Degenerative disc disease is not as much a disease as it is a name for the changes that can happen to the spine as we age.
Our discs are made of a tough, rubbery exterior and a soft interior. They sit between the vertebrae to act as shock absorbers. As we age, the spinal discs begin to degenerate. This can cause herniated discs, bulging discs, spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spine) and osteoarthritis.
Pain may occur at the site of the affected disc in the back or neck. As the pain is often caused by compressed nerves, this pain can also travel to other areas of the body like the buttocks, arms, and legs. Numbness and tingling in the arms and legs may also be experienced. Pain can range from mild to severe and debilitating.
Our spines can degenerate as a natural part of aging. Tears in the tougher outer layer of the disc are common as we grow older. When the discs begin to lose fluid, they become smaller and less flexible. In addition to aging, other factors can be relevant as well: obesity, smoking, repeated physical work, and injury.
Click on the link below to see how spinal decompression may help with degenerative discs.