Degeneration Disc Disease

Degeneration Disc Disease |

Degeneration Disc Disease

Degeneration Disc Disease (DDD) indicates the natural process, affecting everyone and advancing with age, of the deterioration of intervertebral discs.

Degeneration Disc Disease is described as the deterioration of the intervertebral disk leading to its inability to distribute pressure through the spine and associated joints effectively.

This is one of the most common roots of low back and neck pain.

Individuals may experience symptoms of DDD differently, some experiencing pain and others not.

The pain is believed to be the result of inflammation of compressed discs and instability of the spinal discs resulting in spasms of related muscles.

Pain is described as sporadic, flaring up from low/no pain. When pain is constant or severe other diagnoses should be considered.

If symptoms get worse or weakness progresses, there is a possibility of progression from Degeneration Disc Disease to disc herniation or compression/damage of nearby nerve roots.


  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Radiation of pain to extremities

Diagnosis of Degeneration Disc Disease is made through the exclusion of other possible causes. A patient’s history, physical exam, and radiological findings make up the process of diagnosing DDD.


  • Conservative treatments
  • Surgical treatments
  • Increase physical activity: specifically core strengthening and aerobic conditioning
  • Acetaminophen and ibuprofen
  • Opioids
  • Physical therapy
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Heat and ice

Surgical Treatments

  • Spinal fusion: fusion of vertebrae around the affected disc to limit joint movement
  • Disc arthroplasty: artificial disc replacement
  • Nucleoplasty: removal of a small amount of disc tissue

About 65% of patients who underwent surgical treatment experienced improvement, however, post-operative stiffness and pain may prevent return to full activity level.


Comprehensive Pain Management Center