Our spinal discs act as shock absorbers in the spine, giving us flexibility and allow us to resist different forces of motion. Everyone’s spinal discs will experience some degree of wear and tear with age. But only some people will actually develop degenerative disc disease, a condition that occurs when a damaged disc causes pain. It can lead to a wide variety of symptoms that range in severity.
According to Cedars Sinai, the typical person with degenerative disc disease is active and in his or her 30s or 40s. They’ll also be experiencing more pain and discomfort than the average person, particularly in their lower back and down their leg. To get better informed on this topic, let’s take a look at the most common symptoms of degenerative disc disease, as well as the potential causes.
What is Degenerative Disc Disease?
Degenerative disc disease is an age-related disease that occurs when the normal wear and tear of our spinal discs starts to cause pain. Spinal discs are these rubbery discs that sit between the vertebrae (or bones) in the spine to absorb shock and allow us to stand up straight. They also keep us flexible, allowing us to move freely, by bending and twisting. They also provide height.
Naturally, as we get older, they tend to break down or not work as well, says WebMD. For most people, the normal wear and tear of these discs doesn’t lead to any severe pain, but for people with degenerative disc disease, it will. We all get some form of back pain from time to time, but anyone with severe or chronic pain, particularly when sitting for long periods of time may be a result of this condition.