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I was told I have DDD, but what is Degenerative Disc Disease?

Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) is not really a “disease,” but rather a term used to describe a condition that develops gradually and worsens over time. DDD indicates that the discs in the spine are the primary cause of the symptoms, and that the degenerative changes are advanced. To some degree intervertebral discs lose their flexibility, elasticity, and shock absorbing characteristics as we age. Abnormal or excessive mechanical stresses/injuries of the past coupled with hereditary, developmental, and metabolic influences can rapidly accelerate this process.

As the involved disc dries out and loses height, it causes the vertebra to become closer together which narrows the holes through which the nerve roots pass. A dry, hard disc can absorb less shock and is more easily torn. This results in a greater likelihood of herniation or bulge which further compresses or pinches the nerves.

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