Now, a gel to wipe out back pain

London: Now, a "swellable" gel that can help wipe out the misery of back pain, say British scientists who claim to have created the solution which could fill holes in damaged spinal discs that trigger aches.

Just a squirt could be enough to ease years of pain, according to the scientists from Manchester University who say that their new recipe is ready to test on animals and humans, after 25 years of hard work.

According to the scientists, the answer lies in tiny particles that are submerged into the gel. Once injected into the spine they will swell to fit the space left by natural damage, the `Daily Express` reported.

They say that the new form of gel should be more durable than previous creations.

After stress, back pain is said to be the leading cause of long-term work-related absence. A recent study found that one in every 10 people reported having chronic back pain.

Although the condition is common, few breakthroughs have been made in its treatment. Patients either have to opt for physiotherapy exercises, posture exercises, and acupuncture or, in more extreme cases, surgery.

Prof Tony Freemont, who led the research, said: "Degeneration of the intervertebral disc results in chronic back pain which costs the country billions of pounds per annum and causes untold misery to sufferers and their families.

"We have been working for 25 years to identify methods for treating degeneration of the intervertebral disc."

The results have been published in the latest edition of the `Soft Matter` journal.