Degenerative disc disease (DDD) is not really a disease but a term
used to describe the normal changes of the discs in the spine as a person ages.
The breakdown of the discs can result in back pain, neck pain, or other problems.
Age-related changes that cause DDD include a loss of fluid in the
discs and tiny tears or cracks in the outer layer (annulus or capsule) of the
disc. A sudden (acute) injury leading to a herniated disc may also begin the
Pain from DDD is first treated with ice or heat and with
over-the-counter medicines. If you develop health problems such as osteoarthritis, a herniated disc, or spinal stenosis, you may need other treatments. These include physical therapy and exercises. In some cases, surgery may be recommended.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.