Here Dad…I Got You The Back Pain You’ve Always Wanted! Revealed: The #1 Worst Habit That is Guaranteed to Cause Dad Pain

By Amit Gaglani, PT, OCS

back pain new jersey

Back pain: It’s a pain in the butt, literally.

In studying back pain sufferers, my team and I have found 9 Bad Habits people do every day that leads to back pain and sciatica…

And I want to share the #1 Worst Habit we’ve seen lots of men, including fathers and grandfathers do:

Sit on their Wallet.

Just the other day, I was in line at Costco listening to a couple bicker back and forth…

(I’m guessing they were in their early 70’s and had been married for decades).

I tried to ignore the conversation, but heard the wife complaining about having to lift the items from the cart and “put everything on the belt.”

Then the husband chimed in: “Yeah, but you know my back’s bothering me.”

It triggered my inner physical therapist. I looked over and noticed how he was leaning on the cart, almost as if it was a crutch or a walker.

Then I noticed it: the rectangle wear pattern on his back pocket in the shape of…his wallet.


Not good…

Years of marital bliss flushed down the toilet because of a little bad habit…that leads to a “bad back.”

Carrying a wallet in your back pocket may not seem like a big deal because “everyone” does it…

But here’s the problem with that: sitting on a wallet is one of the worst things anyone could ever do for their back…

It’s a small habit that causes BIG problems…

And here’s a quick exercise to show you why:

  1. Find a firm chair (not a recliner or soft couch).
  2. Sit down. (Take everything out of your back pockets)
  3. Keep a natural arch in your back.
  4. Think about how your back feels now.

OK, go grab a magazine, notebook, newspaper or thin book.

  1. Sit on the same chair.
  2. But this time sit on the magazine under your right butt cheek.

Notice the difference?

The magazine (or notebook, newspaper or thin book) forces you to first lean left with your lower back, then compensate by leaning right with your upper back.

Your body has a natural reflex to keep your eyes and shoulders level, and will do anything to stay level.

If you don’t feel it, simply fold the magazine in half (make it twice as thick) and sit on that…

It’s Like a Pebble in My Shoe

You know the story about the pebble in your shoe, right?

If it’s there for a short while…not a big deal…

Maybe a little uncomfortable…

But not bad enough to stop, take your shoe off, turn your shoe upside down, shake the pebble out…then put your shoe back on.

The problem is, eventually the pebble can create problems…like a blister…or even change the way you’re walking…

It’s subtle at first…

But left alone…that small pebble can create BIG problems…

And it’s the same with your wallet.

“But I’ve Been Sitting on My Wallet for Years And My Back Just Started Bugging Me Now”

It’s easy to get used to sitting on your wallet…

And that’s a big part of the problem.

Arthritis, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease…and a list of other crippling back problems…rarely start with one single traumatic event…

They’re usually the result of years of lower intensity irritation…(like the little pebble)…

And that’s the case here.

The Good News

Here’s the deal with sitting on your wallet though…

Some habits are nearly impossible to correct (for example, the position you sleep in)…

But others can be easily changed, and sitting on your wallet is an easy problem to correct.

Here are a few recommendations from the most memorable “Recovering Wallet Sitters” we’ve ever helped in Physical Therapy:

  1. Carry it in your front pocket.
  2. Put it on the dashboard when you’re driving.
  3. Give it to your wife…she’s spending what’s in it anyhow. (Actual quote from a gentleman back pain sufferer…his wife was in the room!)

Hope this helps you,

Amit Gaglani PT, OCS

1 Comment

Alycia Cypher · December 16, 2017 at 4:11 pm

it works for my sciatica pain

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