Degenerative Disc Disease

Your back will show signs of wear and tear as you age. Over time, spinal discs may deteriorate or become damaged. This condition is known as degenerative disc disease, a progressive deterioration of the spinal discs and joints of the spine. Sometimes this issue can be a cause of pain. Degenerative disc disease may also contribute to the formation of bone spurs and a narrowing of the spinal canal that can lead to spinal stenosis. For some, degenerative disc disease pain can be manageable, and for others it is debilitating. Our team of neck and back specialists will help you understand the cause of your back pain and develop a treatment plan you are comfortable with.


  • Back or neck pain that may develop into pain, numbness, or tingling extending into your leg, buttocks, shoulders, arms, or hands
  • Pain that increases with movement
  • Pain that improves with position changes
  • Stiffness or limited range of motion


  • Injury to the back – these can affect disc health over time
  • Loss of fluid in the discs over time
  • Breakdown of cartilage in the spine over time
  • Disc herniation
  • Excess weight

Risk Factors

  • Occupations that require repetitive or heavy lifting
  • Injury to the back
  • Improper posture
  • Family history of back problems
  • Lack of exercise
  • Excess weight 
  • Smoking


  • Description of your symptoms and medical history
  • Physical examination to evaluate the affected areas
  • X-ray to show arthritic bone changes
  • MRI to evaluate spinal nerves and discs

Treatment Options

  • Physical therapy
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory and other medications for pain relief
  • Injections
  • Surgery