Can very mild disc degeneration cause lower back and hip pain? MRI showed very mild disc degeneration and doctor said it was causing pain. However, physical therapist said it was normal and so mild it wouldn't cause pain.

Physical therapists- -R not MD's. B sure U R Cing a fellowship trained spine orthopedic surgeon.
I agree with Phys.Th. Very mild changes on MRI means there is not enough there to attach any significance. So I agree with the Physical therapist that your MRI scan is more or less normal and your pain is not due to those changes. Back pain is common and is mostly from muscle sprain/strain and should settle down in 2-3 weeks with symptomatic treatment(some mild pain medicines will do)
Mri disc degeneratio. Both are correct as the findings are not conclusive. The mild finding may or may not show the source of the pain.