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A tiny pellet no bigger than a grain of rice could banish the agony of sciatica. It is implanted into the spine and slowly releases painkilling medication.

It is made from biodegradable plastic and the tiny pellet slowly breaks down, releasing a constant supply of a pain killer to the affected area which can provide relief for up to a year before it needs replacing.

The medication used in this pellet is called clonidine, which they say does not have the same addictive properties as other opioid drugs.

A major trial is under way at West Virginia University in the US where around 200 patients with sciatica will be given the pellet to see if it gives them long term pain relief.

The pellet is inserted under local anaesthetic through a long hollow needle into the spine and placed next to the damaged disc. The procedure takes under an hour.

Colin Natalie, a consultant spinal surgeon at The Lister Hospital in London said “We. already inject clonidine during sciatica surgery because it significantly reduces the painkillers needed after surgery. Turning it into a pellet that is implanted in the spine is the next step and could reduce the need for surgery.”

Taken from The Daily Mail Good Health Tuesday 15th January, 2019


  1. The sciatic nerve runs from the lower back through the hips and buttocks and all the way down the backs of the legs to the feet. It is the longest and widest nerve in the body. In most cases, sciatica goes away on its own in a few weeks. That’s why doctors generally recommend conservative treatment initially — such as over-the-counter pain relievers, ice packs or heat on the affected areas, stretching, and moderate activity — to reduce symptoms while waiting to see if it clears up. You can also refer to this article which states all the necessary details about sciatic https://www.everydayhealth.com/sciatica/


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