When Justine first came in, she told me that her boss sent her, because he felt that what I offered could benefit her. He wanted her to at least be open to the initial visit and if it resonated with her, then she could continue on with care. As I was taking her history and asked different questions, I discovered that she has chronic back pain, high blood pressure, and pain in her right foot for the past year versus her left foot which had pain two years ago, but had resolved. I asked Justine what happened two years ago and like most people who first come in said that nothing of significance that she could remember happened. She remembered though that her left foot was very painful, because she even had to wear a boot for her foot. I once again asked her if she was sure nothing was happening back two years ago, and she affirmed that nothing had happened.
I then asked, “So what is going on in your life now and what happened this year when your right foot started to bother you?”
Justine replied, “Work is just stressful. My boss is fine, but I just have a lot of busy work and many obligations. I inquired further, “anything else?”
Justine thought some more and said, “Oh I have been noticing that if I sit for a prolonged period of time, my back gets really sore and my neck and shoulders tighten up. I feel very uncomfortable and the tension that I feel usually becomes really intense and painful by the end of the day.”
I asked, “Do you like what you do for work or is it the workplace that creates stress for you?”
Justine replied, “I enjoy my workplace, but there is a ton of things to do and I am constantly working with deadlines.”
“So how long have you been working there?”
“About two years.”
I took this opportunity to mention and help her gain some awareness, “Oh so did you have the left foot pain before or after you started this job?” Justine raised her right eyelid a little perplexed, but answered, “the pain in my left foot began before I got to the company I am working for now.”
I followed up with, “Was something going on at your previous place of employment? How long were you there and what made you leave?”
Justine looked at me with eyes getting wider, “I was there for eight years, but three years ago, we had a new manager come in and he was a micro-manager. I put up with it for a couple of years, but after a while I just got fed up and started to look for a new place to work.”
All of a sudden Justine paused and looked intently into my eyes, “Are you kidding me? Did all this stress cause my pains? Because my left foot started to be painful at about the same time I started thinking about leaving my previous company and look for someplace else to work. I found this company that I am currently with now and even got a pay raise to boot. However the only challenge is that when I moved to this new company, I had to learn a whole new system and it seemed like a very steep learning curve. I eventually got the hang of the new system, but it has been rough.”
Side note here – The moment Justine left her old work place, although at the time she thought that is what she wanted, she was judging her decision of leaving. Her new job was different than her previous one and she had to learn a new system and she questioned her competency. She felt inadequate and unconfident, which on an emotional level caused her right foot to start getting sore.
I have discovered that one’s feet are analogous to stability like the expression “having our feet on stable ground.” Over the years, I have observed practice members who suffered from left foot pain were often times dealing with issues of having to make a difficult decision that would change their lives by literally “taking a step forward.” In a similar fashion, right foot pain I have observed occurring among my practice members in instances when they were either judging the action they took or not taking action where they feel they should have.
If you can relate, or have a story to share, please comment below. Have you experienced foot pain? What did you find it related to? There is a benefit in expressing and exchanging our stories. Let’s hear it!