Degenerative Disc Disease

Diagram of Degenerative Disc, showing the break down in the disc.What is Degenerative Disc Disease?

Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) isn't actually a disease. Instead, it's a name given for discs that have degenerated over time from normal wear and tear on your discs. Most discs become degenerated from normal wear and tear that have torn the discs, causing them to leak over time, becoming dark and flat. For your convenience, we will stay consistent and use that incorrect terminology, but we want you to recognize that it's not a disease. 


What causes degenerative discs?

After we leave our teenage years, everyone develops annular tears leading to degenerative discs. These may or may not cause pain. Annular tears typically occur from the repetitive movements of flexion and rotation over time, or from trauma. Torn discs leak over time and become dark and desiccated, thus leading to Degenerative Disc Disease.