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?
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 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.
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 – don't take our word for it, 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 sneaking 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. Truly the benefits of carrying a lighter load outweigh the alternatives (no pun intended).
And since all the best dresses have pockets, consider combining your must-have cards + phone with Wally Wallet Case, or stash your keys in a ModWallet and skip carrying a purse altogether! Because while I'll take any excuse to treat myself to a massage, I'd rather not actually need one.
With all this in mind, we've designed our Wally wallets to be front-pocket friendly. They're engineered to be slimmer — at just half the thickness, even when holding the same contents. We've heard from Wally fans from Alabama to Australia that Wally has helped them recover from back pain, and chiropractors who recommend Wally to their clients. Even those without a Wally can check out The Fat-Wallet Fix: Top Tips to Carry Less and put back troubles behind you.
Shop our 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.