Which is worse a thick wallet in your back pocket or high heels for causing pain in your back?

Well, both of them can be instrumental in causing compensation and imbalances in your pelvis and in your lower back. But let's start with the wallets first. When I grew up as a kid, gentleman placed the wallet in his back pocket. As we aged the wallet became a little bit thicker as we added a little bit more plastic and of course some cash.  Placing the wallet in our back pocket, the pelvis, or buttock region becomes elevated on that side. What this does is cause a tilting from one side to the left, producing a imbalance in the lower lumbar and sacral region of the spine. What initially seems as something simple, leads to compensation effects that will eventually cause irritation and pain on the lower spine and lumbar nerve regions. What it also does is cause a pinching of the lumbar and sacral nerves giving you lower back pain, shooting down into your legs and numbness in the toes.

Lets talk about high heels. High heels, especially more than 2 inches, cause a hyperlordosis or increased curve of the lumbar region. This increases the stress on the lumbar discs and facet joints in the back part of your spine, which is the foramina or hole where the lumbar nerves come out, that form the sciatic nerve region in the legs. High heels may be worn for short periods of time and may not cause irritation to your lower back. When they are worn for extended periods of time, this hyperlordosis or the curve in your lumbar area, increases, which causes additional stress and strain on the joints and irritation in the lumbar nerves. Many times when high heels are warn for long periods of times, you can develop back pain across the pants line, into the gluteal/buttock region and pain going down into your leg and to your foot. While are general habits may have tied us to a certain way to keep our credit cards and money in our wallet, and always looking nice wearing the appropriate shoes. Many times these habits will eventually catch up with us, leading to chronic pain and wear and tear leading to arthritic conditions in your lower back  and pelvic regions.

My suggestion to you is always try to look nice by having a less than 2 inch heel or flat that should be wearing, which is not going cause that undue stress on the lumbar lordosis lordotic curve. Choose a very small wallet, if you have to put it in your back pocket. I use a money clip that has your your money and credit cards on it also and place in my front pocket. Wallets cause compensation in your pelvic region because of placing them in your back pocket when you sit. The high heels will cause increases in low back curve, but they both will irritate the nerves of your back, causing back and leg pain.

My best advice is try something different with a smaller shoe and put that wallet in your front pocket instead of your back pocket thanks for reading Dr. Joe.

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