Back Pain? It Might Be Your Wallet

Size matters. Yes that's right, size matters...when it comes to your wallet. I grew up in the 90's watching a show called Seinfeld, and on this show there was a character by the name of George Costanza. He would walk around with a huge wallet and would keep everything inside of it.  The funny thing is that he isn't an anomaly, millions of people walk around with a "George Costanza" wallet.

George Costanza Wallet

Why is it bad?

According Stuart McGill, Ph.D., professor of spine biomechanics at the University of Waterloo, sitting on a pile of cards, bills, and coins could put stress on your hip joint and lower back, and this could result in two main things.

Wallet Neuropathy

You might have heard some of the other names ‘hip-pocket syndrome’, ‘wallet neuritis’, ‘wallet sciatica’, ‘fat wallet syndrome’,  and‘credit carditis’. It is essentially refers to lower back pain caused by sitting on an overstuffed wallet kept in the back pocket.The medical term for this is priformis syndrome, which is a condition in which the piriformis muscle (located in the buttocks) starts to spasm and cause pain. It doesn't help that most jobs require you to sit for extended periods of time, and so this only makes it worse.

Bulky Wallet Back Pain


The bigger your wallet, the more lopsided you’re forced to sit, the worse it is for your spine. This can result in the sciatic nerve can getting pinched between the wallet and hip, resulting in sciaticaWhen this happens, you will experience  pain and/or numbness in your lower back and legs. Sometimes the pain will get worse when you sit, sneeze or cough. Also, your leg might feel weak, numb or tingly. Basically, you'll be in for a world of hurt, and as someone that had Sciatica, its brutal.

Pelvic Tilt Bulky Wallet

What can I do about it?

If the pain from sciatica gets to be too much, then you'll be spending a lot of money on visits to the physiotherapist and chiropractor. The best option would be to take the following preventative measures so you never get to that point.


That's right, yoga. If you have never tried yoga then I highly recommend you do it, especially if you work in an office and are constantly sitting at a desk.  The poses allow you to loosen up the muscles while bringing movement to the body and release any stress. I work at a desk myself and have found yoga to be the best way to loosen up my lower body.  My favourite pose when it comes to the sciatic nerve is pigeon, as I found it to be the most effective but try it out for yourself and see what works for you.

yoga pigeon pose sciatica

Switch to a slim wallet

The most common place to keep the bulky wallet is in your back pocket because that is the only place it will fit. Slim wallets are small enough that they can fit inside any pocket, but have enough space for you to bring your essentials.  The best part is there are so many different models to choose from so you will definitely find something that fits your lifestyle. Still not convinced, check out my other article, 5 Awesome Reasons to Own a Slim Wallet.

slim wallet

Alternating Hot and Cold

Alternating heat and ice therapy can help ease sciatic nerve pain. Ice helps to reduce inflammation, while heat encourages blood flow to the painful area (which speeds healing). Heat and ice can also help reduce painful muscle spasms. Apply an ice pack to the painful area for 15 minutes once every hour, and then apply heat for 15 minutes every 2 or 3 hours. Be sure to always use something like a towel to protect your skin when using heat or ice, and never sleep while using heat or ice therapy.

hot and cold