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Taking a Kinder, Gentler Approach to Shapewear
1. Tingling, burning or numbness in your outer thighs. Too-tight bike shorts can compress nerves that run from the groin to the thigh, leading to a chronic condition called meralgia paresthetica, says Orly Avitzur, MD, a New York-based neurologist and medical adviser to Consumer Reports. When she sees patients with this problem (it's also caused by too-skinny jeans), she advises them to cast off the "offending garment," and exchange it for underwear that doesn't have tight elastic openings around the legs. The irritation can take a while to subside, but usually disappears within a few weeks.
2. An sudden, uncontrollable urge to go to the bathroom, followed by a burning sensation. Clingy under-shorts can allow bacteria to migrate from the back of your pelvis to the front, especially if you're dancing, which can cause bacterial or urinary tract infections. (This is the same problem with wearing thong underwear for vigorous workouts) To prevent these, Dr. Oz advises washing your shapewear after each night out, and choosing styles that are slightly looser.
3. Difficulty breathing. Dr. Oz has shown how boa-constrictor girdles can put pressure on the intestinal system, interfering with digestion and causing irritation. He suggests not wearing any type of shapewear for 30 minutes after eating. That's tough to do if you're at an hours-long awards ceremony or a wedding, so just try to avoid heavy and gas-inducing foods, to drink lots of water and use the bathroom frequently to keep things moving.
To avoid all of these injuries, keep in mind that while the garments are key for smoothing out the lumps and bumps, they should never be so tight that they cause pain or limit your ability to have a good time.
Finding the right shapewear
The O panty intervention
What a difference the right bra can make
As a reminder, always consult your doctor for medical advice and treatment before starting any program.