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Is Your Wallet Causing Back Pain?

Here's a surprising cause of lower back pain in men.

Here's an important tip if you're a man with chronic back pain. In this Health Smarts video, Dr. Mehmet Oz reveals a surprising source of back pain, especially in men: your wallet, guys!

Millions of guys drive with their wallet in their back pocket, but they can't figure out why they moan whenever they get out of the car. But sitting on your wallet while you drive is a recipe for lower back pain and - if you do it often enough—nerve pain that shoots down your leg. Riding with one cheek higher than other can trigger chronic pain in your back, hips, and shoulders. It can even set off foot cramps.

Sitting on your wallet throws off your alignment and compresses the sciatic nerve, which runs from each side of the spine down through the back of each thigh to the foot. A compressed sciatic nerve causes searing leg pain and numbness called sciatica.

But the fix is simple: Get that wallet out of your back pocket!

Next, do gentle stretching to restore alignment and relax tense muscles.

Then adjust your car seat, headrest, steering wheel and mirrors for maximum comfort.

And drive safely!

Medically reviewed in December 2019.

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