Are degenerative disc disease and arthritis the same thing?

Pretty much. The most common type of arthritis is known as degenerative arthritis and describes the gradual wearing down of the cartilage cushion in a particular joint. In the spine, the disc serves as the cartilage cushion between the vertebrae. When it gets worn down this is known as degenerative disc disease, which essentially is a degenerative arthritis of the spine. Thank you for your question.
Not same , related. . Degenerative disc disease or ddd, refers to a wearing down of the fibrous discs between the vertebral bodies of the spine. Arthritis, usually refers to degenerative joint disease or DJD which means a wearing down of the cartilage on the end of the bones that form a joint. Ddd can lead to arthritis or DJD of the facet joints of the spine.