At the end of your lunch break, or perhaps after filling up on gas, you slide your wallet into your back pocket. No big deal, right?
As it turns out, sitting on your wallet all day is not only uncomfortable—it may be provoking your sciatica symptoms.
How can a wallet provoke sciatica symptoms?
Sciatica symptoms flare up when a portion of your sciatic nerve is pinched or irritated. While an underlying medical condition is typically the culprit, sitting on your wallet can aggravate your sciatic nerve—informally referred to as wallet sciatica—in several ways:
- Sitting with one hip elevated creates an imbalance in your spine, which in turn places stress on the lumbar discs near your sciatic nerve roots.
- An object pressing against your buttock can place pressure on your piriformis muscle and cause it to rub up against your sciatic nerve.
The above holds true for carrying your cell phone or anything else in your back pocket, and sometimes wearing tight clothes can irritate the sciatic nerve as well.
How should you carry your wallet?
Try one of these tips to break up your back-pocket routine:
- Use a money clip or slim-style wallet that fits in your front pocket.
- Purchase a wallet that attaches to your keys—you won’t want to sit on your keys for long.
- Simply button up your back pockets if you wear khakis or dress pants, that way you can't put your phone or wallet in the pocket.
- Avoid a wallet altogether—use your cell phone for routine purchases.
Keeping your wallet—or cellphone—out of your back pocket feels like an insignificant change, but start today and you might find quick relief from your sciatica symptoms.