8 doctors weighed in:

What are the signs of a degenerative disc disease?

8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Soren Singel
Neurosurgery
3 doctors agree

In brief: 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.

In brief: 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.
Dr. Soren Singel
Dr. Soren Singel
Thank
2 comments
Dr. Bennett Machanic
Well said, and I fully agree. Too many surgeries done secondary to "disc disease", yet no clearcut indications otherwise. Thank you!
Dr. Bahman Omrani
Poor, misleading example and an invalid argument. Wrinkles do not cause pain or physical disability as DDD does.
Dr. Scott Tromanhauser
Orthopedic Surgery - Spine
1 doctor agrees

In brief: 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".

In brief: 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".
Dr. Scott Tromanhauser
Dr. Scott Tromanhauser
Thank
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Surgery - Spine

In brief: 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.

In brief: 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.
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Thank
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