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Sciatica Warning - Do Not Sit On Your Wallet

By Edited Mar 6, 2014 0 0

For those who prefer carrying a wallet rather than a purse, I cite below three very good reasons why you may want to carry it in your front pocket.

  • The first factor keeps your safety in mind. You most probably know that back pockets are easy targets for pickpockets, and they would have a relatively harder time stealing your money if you had your wallet placed in the front. Scientifically, this is also true because your front pocket falls under your peripheral vision. In contrast, your back packet is left completely unguarded. Moreover, pockets at the front tend to be deeper than those at the back, and it would be quite difficult for a thief to intrude and steal your wallet. In addition to all these, the skin surrounding your thighs is comparatively more sensitive than the one over your buttocks, and thus any attempt to touch it will be noticeable.
  • Secondly, keeping your wallet in the back pocket also affects the soft tissues on your buttocks. The sciatic nerve travels through your right buttock, coming from the lumbar spine down to the legs. Prolonged pressure on this nerve can trigger sciatic pain, which is characterized by numbness and radiating pain. You will be amazed to know how common this condition is. Doctors refer to this as ‘hip pocket syndrome’ or ‘wallet sciatica’.
  • Lastly, but also equally important, is the effect that the wallet makes on your overall posture.

The human body can be regarded as an excellent example of proper symmetry. If you observe a human seated normally on a chair, without a wallet of course, you will see that the entire weight of the head and trunk is taken care of by two bony points in the pelvis, called ischial tuberosities. These are located on either side. A part of the pressure is also sustained by gluteal muscles and the soft tissues that are present in the buttocks. Therefore, the entire weight is uniformly divided through the pelvis, all thanks to the bones.

Proper Sitting Posture

Now, having a wallet in your back pocket considerably changes the entire scenario. Let us assume that you have your wallet in the right back pocket. When you are seated, the size of the wallet makes the right ischial tuberosity slightly lift up. This means that the major weight of the body is shifted to the left ischial tuberosity. This clearly implies that the natural symmetrical pattern of the body is altered in the presence of a wallet in your back pocket.

The action causes the pelvis to shift from a level and balanced surface to an unleveled one. It becomes quite obvious that unless this change in level is corrected, your entire body is slightly leaning at an angle. Quite clearly, this also makes a difference in the way you will see things around. The human body possesses a special reflex known as righting reflex. This reflex can be defines as an innate but subconscious desire to keep the eyes in level with the horizon. And because your pelvis is unbalanced, there are some other actions your body will have to undertake to bring your eyes in level with the horizon.

Typically, your body involves the participation of the muscles present on the right side of your lower back. This is done to straighten the lumbar vertebrae. Simultaneously, the body also works to pull down this side of the neck making use of the muscles on the neck. Nevertheless, these actions also lead to the formation of minor curves on the lumbar spine and neck.

It has been observed that people who habitually carry their wallet in the back packet experience the growth of these curves. Although these certainly do not grow the size of scoliosis, this also is not healthy. An individual’s body eventually accepts this curvature as the ‘normal’ position under prolonged circumstances. Long term effects of this condition are unhealthy, and also significantly increase the possibility of injuries. Some common conditions which typically occur are severe disc generation, tension on the spinal cord and even further nerve dysfunction.

Your lower back is not ready for these effects, and prolonged instances lead to the ill health of the lumbar curve and muscles. With the passage of time, this causes the joints to be relatively more unstable, and in severe cases, even more degenerated.

To avoid these short and long term effects, and the possibility of sciatic pain, health experts have a simple suggestion – remember to carry your wallet in the front pocket, and most importantly, carry only what you need.
Proper Sitting Posture


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