Five main causes of degenerative disc disease

Degenerative disc disease causes neck and back pain in many people. It is a common spine condition characterized by the deterioration of the spine’s discs. These discs are located in between vertebrae and act as shock absorbers in the spine, allowing it to bend and twist. Discs that experience degeneration are more brittle and prone to damage like herniation, which can cause a range of painful symptoms.

Now that you understand what degenerative disc disease is, you are probably wondering what causes it to develop. Some of the most common causes of degenerative disc disease include:

  1. Aging. Most commonly, degenerative disc disease is caused by the natural aging process. The spine’s discs inherently weaken over time, making older people more susceptible to degenerative disc disease.
  2. Participation in high-impact sports. Sports like football and hockey put a large amount of stress on the spine and this stress can cause the discs to degenerate at a more rapid rate than in those who don’t play sports.
  3. Traumatic injury. Similar to playing sports, a traumatic injury, like a car accident, can result in damage to the spine and cause the spine’s discs to weaken.
  4. Obesity. Having to support extra weight can cause the spine’s components, including the discs, to deteriorate sooner and faster than in people who maintain a healthy weight.
  5. Genetics. Some individuals are genetically predisposed to experience disc degeneration at a more rapid rate than others.

Patients whose degenerative disc disease causes symptoms despite several weeks or months of conservative treatment are encouraged to contact Laser Spine Institute to learn about the benefits of undergoing our minimally invasive outpatient surgery, which include shorter recovery times and less risk of infection than that of open spine surgery.^ Be sure to request a free MRI review* from our team to determine if you are a candidate for our procedures.