A new jab could help to soothe chronic back pain for millions of people, scientists claim.
Chronic lower back pain, typically brought on by the degeneration of the intervertebral disc, affects 80% of people during their lifetime.
But University of Manchester researchers say they can repair the wear and tear on the lower back by injecting particles that restore the mechanical properties of damaged intervertebral discs.
In addition to this, they now claim they can link the microgel particles together to form injectable durable, elastic gels with the ability to sustain large permanent changes in shape without breaking.
Lead researcher, Dr Brian Saunders, of the School of Materials, said: "Our team has made a breakthrough through innovative materials design that brings the prospect of an injectable gel for treating degeneration of the intervertebral disc a step closer."
"Anything that gives hope to sufferers of chronic pain is a good thing. If in pain for many years then you are willing to try anything. And with this being the result of years of research it beats some of the mumbo jumbo that sufferers will often try in a bid for a 'cure'" - Lisa, Scotland
"I think this is really brilliant considering the fact that a large part of our working population suffer lower back pain and are often off work because of it. Imagine how many man hours could be saved" - Isaiah Ayhok, Mobberley