Neck & Back

Degenerative disc disease is a common condition caused by regular wear and tear of spinal discs. The term “degenerative” indicates that the condition may worsen with time as the spinal discs will keep degenerating if left untreated. Though the condition can usually be managed using non-surgical treatment methods, in some cases, surgical intervention might be the best solution. If you have been experiencing any degenerative disc symptoms, consult one of the physicians participating in the Texas Health Spine and Orthopedic Center referral line. Continuing on the subject, in this blog post, we provide an overview of degenerative disc disease, including its symptoms and causes.

Degenerative Disc Symptoms

Pain Symptoms

The pain caused by degenerative disc disease commonly occurs in the lower back, buttocks, or upper thighs. The pain can come and go, can be nagging and severe, and may last up to months. The pain may also may intensify while sitting, bending, lifting, or twisting.

Read More: All you Need to Know About Spinal Stenosis

Sensory Symptoms

In some cases, degenerative disc disease can lead to numbness and tingling in arms and legs. In more advanced cases, there may be reduced or complete loss of sensation of touch, which means the problem has escalated to the nerves.

Other Symptoms

In some cases, muscle spasms, nerve injury, physical deformity, or stiffness can occur as degenerative disc symptoms. The condition can also lead to extreme weakness in the legs, making it difficult to even walk.

What Causes a Degenerative Disc?

Painful disc degeneration is common in the neck and lower back. These cervical and lumbar areas undergo the most motion and stress, and are most susceptible to disc degeneration. Some of the most common causes of disc degeneration are given below:

Dried Out Discs

During birth, our discs are mostly made of water. As we age, the discs lose water and start drying out and getting thinner. The flatter the discs, the less shock they can absorb, which makes them more susceptible to injury. The water loss also leads to less cushion between vertebrae, which can cause other spine problems.

Read Related: A Brief Guide to Degenerative Spondylolisthesis of the Lumbar Spine


The stress of everyday movements and minor injuries over the years can cause tiny tears in the outer wall of the discs, which contains nerves. Any damage to the nerves can cause painful symptoms. If the outer wall develops cracks, the disk’s softcore can push through the cracks, leading to a herniated disc.

Seeking Treatment for Degenerative Disc Disease?

If you or your loved one are facing any of the symptoms mentioned in the blog, we can help. Texas Health Spine and Orthopedic Center can connect you with experienced participating spine surgeons specialized in treating degenerative disc disease. To schedule an appointment with a degenerative disc specialist, simply call +1 888-608-4762 or fill out our online appointment form and we will take it from there.

Note: Physicians who are members of the referral program practice independently and are not employees or agents of Texas Health Spine and Orthopedic.



Mark Lessner

Orthopedic SurgeonPerformance Orthopaedics & Sports MedicineSports Medicine
Work Phone: 888-608-4762
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Roger Emerson

Orthopedic SurgeonTexas Center for Joint ReplacementHip and Knee Replacement
Work Phone: 888-608-4762
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Karim Elsharkawy

Orthopedic SurgeonTexas Center for Joint ReplacementOrthopedic Surgery
Work Phone: 888-608-4762
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Cori Grantham

Orthopedic SurgeonFulcrum OrthopedicsSports Medicine
Work Phone: 888-608-4762
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