Why sitting on your wallet is bad for your back

By Paola Bassanese

In a recent conversation with a massage client who is been having back pain on and off for years, a hidden truth has emerged: sitting on your wallet is bad for your back.

I am not talking about financial assets in the bank sitting there without yielding interest: this sitting on your wallet image is not figurative but very literal.

This client was telling me about a series of chiropractic sessions he had a while ago and he was very pleased that the pain in his lower back subsided after a few treatments. The key issue was a misalignment in his back. So far, so commonplace. Most humans are not symmetrical and our bodies strive for symmetry with varying degrees of success.

For example, if there’s an imbalance, say a curvature in the spine (scoliosis) where the spine assumes an “S” shape, as the first curve appears the spine will then try to at least maintain a straight line between cranium and sacrum and another curvature will develop in the opposite direction.

Going back to our wallets, beware of sitting on sitting on one (especially if bulging with receipts): the wallet will act as a “wedge” under your bottom tilting the hips to one side. This will in turn twist the lower back sideways causing an increasing amount of pain and discomfort. My client credited his chiropractor for saving him money and years of back pain by this simple advice of not sitting on his wallet.

If only all back problems were so easy to solve…

UPDATE 29th February 2012: Thanks to the suggestion from @olneymassage about the George Constanza’s wallet, which got its own episode on Seinfeld (The Reverse Peephole where George has to buy a massage chair for his bad back from sitting on his fat wallet) and even starred in an advert for Google Wallet.