Degenerative disc disease (DDD) is not really a disease but a term
used to describe the normal changes of the discs in the spine as a person ages.
The breakdown of the discs can result in back pain, neck pain, or other problems.
Age-related changes that cause DDD include a loss of fluid in the
discs and tiny tears or cracks in the outer layer (annulus or capsule) of the
disc. A sudden (acute) injury leading to a herniated disc may also begin the
Pain from DDD is first treated with ice or heat and with
over-the-counter medicines. If you develop health problems such as osteoarthritis, a herniated disc, or spinal stenosis, you may need other treatments. These include physical therapy and exercises. In some cases, surgery may be recommended.
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & Robert B. Keller, MD - Orthopedics
The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.