Wallets are a convenient means of carrying stuff around. I say ‘stuff’ because wallets, besides bank notes and cards, tend to contain a multitude of other items, including: receipts from two years ago, yours and others’ business cards, coupons, coins, parking tickets. Sitting on wallets over a period of time can cause some unwanted changes to your spine and muscles. Read on to find out more.
Men tend to travel light when leaving the house. By the time the cash, credit cards, licence, library card, petrol and grocery receipts, coupons, parking tickets, business cards, coins and other folded paraphernalia are squeezed into the wallet, it creates a sizeable lump…and where do men usually place this? In their back pocket, in most cases!
‘The Human Body craves for alignment . When we are properly aligned, our bones, not our muscles support our weight, reaching effort and strain.’
Although easily accessible, placing the wallet in the back pocket causes an unsightly bulge in that region, which is bad enough as it is. And causes that side of the buttocks to be raised when seated. As demonstrated in the photos above, the resulting tilt causes the spine to curve and create imbalance. This imbalance causes the overall load of your body to be more towards the lower side and causes the back muscles to compensate. Additionally, the wallet compresses the skin, muscles and nerves of the affected buttocks reducing circulation around the buttocks and legs. This can lead to a condition, called Sciatica, which is the numbness, tingling and/or shooting, electric-shock like pain down the sciatic nerve.
Habitually keeping this pelvis wedged while sitting over a period of time can cause:
- low back pain,
- numbness and tingling (i.e. pins and needles, ‘parasthesia’) in the leg,
- weakness of one side of the legs or thigh, knee or ankle pain.
Unfortunately, many young men adapt this habit from mimicking their elders (i.e. Dad, uncle or bigger brother). This can set up a path to poor spinal health and posture.
To prevent issues resulting from sitting on your wallet, our advice is to place it in another pocket (for example, the front pockets) or take it out of the pocket when sitting. It may feel like your wallet goes missing at the beginning but you will soon get used to it…and your body will thank you for the change!
If you or someone you know is experiencing back pain, numbness or discomfort in the legs, it may be because of sitting on wallets. Don’t wait for things to get worse. Have your spine checked by a chiropractor at the soonest possible opportunity to have this corrected!
Until next time, remember that you are designed to be extraordinary.