Medicine: Back-Pocket Blues

Clothing manufacturers and automobile designers are unwittingly responsible for a malady that Dr. Nathaniel Gould of Brockton, Mass., calls "back-pocket sciatica." Gould, who described the disorder in a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine, first became aware of it when a colleague who made a large number of house calls complained that he suffered from leg pains while sitting in the confining bucket seat of his sports car. Gould could find no obvious cause of the discomfort but noticed that the doctor carried a bulging wallet in his hip pocket. He speculated that the wallet might be pressing against...

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