Fat Wallet Syndrome or Piriformis Syndrome is a condition in which the piriformis muscle  undergoes over-suppression and will also directly participate in suppressing  the sciatic nerve  under the piriformis muscle". The term piriformis syndrome comes from  the piriformis muscle, which is responsible for maintaining balance and posture of the lower body when standing and also play an important role in moving and lifting objects. 1

With the habit of putting wallet in the back pants pocket and followed by sitting for a long time, it will aggravate the possibility of developing piriform syndrome. 2

What Are the Causes and Symptoms of Piriform Syndrome?

The exact cause of this syndrome is still unknown. Possible causes include: 3

  • Excessive tension on the piriformis muscles, which can be caused by irritation of the muscles themselves or irritation of surrounding structures such as the sacroiliac or hip joints.
  • In response to injury, the muscles become tense.
  • Swelling from injury
  • Bleeding in the area of the piriform

One or more of the factors listed above can affect the sciatica nerve, resulting in pain, tingling, or numbness in the back of the thighs, calves, or soles of the feet.

 Piriformis syndrome is characterized by a number of symptoms, including: 3

  • Dull buttock pain
  • Pain in the hamstrings, calves, and soles of the feet, especially when climbing stairs
  • The pain becomes worse after prolonged sitting
  • Limited range of motion of the hip joint

Pain can get worse after being in a certain position or activity for a long time, such as sitting, walking, running, or climbing stairs, and may improve after lying on your back.

What is the solution if you already have piriform syndrome?

There are several treatments available to address the symptoms of piriform syndrome: 2

  1. Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy is one of the many treatment options for people suffering from piriform syndrome. Later, the physiotherapist will perform interventions in the form of a series of physical exercises to relieve pressure or compression on the piriformis muscles and sciatic nerves.

  1. Cold temperature compress

A cold compress with ice cubes or cold water on the painful area is another simple way to relieve piriform syndrome pain.

  1. Medicine

Taking painkillers is also common if the pain has progressed to a severe level. Surgery intervention by medical personnel can also be an option for more serious phases.

  1. Rest

The affected part of the body also needs to be rested by avoiding activities that cause piriform syndrome. It is hoped that by avoiding this causal activity, the pressure on the piriformis muscles will decrease, so that the pain will decrease.


 Prevention of Fat Wallet Syndrome

To avoid Fat Wallet Syndrome, it is advisable not to carry a thick wallet in the back pocket for a long time, and instead switch to a front pocket or use a thin wallet that can be carried in a bag or jacket pocket. Stretching exercises, correct posture, when sitting, driving or standing, can also help alleviate sciatica symptoms caused by prolonged sitting. If the pain persists, it is advisable to consult a health professional for proper diagnosis and treatment. 1




References :

  1. Woodside Clinic Staff.  Is your fat wallet causing you sciatica? Woodside Clinic. Last reviewed February 1, 2023. Available on:


  1.  FK-UNUD Promkes Team.  Is it true that the habit of putting a wallet in the back pants pocket is harmful to our body? Physiotherapy FK-UNUD. Last reviewed May 08, 2020. Available on:


  1. dr Mahdian Nur Nasution, Sp.Bs.  Piriformis syndrome (Piriformis Syndrome), a cause of pain in the buttocks. Lamina. Last reviewed:  20 January 2021.  Available on: