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Judith asked...

I have a back problem.

I have a back problem which results in pain in the left buttock and leg I understand that this is caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve. Recently I have experienced numbness, and sometimes tingling, in the toes in my left foot. Is this normal?

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The answer

The sciatic nerve is a very long nerve that goes all the way from the lower back to the foot. If it is compressed by a slipped disc (or something else) then pain, tingling or numbness can be felt down the leg or in parts of the foot.  It is possible that sciatica is causing the symptoms you describe, although it depends on exactly what parts of your foot are affected. You really need to have your leg and foot examined for any signs of weakness or loss of sensation. If the pattern is not consistent with sciatica other conditions may need to be considered such as diabetes.

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