Degenerative disc disease is a common tern used to describe changes that can occur along any area of the spine (cervical, thoracic, lumbar) as you age. It’s not actually a disease, but rather a condition where discs degenerate, or lose their flexibility and ability to cushion your spine.
These age-related changes may include:
• The loss of fluid in your discs
• Tiny tears or cracks in the outer layer (annulus or capsule) of the disc
Degenerative disc disease may result in back or neck pain, but this varies from person to person. Many people have no pain, while others with the same amount of disc damage have severe pain that limits their activities. In severe cases, when DDD results in pressure on the nerves, it can lead to numbness, tingling, and even weakness in the arms or legs.