We've seen all kinds of celebrities wear garments that cinch: from Kim Kardashian’s endorsements of “waist-training” corsets to Meb Keflezighi’s display of compression socks when he won the 2014 Boston Marathon. It's safe to say that the fad of squeezing our body parts is not going anywhere anytime soon.
Whether it's the smoothing effects of Spanx, the supposed weight-loss benefits of a corset or the believed performance payoffs of compression workout gear, you may want to read on. Doctors are now warning us that there are “real health risks to wearing extra-tight clothing for prolonged periods.” The dangers of overly tight clothing range from meralgia paresthetica -a condition characterized by burning nerve pain in the thighs - to gastroesophageal reflux disease—a chronic digestive disease caused by pressure on internal organs which pushes acid backwards from the stomach into the esophagus. Other serious health issues like blood clots, back pain, and difficulty breathing are also possible. Regardless of this info, doctors aren't saying you need to stop wearing your favorite compression gear and shapewear all together. The same doctors from the LA Times said most of these problems go away quickly when clothing pressure is off, so there’s no harm in wearing compression garments for short periods of time. Research has shown us, however, that runners who wear compression gear do experience reduced muscle soreness, as well as lower levels of blood lactate (a measure of lactic acid and exercise intensity), which could translate to a faster recovery. So, rock that spandex or compression workout gear - just take it off as soon as you're done! The key is to not wear any of it for prolonged periods of time!