Not long ago I had a patient who was complaining of lower back and leg pain. As he got ready to lie down on the examining table, he pulled out a two-inch thick leather wallet from his back right pocket. Coincidentally, his pain was on the right side, and he spends most of his days driving a pickup truck. By the wear pattern in his jeans, it was obvious that the wallet had been in that pocket for many months. You don’t have to be a chiropractor to put those pieces together! I talked to him about the habit of sitting on his wallet all day and helped him to realize how that can contribute to back pain, sciatica and leg pain. I hope he got the message and was able to find an alternate home for his thick wallet.
Sometimes the causes of our pain are really obvious to an outsider, but we get so stuck in our habits and routines that we can’t see the problem ourselves. Small things, such as a wallet in the pocket, or slouching posture on a chair, or wearing shoes that are too tight can create compensation patterns in your skeletal system and lead to pain and inflammation. Are you sitting on a thick wallet? Do you spend long periods of time in an awkward position? Maybe it’s time to step outside of your own life for a moment and look at the big picture. What can you change that may improve your health?