While most discs in the spine show signs of degeneration by age 60, back pain does not necessarily occur.
Degenerative Disc Disease
Degenerative disc disease is a condition that is commonly misunderstood. A degenerated disc is not actually a disease—it is part of the normal aging of the spine. When a spinal disc degenerates, it loses its ability to function efficiently as part of the spinal joint, which in turn can lead to back pain and possibly pain that radiates through the extremities.
The focus of treatment for degenerative disc disease is to restore daily life through enhanced fitness, ergonomic changes, and improved posture.
For people with painful flare-ups from degenerative disc disease, the main treatment goals will usually include pain control, exercise and rehabilitation, and lifestyle modifications.
How a Disc Becomes Painful
Before taking steps for long-term rehabilitation and pain control, it is often necessary for a patient to get relief from a flare-up of intense, debilitating pain associated with lumbar degenerative disc disease.