Degeneration of one or more intervertebral discs of the spine, often called “degenerative disc disease” (DDD) or “degenerative disc disorder,” is a condition that can be painful and can greatly affect the quality of one’s life. Disc degeneration is caused because of lack of motion to the joints over an extended period of time, usually years or decades. Many people have degenerative disc disease and don’t know it.
With symptomatic degenerative disc disease, chronic back pain sometimes radiates to the hips or down the legs. Similar pain may be felt or may increase while sitting, bending, lifting, and twisting. Chronic neck pain can also come from the cervical spine, with pain radiating to the head, shoulders, arms and hands.
The bottom line is that if you are experiencing pain you may also have some degree of degeneration and it’s a good idea to do whatever it takes to keep it from advancing.