Skip to main content

Spine Center

Degenerative Disc Disease

Our Spine Center doctors specialize in nonsurgical and surgical evidence-based treatments.

Although everyone experiences some wear on their spines at some point in their lives, not everyone develops degenerative disc disease (DDD). Not technically a disease, the condition is a wearing away of the discs located between the spinal vertebrae, that act as shock absorbers for the back.

Once a disc is injured or starts to wear, it can't repair itself. It can take years, but eventually the degeneration of the disc may begin to cause back pain.

This degeneration is most common in active people over 30 and can be due to:

  • The disc drying out with age causing decreased shock absorption
  • Daily activities, such as exercise, sports, and physical exertion, that tear the outer core of the disc
  • Injuries that cause swelling, soreness and instability of the disc, resulting in lower back pain


Signs & Symptoms

  • Pain in the lower back that may radiate to the buttocks, legs, hands, or arms, depending upon where the worn disc is located
  • Severe pain that comes and goes, and ranges from discomfort to disabling pain
  • Back pain that is worse when seated due to three times more pressure that sitting puts on the discs
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands, legs, or feet
  • Pain that worsens with bending, lifting, or twisting
  • Less pain when changing positions, lying down, walking, or standing

Diagnosis & Treatment

The spine specialists at the Kelsey-Seybold Spine Center diagnose degenerative disc disease through the use of imaging technology, such as X-rays and MRI. We will then develop a treatment plan for you that may include nonsurgical options such as acupuncture, bracing, and medication. In most cases of DDD, surgical treatment is not necessary.

If you have frequent back pain and suspect degenerative disc disease may be the culprit, or if you are seeking nonsurgical treatment for DDD, contact the Kelsey-Seybold Spine Center today.

​​​​​By Phone

Our Contact Center is here to serve you, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.