What is Degenerative Disc Disease?
Degenerative Disc Disease is a term used to describe the breakdown of spinal discs in the back that occur naturally with age. Spinal discs are shock absorbing discs located in between the vertebrae that help your back stay flexible, so you can bend and twist. Degenerative Disc Disease generally occurs in the cervical spine or the lumbar spine but can happen anywhere along the spinal column. When the outer part of a disc bulges out, it causes inflammation as the proteins in the disc space irritate the surrounding nerves. The outer rings of the spinal disc, called the annulus fibrosus, can also get worn down to where they cannot absorb stress on the spine effectively, resulting in movement along the vertebral segment causing pain.