Hi, my name is Helen and I am new here too but I just read your message and it sounds almost just like me, I have had a bad back for three years now and have had such problems since, I have a numb left leg and toes and bottom of my foot, I also have shooting pain down inside of my leg and lower back. I have seen a specialist and had MRI scan which showed a disc pressing on nerve (Sciatica) etc, and in August last year I went into hospital for a Microdiscectomy, Simple keyhole procedure to free off nerve.....since then I have had so many more problems with pain and swelling of my ankle at achilles tendon area, cramp in my calf muscles and lower back pain that I have been transfered to consultant at back pain management clinic and am on so many tablets I rattle when I walk, I will continue to walk my beloved doggies even if I have to lie down for half a day afterwards but...the shooting sciatic type pain has gone. You really need to see your doctor to get him to take you seriously enough to recommend you see a back specialist at a local hospital, who will then follow through with treatments and examinations hopefully. I hate having a 'bad back' people never take you seriously, if I had a leg or arm in plaster they would pull out a chair fo you or send you flowers, however bad backs are just sniffed at! Hope you get some relief soon...let me know, Helen.