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Wallet Sciatica: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Putting a stuffed wallet in your back pocket can cause more harm than good. As the name indicates, wallet sciatica is a neuropathic condition that is solely caused by putting the wallet in your back pocket. 

So if you’re feeling pain in one of your hips, nerve pain down your leg, or pain in both buttocks, then it’s important to observe where you put your wallet and how it misaligns your spine. 

If you’re already diagnosed with wallet sciatica and looking for treatment options, or you’re suspecting it to be wallet sciatica then this read is for you. 

You’ll get to know all about wallet sciatica and some alternative treatment options as well. 

So let’s dive in.  

Wallet Neuritis – Can a Wallet Cause Sciatica? 

Want to know the simple answer? Yes. Wallets (and even purses) can really cause sciatica with either minor symptoms or chronic conditions that can cause debilitating pain and the inability to perform daily life activities. 

Wallet sciatica isn’t very common but it does happen. Also, studies have shown that usually, the patients experience minor symptoms that go away by balancing your posture and making it a habit NOT to put your wallet in your back pocket. 

Sitting on your wallet can cause sciatica 

Ever wondered where you put your wallet can add extra pressure to your body? When you put your wallet in your back pocket, there are great chances that you’re adding pressure on your hip bone, muscles, joints, and nerves. 

This pressure, if persisted for years, can misalign your spine and affect your pelvis. This can cause severe pain due to damage to the hip bone, pelvis, spine, or muscles. 

The most commonly affected body part is your one muscle that directly hits the region where you put your wallet. This muscle is called “Piriformis muscle” and thus wallet sciatica is also called Piriformis Syndrome. 

When this piriformis muscle is under stress, it can press your nerve – the biggest nerve of your body (which extends to your toes). This nerve is called Sciatica. When this nerve is pressed, it can cause pain and a tingling sensation that runs from your hip to one leg and foot. 

Let’s sum up the reasons you might suffer from wallet sciatica: 

  • Pressure on the hip bone can cause pressure on your sciatic nerve. 
  • Bad positioning of the pelvis that’s caused by a lopsided sitting position when your wallet is in the back pocket. 
  • Stress on your piriformis muscle can wear and tear it and cause pressure on the nerve. 
  • Damage to the spine due to continuous pressure. Note that our spine is very flexible and thus can handle a lot of pressure. That said, when pressure is added for hours and it continues for years then the spine has a good reason to deform. 

Wallet sciatica symptoms

The symptoms of wallet sciatica aren’t very different from usual sciatic pain. The difference is that you feel pain or tingling sensation in one of the hips as well. The pain radiates from that hip to the leg and then the foot. 

The symptoms also vary depending upon the severity of the condition. Following are the common symptoms wallet sciatica patients experience: 

  • Radiating pain from hip bone till the foot
  • Tingling sensation in the lower part of the body 
  • Numbness 
  • Pain that only affects your one leg
  • Pain aggravates if the patient sits on the aching hip
  • Lopsided posture while sitting 

The doctor carries out various diagnostic tests to rule out other conditions. There are no specific imaging or blood tests that can pinpoint wallet sciatica. 

Wallet sciatica treatment options 

After a diagnosis is made, your doctor will guide you through the possible treatment options. 

Remember in most cases, wallet sciatica goes away within days when you follow treatment and home remedies. 

But in other cases, it takes months and doesn’t go away 100%. In that scenario, you might want to try some proven alternative treatment options. 

Here, we’ll discuss all the possible treatments so that you can make an informed decision on time. 

Wallet sciatica exercises

Before we start with wallet sciatica exercises, let’s look into the best posture you should have to reduce wallet sciatica pain: 

  • Never slouch. Sitting in a slouching position adds pressure on the upper spine as well, causing additional upper back and neck pain. 
  • Always avoid lopsided posture. Yes, it hurts if you sit on the hip that’s aching but sitting on one hip can deform your spine, if you follow this position for years. 
  • Try to sit on both hips with a straight posture to reduce pressure on the spine and pelvis. 

If you don’t find a comfortable position to sit then avoid sitting too much and lie down after a while. Or stand up and take a few steps to reduce pressure and pain. 

Now let’s move to wallet sciatica exercises you can do to get rid of sciatica pain. Various nerve flossing exercises can help reduce pain and spasm. Below are 3 stretches that you can do daily to cope with sciatic pain, specifically wallet sciatic pain. 

Supine Piriformis Stretch 

For this, lie down straight on your back and pull your one knee up. Try to touch your toes with the opposite hand. Move your knee up to the opposite shoulder as much as you can. 

Don’t overdo it. Just start with a small stretch and see if your body can take it. Then continue living your knee up to the opposite shoulder, if it doesn’t hurt. 

Knee to Chest Piriformis Stretch

Lie down and cross one knee over the other and move the lower knee towards your chest. You can hold both your legs with your hands but be cautious of your posture. 

You can do this stretch as much as it doesn’t hurt you. Stop doing it if you feel the pain aggravated afterwards. 

Four Point Piriformis Stretch 

Be on all fours. Swing your ankles on one side. Straight out your outer leg as much as you can over the folded leg. Now move your hips back towards your legs. 

Make sure you keep your posture right. Again, stop this stretch if you feel pain and spasm getting worse. 

Watch this video by Spine-Health to better understand the exercise procedure. 

Home remedies 

There are simple remedies or measures that you can take to get rid of the pain. 

  • First off, stop sitting on your wallet. Don’t put your wallet in your back pocket, ever. It’s as simple as that
  • Keep your posture straight while sitting
  • Try to sleep in a comfortable curl position and don’t put pressure on your sciatic nerve
  • Try icing your hip that’s hurting. Icing can help relieve pain 
  • Apply a hot pack on the aching hip to ease muscle spasm 
  • Take an OTC (over the counter) pain killer to get rid of the pain for a while 

If exercises and home remedies aren’t working, it’s time to go back to your doctor for proper treatment recommendations. 

Traditional treatment for wallet sciatica 

Your doctor might recommend some anti-inflammatory medications, muscle relaxants, and corticosteroids. 

Usually, corticosteroids injections are given. If the pain persists, your doctor might give you botox injections. Botox tends to numb the target area and thus reduce pain. 

The effects of these medicines are temporary as the underlying issue remains unresolved. That’s why your doctor might refer you to a physiotherapist so that your sciatic nerve can be released. 

In rare cases, surgery is done to release the sciatic nerve and help you get rid of sciatic pain. 

Alternative wallet sciatica treatment with laser therapy 

If you have already tried traditional treatments or don’t want to take medications then laser pain therapy is a great option for you. 

Laser therapy is an alternative treatment that’s done by an experienced rheumatologist using a safe laser beam. The entire procedure is divided into a few sessions which take only a few minutes to complete. The number of sessions depends upon the intensity of your pain. 

After a few sessions, you’ll see the pain reduces to a great deal. The laser beam penetrates your skin without damaging it. It induces a natural healing mechanism that helps alleviate muscle spasms and release your nerves.

There are zero side effects of laser therapy and you don’t have to take any pills during or after the procedure. 

If you are looking for the best pain management clinic in Pakistan for neuropathy, which is equipped with experienced rheumatologists and modern equipment then visit BioFlex Pakistan. We have many success stories with happy clients who have recovered from various neuromuscular disorders.

Click here to know more about how you can treat your wallet sciatica with BioFlex Pakistan. Visit now to talk to us or book your appointment now. 

How to avoid wallet neuritis 

Piriformis syndrome occurs due to an obvious reason. So, you need to change your habit of putting your wallet in your back pocket. You can put it in the front pocket instead. 

The pain also occurs or aggravates when you walk or run on uneven surfaces. This affects your posture and hurts the muscles, joints, and spine. To avoid this, you should choose smoother walkways or if you’re hiking, just warm up to reduce the chances of muscle spasm.  

The Bottom Line  

Wallet sciatica or Piriformis syndrome is an uncommon form of sciatic pain that arises due to stuffing your wallet in your back pocket for a long time. The sciatic nerve can get pressed due to hip muscle (piriformis muscle) spasms because of poor posture and continuous pressure. 

Above you’ll come to know about treatment options, along with a proven alternative treatment, to get rid of wallet sciatica for good. 


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