A common condition
Sciatica refers to pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve, which branches from the lower back through the hips and buttocks and down each leg. Typically, sciatica affects only one side of your body.1 The condition affects more than 12 million people in the U.S. (2017).2 It may be caused by physical pressure on the nerves exiting the spinal cord—such as a herniated disc or spinal stenosis—together with an inflammatory component. Risk factors include age, obesity, prolonged sitting, diabetes, and occupations that involve lifting or twisting.
An unmet need
While an estimated 1/3 to 2/3 of people with sciatica will recover with conservative treatments,3 there has been no FDA-approved treatment for the remaining group of patients with persistent pain. Epidural steroid injections (ESIs) are commonly used off-label. They have been shown to provide suboptimal pain relief and come with side effects, including sleeplessness, anxiety, and osteoporosis.4 Opioids are often prescribed, yet are not proven effective for treating sciatica and pose a serious risk of drug dependency.