What happens with degenerative disc disease?

Collapse. Discs lose water content and sponginess. More load on the facets causing them to hypertrophy. This in turn leads to more nerve root compromise. May ultimately end with need for surgical intervention.

Related Questions

What is degenerative disc disease?

Wear and tear. Since we are bipeds and walk upright, our discs support a great deal of pressure. Over time the support fibers (annulous fibrosis) may fray or split allowing the internal disc contents to bulge or protrude. The space between the vertebrae may narrow, and the disc may dry out or dessicate. This eventuates in pain and stiffness. Read more...
Radiologic Term. Probably most popular "diagnosis" doctors use as speculative causation of low back pain generation. "ddd" is term commonly taken from radiologic reports when doctors need diagnosis otherwise undiscovered. Medical literature correlating chronic low back pain with ddd is sparse. Most people with ddd do not have pain. Up to 30% chronic low back pain from sacroiliac joint, largest axial spine joint. Read more...
DDD. In short, it is normal wear and tear of the vertebrae and discs without evidence of a more precise pathology such as neural impingement , inflammation, spondylolisthesis, dish, etc. Read more...

Can I have degenerative disc disease?

Yes. Living in florida and being 39 you can be developing osteoarthritis of the spine. You can tell from plain x-rays. Are the vertebral bodies getting close togeather at any level and are there bony overgrowths seen like in this photo ? This is the lumbar spine (low back). Read more...

Who is at risk for degenerative disc disease?

Susceptibility. There are some who have early degenerative arthritis in their families, and others whose work causes excessive wear and tear, such as heavy construction work, repetitive bending, tilting, twisting. Read more...
Everybody! Unfortunately, as we age, everyone is at risk for degenerative disc disease. However, the risk is higher in individuals with the following: 1. Smoking 2. Obesity 3. High demand jobs involving a lot of vibration, repetitive bending, or lifting (such as truck drivers, construction workers, jobs involving frequent heavy lifting, etc.) 4. Genetic tendency in families 5. Trauma. Read more...

What are options with degenerative disc disease?

Multiple . If no pain, don't worry about it otherwise: exercise, keep your weight down and do not smoke if you have that habit. Sometimes use of medication can be indicated ranging from over the counter to prescription ones. Getting a good night's sleep in a decent mattress can help. Read more...
Therapy, medications. Initial treatments for ddd and osteoarthritis of the spine include physical therapy, massage, medications. Some try acupuncture or chiropractic manipulation. If symptoms are more severe, consider pain management for stronger medications. Sometimes, despite all these treatments, symptoms are still there. See your doctor first. Consider an evaluation by a spine surgeon to discuss surgery. Read more...

Is it uncommon to have degenerative disc disease?

Extremely common. Degenerative disc disease is more like a progressive disc decay process than a disease, though some people are more prone to it than others. Many factors increase its prevalence, weight, smoking, genetics, fitness, core strength, life trauma,repetitive disc load and burden, occupational hazards. The diagnosis does not guarantee clinical problems in people, but should encourage fitness and health. Read more...

What are the signs of a degenerative disc disease?

Pain in the spine . Region like neck or lower back with some pain with prolonged positioning like sitting or change of position but better lying down or with exercises routinely like stretching, cardio activities and core strengthening routines. Read more...
Misnomer. For practical purposes, it's a misnomer describing an aging disc. It's like telling someone with wrinkles that she suffers from "degenerative skin disease". Radiologists love to use this term, so do busy spine surgeons. "disease" makes it sound like you urgently need a fusion or artificial disc implant. All our discs "degenerate" over time and most of us never have any trouble from that. Read more...
It varies.... All discs degenerate with age. As one doctor said, this is not really a disease. The disease part is the pain that can result for some patients. Why some people have pain and others don't is not at all understood. Usually there is pain in the low back that is worsened by forward bending activity but often painful with any activity. Usually better with rest. We call this "mechanical back pain". Read more...