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ToYoungforThisTToYoungforThis Posts: 150
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:23 AM in Degenerative Disc Disease
I know DDD can effect anyone and is a normal aging process. But i would like to know is how many of us suffer from the age 30 and younger. There are alot of us that suffer from extreme pain and restrictions from the effects of DDD.

Any information on age at onsight of symptoms, surgeries, what treatment options?

Thanks you this site has helped me so so much with all the information and stories shared here really help dealing with the effects of spine diseases.



  • Hi, I am 27. I have had back pain my whole life. I fractured vertebrae in my lumbar spine when I was 10. I have had the worst pain over the last year. I received the DDD diagnoses the other day... when reading my RX for epidural injection. The PM never mentioned DDD to me at all... just wrote it down under diagnoses on the RX...

    My Aunt has DDD. She has been suffering since a car accident years ago. I believe she was in her mid 30's when her problems began.
  • Is DDD the same as spondylosis?,,,patsy
  • I am 28, found out I have DDD at the age of 27 when I had an MRI after falling at work. My Dr claims that DDD, bulging disc, and an annular tear shouldn't cause pain (and therefore can't tell me why I hurt all the time).
  • where did he get his MD? at the local print shop?
  • No its not the same DDD is just the short term for Degenerative Disc disease, but most pople with disc problems have DDD.

    But Lady Bug get a brain MRI that will tell you if you have MS don't Dr. let you think that is the cause of your pain. if it is Not. The issue of MS is a sensetive subject I had a Dr try to tell me I hd the sings of MS he was a big jerk bout the pain issues. So I went an got an MRI and it showed neg.

    Found a new Dr. after that and finally getting the proper treatments.

  • I think it's because it's WC, that way I still have to work. WC even rejected my Tridural (tramadol er) RX payment, saying it's not related to my condition. I'm trying to get my films from WC and go down to the states for a decond opinion (hard to get one up here).
  • thanx for letting me know its not the same,
    i have had 4 mri's of the brain in the last 2in a half years.
    and a spinal tap. patsy
  • hi yea my name is carol my husband was told in april this year that he had DDD and as had pain in his back and cant sit down for long cant walk for long and his right foot goes numb but the gps that we have been to say that the ddd will not give him the pain we have asked for a MRI and have been told not yet he as even had physco as well but the pain is still there some days it only 5-10 and some days its 9-10 the physco said that the pain that goes to his brain he as to block well tell me how can you do that gp dont look at it as the DDD so what is it then please help
  • DDD and Spondylosis...

    To my knowledge and understanding, DDD (degenerative disc disease) is the dehydration "drying out" of the disc material in the spine. If looking at your MRI films or CD, you should see gray or lighter coloration where the disc space is between the vertebrae. If the disc is "dried out", it will appear black or dark, and you usually will see the height of the space between those 2 vertebrae is shorter than the vertebrae that appear "normal". DDD is a common condition that eventually happens to most, if not all, of us as a natural process of aging. Some of us just seem to have symptoms with it while others would never know it was going on if they didn't have an MRI. Also some of us seem to have it more accelerated than others, meaning it occurs younger in us than in other people. I first learned of mine in 2002, when I was barely 28. To learn more about how to read your MRI, go here: www.chirogeek.com

    Now, Spondylosis is one I'm not as familiar with, but to my understanding, Spondy is related to arthritis in the spine.
    Perhaps someone else will chime in here with more info on Spondylosis, but in the meantime I'm sure you can find more info on this site, or by Googling Spondylosis.

    I hope this helps.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,733
    spinal conditions. The name Disease just portrays something that is so negative. In reality, DDD is not a disease, it is really the aging of the spine. You might find this in many articles, that DDD can be akin to the graying of our hair
    Most people by the time they reach 30 will already show some signs of DDD. Trauma, Accidents and Surgery can also speed up that process. Even with that most DDD cases are manageable.
    A good approved exercise program and over the counter medications (ie NSAIDS) can go far in controlling the discomfort associated with DDD.
    Its only in the rare and severe cases of DDD is surgery required.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Thanks for the clarity Dilario.

    I am 35 and had unstable spondy which for those who are familiar means there was too much movement btn the lower lumbar vertebra and mine had slipped. The 2 disc are also involved as they have had too much "wear and tear" than they would have done normally. But I admit I did used to smoke which is bad for discs too.

    I guess it depends on exactly what your discs are doing that has given rise to the diagnosis DDD - are they dried, torn prolapsed?? I don't think you said.
  • I was told last year after my back went out and had MRI's of the cervical and thoracic that it was DDD. I was 33 at the time. Then I blew out L4-5 and had DDD in L5-S1. It has progressed rather quickly after my microdiscectomy. By the time I was ready to have a fusion done, L5-S1 was severely degenerated and I have it in L4-5 still. It snowballs in some people once it's found. DDD can set you up for problems like herniations, spondylisthesis, bones spurs, stenosis. And it doesn't matter how old you are. I had one doctor tell me when this all began, that my back looked like I've been in a terrible MVA and I was too young to have it look like that.
  • I was diagnosed this year (I'm 19!!). It's been difficult to grasp...I am a softball/volleyball/cross country person and since I hurt my back I've been at a standstill with all sports, with the exception of swimming and some walking. I've been doing PT for about 3 months, and that helps with some of the things but I just want to go back to the way it was before!

    Has anyone done the steroid injection to shrink the disc down?
  • I started out 12 years ago with a moderate herniated disk in the lower lumbar region and went through PT and three injections to attempt to shrink the disk. It did help and shrink the disk but not all the way down. Usually, once the disk is damaged, you could very well have future issues with it.

    Likely, if you continue you previous sports, and the doctor already says you have DDD, you could re-herniate it at any time. I went through repeated herniations doing mild activity and just recently tore the disk.

    In a nutshell, The injury won't just go away and can't repair itself because disks have no blood supply. You will probably need to eliminate activities of moderate to heavy lifting, no bending excessively and continue home PT excercises as much as possible to restrenthen the core muscles in the lower back. Then if your lucky, you'll have a long period of close to normal living.
  • i was diagnosed at 14 w/spondylolithesis L5 and had a spinal fusion. the surgery went great-- i was able to play sports, get back to normal, and maintain my athletic lifestyle.

    I am now 20 and see a neurologist now for chronic skull pain and chronic migrains. and after my insisting he did an MRI of my lower back b/c of pain and found that i now have DDD and minor misalignment.

    I'm going back to my spinal doctor to get specifics and Tx. options.

  • I heard if you have a CT with contrast it shows if there's damage that the MRI may have missed. Also a discogram. I would find a new Dr. if I were you. I also live in Canada and find it hard to get referrals but there are a lot of family Drs available especially in the city. Sorry you have to work while in pain. I hear the annular tear can hurt. I have one too. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I was diagnosed with DDD when I was 17 and it took me several years to get that diagnosis. I started having bad pain when I was about 14, it was hard for me to sit at the desks in school. Because of my age however no one took me seriously and I didnt get the MRI/diagnosis until i was 17.

    Im 22 now and its getting worse..I just got a new MRI that now shows disc changes at multiple levels instead of just one.

    I honestly believe that degeneration etc in young people is not as rare as doctors make it out to be. I think that they have issues with believing that young and otherwise healthy people could have a real problem. I was a size 0 when this started and they kept telling me to lose weight and do more sit ups. Low and behold I had a real problem. There are a few people on the boards here that I have spoken too that had the same thing happen to them. Its very unfortunate.
  • IM 28,

    Sports and heavy lifting at work did me in I guess.
  • im glad to know that other young people are going through what im going through makes me feel less on my own. im 20 years old and have been diagnosed with DDD along with several annular tears. im on my way to see a specialist tomorrow although im not optimistic. my mom had the same thing happen to her at 40 that im having to deal with at 20. i cant afford surgery or crazy expensive injections and the medication im on (robaxin and lortab) leaves me lifeless. im tired of complaining all the time that i hurt or the comments and looks from people who find out im on serious pain medicine. its like no one believes me that i have back pain becuase i am so young. ~X(

  • Hi! I found this sight and have been reading, it is nice to know I am not the only one who gets frustrated with pin issues! I have as my Dr. says severe DDD, I have had to have 2 surgery's one at T11-12 and other in neck (can't remember disks) due to DDD. The disks are gone pretty much. At T 11-12 they did not know at first what it was an infection, cancer or just degeneration because the MRI showed a big white blob around where disk was. Had a disk o gram (fun stuff) and found out which disk was bad, because I have so much radiating pain all the time it is hard for them to pin point.
    I have been on so many medications to try to help, I am now on vicoden, robaxin, lyica, amitrptyline for sleep, and percocet for my really bad days.
    I have applied sor social security and was denied, I have not gotten a layer. I tryed to go back to work after my last surgery of my neck and lasted 2 and 1/2 months it was crazy for how much I had to increase my pain meds so I quit.
    I had not worked before that for over 2 yrs. I think? I really wanted to be "better" but I'm not~ my life has been turned up side down due to chronic pain and I cant do the things I use to enjoy. I hope I can find this sight agin and figure out how to find the blog on it. (I'm a computer dummy so bear with me.)
  • I'm 20 now. Diagnosed DDD at 19. Lived in full work as a stable hand for Gold and silver medalist Eric Lamaze with a herniated disk because of DDD. I'm now 1 week 3 days post op for a microdiskectomy. Crazy stuff.
  • When I found this site, I thought I was the young one! I'm 32 and my Dr. says I have the back of a 68 year old! I have 75% degeneration in my L5-S1 and 25% in L1 through L5 with 3 bulging disc and one protruding. I also had trama at a young age...I trained horses from age 8 to 18 and had many falls, one resulting in a broken hip that was never identified and didn't heal properly. It's good to know that I'm the only one. My last doctor didn't take me seriously, so I changed. (unfortunately I have an HMO, so I had to change primaries). The new one doesn't seem much better, but at least she gave me something for the pain. I've been on 1000mg of naproxen for 10 weeks and still haven't seen any affect from it!

    It seems from reading many of these posts that this isn't something that has a "quick" fix to it. I have a one year old and everyone keeps telling me to avoid lifting things!

    It's interesting that many of you are also talking about migrane headaches. I had migranes for most of my pregnancy and i started having problems with my back right after I delivered. The migranes have subsided now, but there must be some connection?
  • Im 28 with the same thing L4-S1. We all just gotta keep hope that itll work out for the best and you have to make the best of your situation. I know its not always easy but I see a lot of people out here sounding very desperate.
  • I beg to differ bolsapirate.

    S~H is full of people who are quite the opposite.99% of the people you see posting here are asking questions and sharing what information we can to help learn,and to make our lives easier and more knowledgeable about our spine issues.

    Educating ourselves is preferable than sitting in front of the television listening to laugh tracks,and can actually calm our spirits.

    Maybe you are confusing desperation with fear and confusion.A lot of new members come here scared after just being diagnosed or finding out they have to deal with spinal surgery-and that can be frightening.It's not long until those new members learn more about their respective spine issues and feel a lot better.

    Then S~H is blessed with another knowledgeable member who can share their experiences and bring comfort and even smiles into the lives of other new members.

    Yes we are a desperate bunch-desperate for information,comfort,and other people who understand what we are going through or have been through!
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