In between each pair of vertebra in the spinal column is a disc which acts like a shock absorber.
These discs change with age and may degenerate due to wear and tear, smoking, or genetics. The gradual deterioration and narrowing of the disc is called degenerative disc disease.
As the disc weakens, it starts to collapse and the bones of the spine compress. Degenerative disc disease can affect any level of the spine and cause local pain in the neck, mid- or lower back.
Degenerative disc disease may start to affect people in their 20s and 30s, and the pain can come and go over the years. It is fairly common: some level of disc degeneration is considered a normal finding in people older than 60 years of age.
There are many treatment options available, today. To find the treatment that suits you best, contact your physician.