June 10, 2019

Why is it bad to sit on your wallet?

Exercise | Neck, Back and Spine

Some men may wonder why all of a sudden they are experiencing back pain. While there are many back-related problems and injuries that could be associated with pain, keeping your wallet in your back pocket while you sit for long periods of time could be a cause.

Do wallets cause back problems?

It is uncommon to hear that someone’s wallet gave them back pain directly, but it isn’t unheard of. OrthoIndy spine surgeon, Dr. David Schwartz shares why your wallet may cause pain in your lower back.

When it comes to your wallet, size can matter. Wallets are the go-to spot for shoving cards and cash into, which can make the wallet hard to close. When you stuff a wallet filled with cards and cash, this can tilt your pelvis to one side, which puts more stress on the spine when you sit down.

If you are someone who does this, be aware that sitting on your wallet may cause lower back pain. Additionally, be cautious if you sit on your wallet when you already have hip or back pain.

Can a wallet cause sciatica?

Sciatica refers to back pain caused by a problem with the sciatic nerve, which is a large nerve that runs from the lower back down the back of each leg. When someone injuries or puts pressure on the sciatic nerve, it can cause pain in the lower back that spreads to the hip, glutes and legs.

“Wallets don’t cause sciatica or hip pain directly, but wallets may aggravate it if you already have either sciatica or hip pain,” said Dr. Schwartz. “If your lower back starts to hurt or you notice that you’re leaning more to one side with your wallet in your back pocket, then do not sit on your wallet.”

Stretches for sciatica pain relief

Sciatic nerve pain can be excruciating, however, there are stretches you can perform to help release tension. These stretches can help the tiny piriformis muscles which sometimes become inflamed and pressed again the sciatic nerve.

  1. Reclining pigeon pose
  • Lay flat on the ground with your legs extended
  • Bring your right leg up to your chest
  • Lift your left leg to a 90 degree angle
  • Place your right ankle on top of the left knee as the right knee falls to the side
  • Repeat other side

2. Sitting pigeon pose

  • Sit on the floor with legs long and straight
  • Bend your right leg, put your right ankle on top of the left knee
  • Lean forward and allow your upper body to reach towards your thigh
  • Repeat other side

3. Knee to opposite shoulder

  • Lie on your back with your legs extended
  • Bend your right leg and clasp your hands around the knee
  • Gently pull your leg across body towards your left shoulder
  • Repeat other side


Schedule an appointment

Your well-being is important to us. Click the button below or call us to schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists. If your injury or condition is recent, you can walk right into one of our OrthoIndy Urgent Care locations for immediate care. For rehabilitation and physical therapy, no referral is needed to see one of our physical therapists.

Schedule an Appointment Call OrthoIndy 317.802.2000
Ashley McGovern

By Ashley McGovern

Ashley is the former PR coordinator for OrthoIndy. Ashley graduated from Purdue University in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in public relations and strategic communications with a certificate in entrepreneurship.

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