Even something as simple as grabbing a wallet and stuffing it in your back pocket can be an unexpected source of back pain. It all starts with the tendency to stuff everything from cash and an assortment of cards to photos and pieces of paper inside for safekeeping and easy access. All the extra items in your wallet could be throwing off your alignment and placing added pressure on nerves. The staff at The Spine Institute in Beverly Hills discuss a few of the reasons wallets lead to back pain and offer tips on how to minimize the discomfort.
Sciatic Nerve Pain
For most men, one of the two back pockets is the go-to place for a wallet, which is right in the lower back area. Continuing through the hips and downward to the legs, the sciatic nerve that starts here is often a source of radiating pain stemming from nerve pressure in the lower back. An overloaded wallet can be the source of this pressure.
A wallet firmly nestled in a back pocket is situated behind the hip joint. A bulky billfold forces your pelvis to shift to one side. Oftentimes, you’ll end up lopsided due to a shift in posture to compensate for the bulge from the wallet. This can also lead to a rounded lower spine.
How to Minimize Discomfort
Switching your wallet to a front pocket isn’t likely to help. Instead, either take your wallet out of your pocket when in a sitting position or opt for a money clip. If you really need to lug around a heavy wallet, another possibility is to use a waist bag or a belt clip with an attachable wallet.
Women are also susceptible to back pain in the upper spine and shoulders from lugging around heavy purses and bags, and kids can also be affected by overstuffed backpacks. If you’re going to be carrying around something on a regular basis, be mindful of how bulky or heavy it is and where you place it.
If back pain is affecting your quality of life, get in touch with Dr. Hyun Bae at The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration. Dr. Bae and his team of expert surgeons can diagnose the source of your pain and determine the most effective plan of action for alleviating the discomfort. At The Spine Institute, we specialize in minimally invasive procedures such as the anterior lumbar interbody fusion Beverly Hills patients sometimes receive. For more information and to schedule an in-person evaluation, call 310-828-7757.