptoms, shapewear can cause numbness and pain in the legs through a condition called meralgia paresthetica. It causes the peripheral nerve of the thigh to be compressed and can lead to tingling and pain, though it is reversible. This can lead to other kinds of pain, including back pain.

Lastly, shapewear can foster an environment for bacterial infection because most shapewear traps moisture. And since you sweat when you work out, you build excess moisture that gets trapped in the clothing.

Here are some tips to make sure your shapewear works for you and doesn’t lead to back pain, bowel discomfort, or infection:

  • Wash your shapewear immediately and after each use. Putting on shapewear that is unclean can cause infection.
  • Choose shapewear that fits. Make sure that it doesn’t cut into your body anywhere. If it feels too tight, it probably is.
  • Purchase shapewear with breathable fabric, preferably the kind that wicks away moisture.

And of course, if you suffer from back pain or other conditions, speak with your chiropractor or primary care physician before wearing restrictive clothing or performing any strenuous exercise.

source; Mecca Medical –

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