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What Is Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD)?

Dr. Ron Daulton, Jr.

Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) is a condition where a spinal disc (or multiple discs) will start to deteriorate. It is actually a form of arthritis of the spine. It usually occurs due to past injuries or overuse of the affected area, but essentially what is happening is that the center of the disc will start to dehydrate (lose water), which causes the disc to become shorter.

You can see a picture of how this happens below:

Image of Degenerative Disc Disease

Photo Courtesy of 3D Virtual Consultation For Doctors

Why Is This Condition So Painful?

The real problem with this condition is that the nerves of the spine are located directly behind each spinal disc. So, when the disc shortens, the amount of space that the nerves have to leave the spine also becomes smaller. This adds pressure to the nerves, which can be very painful.

In addition to that, once the disc starts to flatten, it will also begin to develop bone spurs. These are calcium deposits that build up on the edges of the bones. This can also cause a lot of pain because these spurs will also intrude upon the spinal cord and nerves.

Is This Condition Related To A Person’s Age?

Many people think that DDD only happens to older individuals – this is not the case. This is a condition that is the result of abuse and overuse of the spine. It can also develop if you had a previous spinal disc condition (like a bulging disc) that never healed properly. If left without proper treatment, the disc will deteriorate more quickly and turn into this condition.

In the next section of this article, I’m going to be going into more detail about what causes the symptoms when a person suffers with a spinal disc condition. This is actually going to be a very important part of this article, because in order to understand the treatments that are recommended, you will need to have a basic understanding of how these types of conditions cause pain.

So you can click here or click the Next button below to continue reading this article as I’ve prepared it.

I’ve also added a Table of Contents at the bottom of this page so you can skip to other sections of this article if there is something else you feel is more urgent to learn about at this time.

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