As a chiropractor I am used to seeing people with back problems on a daily basis due to injury, repetitive spinal stress or poor core stability but did you know that a simple thing like wearing your wallet in your back pocket could be the cause of your pain.
80% of people will suffer from an episode of back pain at some point in their lives and a lot of these are easily preventable.
Many men carry a wallet in their back pocket, some for many decades without a thought as to how this may be affecting their spinal health. Wallets can be filled with essential items such as credit cards, driver’s license, cash, receipts and other useful or even useless bits and pieces which can result in quite a chunky piece of pocket-wear.
Imagine this chunky wedge nestled in your back pocket every day while you are sitting on a chair or in your car; one side of your pelvis is now higher than the other instead of being even. The wallet will not only affect your spine but also the tissues and structures underneath the wallet. If you are new to wearing a wallet in your back pocket then you may notice it is slightly uncomfortable at first but then after a while you stop noticing it. Your body has an amazing ability to adapt and compensate for imbalances and believe me, it will have to do some compensating for that chunky wedge! Let’s talk about why.
Because the pelvis and hips are the foundation of the spine, everything that sits on that foundation will be affected by this wedge. If you wear your wallet in your back right pocket you will create a high right side and a slight left-sided spinal list. The body will compensate for this by pulling the spine towards the side of the wallet (the right) to even out the imbalance, the head may also be pulled to one side to keep the eyes level with the floor. Vice-versa if you wear your wallet in the other side. The two halves of the pelvis can also rotate slightly due to a constant force being applied to one side and this may lead to sacroiliac joint dysfunction. Long term compensation will result in spinal and postural stress and then pain. There are also important tissues and structures that are present in the buttock area such as the Sciatic nerve. This nerve can become compressed which may lead to sciatic leg pain, tingling and/or numbness; AKA ‘wallet-neuropathy’.
As a chiropractor I am all for getting to the root cause of your back pain and it may be as simple as removing your wallet.