Wallet syndrome: what is the usual male practice that affects spinal health

Leaving your wallet in the back pocket of your trousers is a very common habit among men. But even if it seems harmless, it can cause pinching or compression of the sciatic nerve from increased pressure in the area. Recommendations and advice from a chiropractor.

the usual male practice that affects spinal health

In the car, at the office, in the bus, in the bar, during lunch or during a meeting. The man often repeats the same procedure: keep the wallet in the back pocket of his trousers and sit down. This common practice, apparently simple and harmless, can have severe health consequences. It was named “wallet syndrome,”although it was also called “pyriform syndrome” or “sciatic nerve entrapment syndrome,”which is caused by compression of the sciatic nerve at the level of the pyramid muscle (the buttock). He was baptized this way because it is an exclusively masculine syndrome that shares a curious characteristic: they feel pain on the same side in which they keep their wallet.

About 70% of adult men carry a wallet loaded with money, credit cards, business cards, documentations, reminders, receipts, photos. Many adopted the habit of carrying it in their back pocket and do not notice that sitting is elevated a part of the hip creating a drop in the back and neck. The process is logical: no one would sit in an uneven chair. The wallet generates a tilting of the pelvis, creating a mechanical demand on the vertebrae and all spine structures for a considerable period of time.

Increased pressure in the area causes pinching or compression of the sciatic nerve, causing pain that radiates along the leg, numbness and even gait disturbances. This is referred to as’ wallet syndrome’. Spending several hours sitting with one buttock higher than the other generates a habit for one side of the cylindrical bone and of course, ends up impacting the spine, causing it to bend slightly to maintain the posture, thus causing a completely harmful curvature to the spine.

One professional explained that the fact of sitting for a long time with the wallet in the pocket exerts a chronic mechanical demand on the vertebrae, discs, ligaments and muscles of the lumbar area, where the pyriform pass over the sciatic nerve. If this muscle is irritated,”explains the expert,”a contracture will occur and the muscle will put pressure on it.

The discomfort may result in tingling, numbness in the leg, and pain that goes down the back of the leg, connecting the lower tail to the foot. “Trapping the sciatic nerve can produce a severe functional deficit because it burdens most of the muscles in the lower body. The hip flexion may be limited, so the leg will not be able to make many movements. And it can also produce a functional foot deficit.

When the injury has already occurred, there are some options for treating the discomfort. The stretching of the gluteal and lower limbs muscles is the first and fastest alternative. If the condition persists, the area should be treated to reduce inflammation and thus undo the defensive contracture. Faced with a chronic injury, the chiropractor advised long-term treatment:”Ideally, a routine of stretching should be created along with abdominal stabilization exercises that will help correct the alignment of the spine and decrease pressure in the pyramid area.

The specialist concluded his presentation with a reflection on the discomfort in the body:”When we suffer from pain, we must understand that we do not arrive at it overnight, but rather as a result of neglect and the fact that we have acquired bad habits throughout our lives, which will inevitably modify our structure”.

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