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Is Sitting On a Wallet Or a Phone Bad For Your Back?

Back Problems?

Many people like to have their wallet or phone close to them all day long and for good reason! It’s convenient to have the two most used personal items close at hand when you need them. The downside is where do you put them? Women usually throw them in a purse, but men, unless you have a European satchel or fanny pack, your wallet usually ends up in that back pocket. It has also been more prominent to see women, even if they have a purse, to put their phones in their back pocket.

In these two instances, man or woman, people are sitting on something that is generally one half inch up to even two inches in thickness. This creates a problem. Especially if you are one of these people and are sitting for hours a day on a phone or wallet, even as you read this article. Walking around with those in the back pocket is okay. But sitting down on them for prolonged periods can actually start to make changes in your pelvis in spine that can affect your spinal health. Especially for children or adolescents who have not reached the age of 17, which is about the time their bones complete growing. Remodeling of the bones may occur, which usually develops into chronic pain or discomfort for the rest of their lives. People can not only develop low back and neck pain, but then can also develop a condition known as sciatica. Sciatica is a condition when you have pain that shoots down your leg. This pain can feel sharp, numb, pins and needles, etc…

Leaning Tower of Pisa of Back Problems

Just think of the leaning tower of Pisa in Italy. The foundation sunk partially to one side and everything above the foundation leans toward the lower side. Human anatomy is obviously different from a tower that does not have movable parts/reflexes.

Labyrinthine Righting



We have a “built-in” reflex in our bodies that controls our posture; if our “base/foundation” is not level, it will make our heads level. This reflex is call the labyrinthine righting reflex, which most people refer to as the “righting reflex.”

Let’s say that a friend next to you on your right tells you to take a look at something they are reading in front of them. You lean over and what does your spine and head do? You lean to the right with the pelvis and low back, then the mid back, upper back, and neck parts of the spine lean back to the left making your head level so you can read straight.

So What's the Problem?

Now think about the last paragraph and think about that when you have a wallet of phone in your back pocket that you are sitting on all day at your 40 hour a week desk job. Or maybe you drive a lot and you drive with those in your back pocket. That tips the pelvis and lower back to one side and the upper back and neck have to tip to the other side to balance things out. Then we wonder, why do I get back and neck pain all of the time? Stop sitting on an un-level foundation and you will be surprised how quickly that back pain improves.

In chiropractic school, I learned about this first hand in a Biomechanics class that was being taught. As the professor explained the problems associated with having a wallet in the back pocket, I hurriedly took my wallet out of my back right pocket, hoping nobody saw me and called me out on this chiropractic taboo that I had never previously heard about. The back pain that I had been experiencing on and off resolved and I have not gone back.

Your back gets enough stress on it from the day to day grind. Don’t add to it. Aches and pains should not last more than 3 days. If they do, call and schedule an appointment with your chiropractor.

At Cedar City Chiropractic and Rehabilitation, Chiropractic Physicians Dr Josh Williams and Dr. M. Curtis Hobson have the solution to more than just your back. With professional, on-hand dietitians, health coaches, massage therapist, and Chiropractic physicians, we can focus on your overall health and wellness that will allow you to run FASTER, jump HIGHER, recover QUICKER, and will ultimately achieve your greatest health and wellness goals. At Cedar City Chiropractic and Rehab... We have MORE than just your back!

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