Miniature pellet could banish the agony of sciatica

A miniature pellet no bigger than a grain of rice could banish the agony of sciatica — a major cause of back pain.

Implanted in the spine, it gradually releases painkilling medicine. Made from biodegradable plastic, the tiny pellet slowly breaks down, releasing a constant supply of the drug into the affected area. It provides relief for up to a year before it needs replacing. A miniature pellet no bigger than a grain of rice could banish the agony of sciatica. MORE NEWS:

Crucially, it contains a new type of painkiller, clonidine, which does not have the same addictive properties as opioid drugs. A major trial is under way in the US to see if it gives patients long-term pain relief and avoids a need for surgery.

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