Degenerative disc disease is typically associated with aging. As you age, your discs can degenerate and become problematic. Degenerative disc disease involves the intervertebral discs, which is the cushion between your vertebrae in your spine. They help your back carry weight and allow complex motions of the spine while maintaining its stability.
As you age, the discs can lose flexibility, elasticity, and shock absorbing characteristics. They also become thinner as they dehydrate. When all that happens, the discs change from a supple state that allows fluid movement to a stiff and rigid state that restricts your movement and causes pain. Developing degenerative disc disease is a gradual process. Although most degenerative disc disease patients respond well to non-surgical treatments, such as cortisone injections, some patients do need surgery. Surgery should be considered only after you’ve tried several months of non-surgical treatment