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Is Your Wallet Causing Your Back Pain?

Ah...the humble wallet...also one of the causes of low back pain and back pain in patients.

Statistics show that around 6-8 in 10 individuals experience back pain at least once in their lives. And of these 6-8, the pain don't go away ie they develop long term back pain in half of them ie 3-4 out of 10 individuals have chronic back pain.

In our Phoenix Rehab physio clinics, one of the most common conditions we treat are spinal pains ie

And one of the simplest and common causes of spinal and low back pain...is the humble sitting-on-wallet-in-one-side-of-back-pocket.

Yeah, we're serious here.

How The Pain Develops ?

Health experts will tell you to avoid sitting for extended periods, but they may not tell you that sitting on a wallet (of course, fatter wallets cause more problems but even thin wallets can cause damage too) for extended periods is another health concern.

We have found many people carrying their huge billfolds in their back pockets and they are unwilling to swap this habit even after health professionals and doctors ask them to do that. Sitting on a wallet on one side will create an imbalance in spinal foundation each time you decide to sit on a flat surface.

To add to that, it will place pressure over your piriformis muscle and the sciatic notch and that alone adversely affects the sciatic nerve (that means it may cause or aggravate sciatica).

Sitting with a wallet in the back pocket will place physical stress on your lower spine – the muscles, ligaments, nerves and disks.

If you checked the back pockets of most men, you will realize that one pocket is significantly worn out as opposed to the other one because of the increased friction from the billfold.

Each time you sit on the wallet, it will tilt your pelvis higher on one side and lower on the other, and this impacts your natural spinal alignment, therefore, pinching your sciatic nerve and may cause

  • numbness and
  • back pain

The condition that crops up is known as sciatica and if left untreated, it will be debilitating.

The remedy is

  1. if you already develop some back ache and pain, is to get it treated with spinal physiotherapy and
  2. replacing the large back pocket wallet with a slim wallet that can fit in your front pocket or in your shirt pocket.

The role of nerves that exist in the lower back area is to control and coordinate some of the large and strong muscles in your body – buttocks, legs, back and the core. Putting more pressure on the nerves may trigger an avalanche of mechanic problems in body and sciatica is the commonest.

Sciatica refers to a compressed nerve symptoms where patients may experience numbness, ache, electrical, burning sensations along the length of the affected nerve.

By adopting a front pocket wallet, you will prevent sciatica from becoming chronic and reduce it. In other words, you should pay close attention to how you are carrying your purse and wallet.

a picture paints a thousand words.

Here's the problem, look at the image below:

Statistics are showing that:

Individuals who are accustomed to having their wallets in their back pocket...tends to sit with the wallets in the same back pocket...

  • during work
  • during commute

which is about 8-10 hours on average, if not longer.

If you take a look at physics and biomechanics, sitting on an elevated hard object on one side of the buttock WILL cause a change in posture, from the buttock all the way upwards to the neck. This is abnormal and will cause unnecessary and abnormal muscle and joint strain, causing:

wallet back pain physiotherapy treatments

Patients may also receive the following spinal back pain physiotherapy treatment modalities:

The Prevention Methods

Prevention is fairly straight forward and easy. To avoid the issues associated with wallet-related back pain and sciatica, you just need to dump a few personal habits.

  1. Move your wallet to your front pocket
  2. Limit your sitting time to max 30 to 60 minutes before taking a short 1-2 minutes micro break
  3. During the micro break, get up, do a full stretch and a short walk maybe to a water cooler or wash room to allow your shortened muscles, ligaments and soft tissues to stretch and glide naturally
  4. Consider your ergonomics at office
  5. Exercise 3 to 5 times per week with activities such as walking, running, jogging, weight lifting, etc

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book your physio appointments now

WhatsApp / SMS your name, preferred date, time and enquiries to +658800183

Email questions and your preferred physiotherapy timings to nigel@phoenixrehabgroup.com or

Clinic Locations: See how to get to us here

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Phoenix Rehab Group works with specialist physiotherapists and rehab therapists who are highly trained, qualified, experienced and passionate to provide high level of expert care to our patients.


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It is a system of safe and effective exercises, which meet specific individual needs, to treat a wide range of injuries and conditions.

You may do Pilates as matwork or with the reformer or both, and every session will be customized 100% to your fitness, injury and tolerance.



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It also prevents muscles from scar tissue micro-tears (and potential ruptures), and increases muscle performance.

Done regularly, it will keeps your muscles healthy and fit with body/movement-confidence. Read the benefits of regular deep tissue release therapy here.

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See our entire team here with introductions and their specializations.

At the first session, our specialist physiotherapists will carry out a thorough assessment, helping them to select the most appropriate treatment to help you recover as well as provide treatment in the same session.

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book your physio appointments now

WhatsApp / SMS your name, preferred date, time and enquiries to +658800183

Email questions and your preferred physiotherapy timings to nigel@phoenixrehabgroup.com or

Clinic Locations: See how to get to us here