Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.
Tags: wallet | back | pain | treatment | sciatica

Can My Wallet Cause Back Pain?

By    |   Tuesday, 14 May 2013 04:12 PM

Question: Two days after completing a 500-mile automobile drive, I began to experience increasing discomfort in my rear end and down my left leg. I had a thick wallet in my back left pocket during the drive and am wondering if that might have caused some nerve damage?

Dr. Hibberd’s answer:
 
Direct pressure may aggravate sciatica, but the nerve is too deep to be damaged by sitting on your wallet alone. You undoubtedly have some back issues contributing to your left-sided sciatica, and would be well advised in going to your doctor for evaluation.
 
You may be advised to have an MRI now or later, depending upon your physical findings. Unless you are found to have a neurologic deficit, fracture or tumor, you should expect some anti-inflammation medication, perhaps a brief cortisone pack for a few days, and appropriate pain management to be prescribed.
 
Consider a physical therapy consultation. Worsening pain may make MRI imaging appropriate if surgical management is being contemplated. Treatment is usually conservative for 4-6 weeks, and aggressive surgical management in all patients with this condition is not only wasteful, but may be inappropriate.

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Direct pressure may aggravate sciatica, but the nerve is too deep to be damaged by sitting on your wallet alone.
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2013-12-14
Tuesday, 14 May 2013 04:12 PM
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