A few years back while working in a hospital, I developed a strange pain that seemed to reach down the length of my left leg. My job involved sitting down a majority of each work day.  Then I noticed that the pain dissipated when I wasn’t at work (acknowledging that work can sometimes be a pain in the butt.)   When traveling I noticed that there was very little pain, even though traveling often involved a lot of sitting in planes, trains and automobiles.  So the pain in my butt and leg was directly related to work.pain in chair

That’s when it dawned on me that while traveling, my wallet routinely rode in the left thigh pocket of cargo pants I usually wore on trips.  While at work, I wore more of a “dress pants” style with my wallet in the left back pocket.  I started wearing cargo pants on trips as they made carrying items easier and safer in addition to being more comfortable than the nice slacks I routinely wore at work. After that moment of inspiration, I started wearing cargo pants to work and found that the pain in the left leg disappeared. Woo-Hoo!

One of the benefits of this change was that fewer pairs of slacks were damaged around the back pocket because of the additional wear caused by sitting on my wallet. Another bonus of routinely not using the back pocket was the lack of cracked credit cards which had been caused by the pressure of sitting on them on a regular basis.  But most of all, the pain in my butt and leg disappeared.

Researching this a bit, I found that this has both an unofficial and official name.  Called Fat piriformisWallet Syndrome, this condition is actually a combination of compressing muscles in the hip and pressure on the sciatic nerve called Piriformis Syndrome.  While there are specific treatments, the first step is to get rid of the wallet from your back pocket.

Hopefully, if you travel much you already know some of the benefits of cargo pants. Yes, cargo pants usually do have back pockets but I no longer use those pockets (or know why they are really there). Aside from sweat pants, my wallet always goes into the thigh pocket of one of my several pairs of cargo pants and both the wallet and I are quite happy with that arrangement.

mens-cargo-pantsIt is said that you can break a habit and start a new one in three weeks.  So consider this and take three weeks to change from the back pocket to somewhere else.  And try wearing cargo pants.

Your hip and leg will thank you for it.


House Spouse Jerry