Putting Your Phone In Your Back Pocket May Also Be Bad For Your Butt & Back

If there’s one thing we’ve learned in the last year, it’s that some phones can bend if put under enough pressure. But in addition to possibly putting an unwanted curve or crack in that expensive telecommunications device, stashing a phone in your back pocket may result in a literal pain in the butt.

Orly Avitzur, M.D., a practicing neurologist and Medical Adviser for our colleagues at Consumer Reports, writes that she’s seen a number of patients in recent years complaining of sciatica — pain that starts in your buttocks and shoots down the leg — and she believes that she’s traced the cause of the pain to cellphones stowed in these patients’ back pockets.

“[T]he potential harm to your back is clear,” writes Dr. Avitzur. “Pressing any hard object against the derrière, home of the sciatic nerve, is a bad idea.”

She explains that the problem is not unique to phones. Simply put, this sort of pressure on the backside can result in pain.

Dr. Avitzur wrote in 2010 — long before bendgate — about sciatica caused by holsters and tool belts, and even common back-pocket occupants like wallets.

“Cell-phone sciatica can now join several related nerve-compression syndromes, including wallet sciatica, credit-card sciatica, and back-pocket sciatica,” she explains. “The condition is common enough that I now routinely check the rear pockets of patients who come to me with complaints of buttock pain radiating to the thigh.”

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