What is Degenerative Disc Disease?
The truth of the matter is, it’s not actually a disease, but a condition in which a damaged disc causes pain. Since we all age as we go through life, our discs will start to show different signs of wear the more strain it gets. Even though everyone’s discs will deteriorate, that doesn’t mean that everyone will have degenerative disc disease. A wide range of symptoms can occur and the severity will depend on the condition of the disease and what stage of health the disc is it.
Spinal discs are like small shock absorbers between each of the bones in your spine. They are designed to help you be limber and flexible while also handling terrific forces in many different motion planes. Each disc has two parts: a firm outer layer and a soft jelly-like inner layer. The outer portion contains the nerves and if the disc tears in this area, it can become very painful. The inner part contains proteins that can cause the tissues they touch to become swollen and tender.
Besides aging, traumatic events or even repetitive motion can also lead to accelerated deterioration.