Back Pain: When Having a Fat Wallet isn't a Good Thing

For a solution to back pain, look no further than your back pocket.

Fact: Carrying and sitting on a fat wallet in your back pocket can cause sciatica, a painful condition that predates Costanza's infamously over-stuffed wallet.

Up to 85% of Americans suffer from back pain at some time in their life. Sometimes you'll know exactly what's causing it — not lifting with your knees. Being hunched over a desk. That overly enthusiastic pickup game of tackle football. It could just be a slight discomfort that you notice getting mysteriously worse over time. For many men, a common cause of back pain is sitting on your wallet.

Back pain caused by back-pocket wallets is so common it has nicknames: hip-pocket syndrome, wallet neuropathy, and Costanza Wallet Syndrome. But is it really true, or is fat-wallet back pain just a joke or a myth?

Sure you can put your wallet in your back pocket — just take it out when you sit down!

When you sit down, your overstuffed wallet distorts your posture, twists your hips, puts pressure on your spine and causes it to be out of alignment. The wallet can also put pressure on the piriformis muscle which aggravates the sciatic nerve and can lead to sciatica.

You might not think of too much cash as a source of pain, but a fat wallet can trigger piriformis syndrome. The condition can affect men who wear their wallet in the back pocket of their pants. You can avoid this problem by keeping your wallet in a front pocket or jacket pocket.


You heard the doctor: Keep your wallet out of your back pocket.

Front pocket wallets are the way to go, and you can get there with Wally Wallets by Distil Union

And guys, did we mention that carrying a slim wallet in your front or jacket pocket is also better for your clothes — and your style (GQ says so). A front-pocket wallet will also keep your valuables out of harm's way since pick-pockets have a much easier time fishing into your back pocket undetected.

Hold on, ladies, you're not off the hook: Purses can cause back pain, too. Carrying a heavy bag on one shoulder or even toting it by your side does a number on your vertebrae by twisting you in unnatural directions. I'll take any excuse to treat myself to a massage, but I'd rather not actually need one thank you.

With all this in mind, we've designed our Wally wallets to be front-pocket ready. And because a fat wallet in your front pocket can still cause back pain, we've engineered ours to be slimmer — at just half the thickness even when holding the same contents. We've heard from Wally users from Alabama to Australia that Wally has helped them recover from back pain! Check out The Fat-Wallet Fix: Top Tips to Carry Less and avoid senseless back troubles altogether.

Shop the Wally Wallet Collection and find the one that's just right to ease your fat-wallet pain away.

And next time, lift with your knees, please.

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