If your back is out of whack, you’re probably looking far and wide for a solution. But what if we told you your wallet might be the culprit?
Think about it. You wouldn’t sit on a bar of soap all day, so why would you keep a bulky billfold in your back pocket? Neither is comfortable, and making it a regular habit can cause all kinds of painful problems.
Fat wallet syndrome refers to the aches and pains you may feel from sitting lopsided on a thick wallet all day. Carrying a wallet in your back pocket can cause both short- and long-term conditions, and switching to a back-saver wallet can provide some much-needed relief.
So, without further ado, let’s get to the bottom of why your bulky dad wallet may be doing damage to more than just your style.
Can a Wallet Cause Back Pain?
If you’ve been experiencing mysterious back aches and pains, the answer may be closer than you think. Like, against your butt cheek close.
As crazy as it may sound, carrying a heavy, bulky wallet in your back pocket has been linked to certain conditions that can become incredibly painful if not corrected.
According to a National Library of Medicine publication, “fat wallet syndrome” occurs when you sit on a thick wallet for long periods, which puts your spine and hips out of alignment. This can cause anything from small aches to more painful, long-term symptoms.
Wallet syndrome is a literal pain in the butt. Luckily, there is a simple solution that can provide some relief and prevent more serious issues in the future. But first, let’s dive deeper into what back pocket wallet syndrome is, and the kind of conditions it can lead to.
What is Fat Wallet Syndrome?
Back pocket wallet syndrome, otherwise known as “fat wallet syndrome” or “credit-carditis” is a term for pain associated with carrying a large, heavy wallet all the time.
When you sit with a wallet in your back pocket, one butt cheek will be positioned higher than the other – even if just slightly. This slight tilt puts your hips and spine out of alignment, which can eventually cause aches and pains in your lower back, hips, and even down your legs. The thicker the wallet, the more lopsided you’ll sit, and the worse the problem will become.
Even if you remove it while sitting, carrying a heavy wallet in your back pocket throughout the day can weigh down one side of your body, leading to similar issues. Either way, you’re constantly putting your hips and spine in a position they shouldn’t be, and that never works out well.
Eventually, carrying a thick, heavy wallet in your back pocket can lead to aching pain or more serious, long-term conditions like piriformis syndrome and sciatica.
What is Sciatica?
Sciatica refers to pain that travels along the sciatica nerve, which starts in the lower back and then goes down the hips, buttocks, and both legs, according to Mayo Clinic.
The condition can cause anything from a mild ache to a sharp, burning pain anywhere along the sciatica nerve. It can also cause milder symptoms such as tingling, weakness, or numbness.
Sciatica is caused by a pinch in the sciatic nerve, which can happen when poor posture puts your spine out of alignment, putting pressure on that nerve. It can also occur when the nerve becomes pinched between your hip and wallet, which is fittingly known as “wallet sciatica.”
What is Piriformis Syndrome?
Another common side effect of carrying a bulky wallet that is often mistaken for sciatica is piriformis syndrome, a condition that causes pain, numbness, and/or tingling in your buttocks and down the back of your leg, according to Spine-health.
Piriformis syndrome occurs when the piriformis muscle in the buttocks spasms, which is often due to poor posture and imbalance in your hips – much like that caused by sitting on your wallet.
Luckily, you can prevent both minor and chronic wallet-associated pain by switching to a back saver wallet. More on that next.
How to Prevent Back Pocket Wallet Syndrome
We can all agree that painful conditions like sciatica, piriformis syndrome, and even just general aches and pains caused by carrying a back pocket wallet do not sound like fun. So, what should you do about it?
The best way to prevent fat wallet syndrome is to stop carrying your wallet in your back pocket, for starters. But simply switching your wallet to your front pocket won’t necessarily fix the problem, as that bulk can still cause pinching between your leg and torso.
You can always choose to carry your wallet elsewhere, like in a bag or briefcase, but the simpler solution is to switch to a back saver wallet, otherwise known as a “front pocket wallet,” “slim wallet,” or “minimalist wallet.”
These wallets are specifically designed to be carried in your front pocket. They’re also the same dimensions as a credit card and are typically made from carbon fiber or aluminum, making them incredibly lightweight.
As a bonus, aluminum wallets are naturally RFID-blocking, keeping your back healthy and your personal information secure.
If you’re interested in making the switch to a front pocket wallet, GeoGrit offers aluminum and carbon fiber wallets that are made in America and are backed by a lifetime guarantee. You can check out the entire collection here.
How to Treat Wallet Syndrome
If you’re already suffering from wallet syndrome, don’t panic. Most of the time, you’ll feel better after taking some preventive measures (like ditching that old wallet) and giving yourself a little TLC.
According to Mayo Clinic, if you believe you’re suffering from a mild case of sciatica or another wallet-induced condition, there are a few at-home treatments you can try to get some relief.
First, ice the area for up to 20 minutes a few times a day for two to three days. After those first few days, switch to using a heating pad to warm the area several times a day to help relax the muscles. If the pain continues after a few days, you can try alternating hot and cold packs to see if that helps.
Regular, light stretching exercises can also relieve your symptoms. Try lightly stretching your lower back and holding the position for a minimum of 30 seconds. Over-the-counter pain relievers are also beneficial, of course.
Mayo Clinic also advises that if you are experiencing severe pain, or pain that doesn’t improve after a few weeks, you should definitely see a doctor to ensure you aren’t dealing with something more serious or to get medication that can help.
Carrying a bulky wallet in your back pocket is not only out of style, but it may actually be what’s causing pain and stiffness in your hips and lower back.
Fat wallet syndrome can occur when you regularly sit on a large wallet, which puts your spine out of whack. This can cause pain and stiffness to radiate through your hip, lower back, and even down your legs.
The best way to prevent this painful condition is to switch to a back saver wallet. A minimalist, front pocket wallet can reduce bulk and help you keep your spine aligned while walking and sitting.If you’re interested in carrying a minimalist wallet that’s made in the USA, check out our entire collection at GeoGrit.com. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and follow our blog to keep up on all our latest content.