At birth, vertebral discs are comprised of approximately 80% water. As we age, discs lose their ability to retain water, making them less capable of performing their role as spinal shock absorbers. They cannot regenerate and heal on their own as muscles do because they do not have a sufficient supply of blood and oxygen to support healing.
Symptoms: DDD affects the strength of the discs that cushion the vertebral column and can result in micromotion instability in the spine as well as painful back spasms. Symptoms are not progressive and will often dissipate on their own as the body resettles the ruptured discs.
Treatment Options: Surgical intervention is often necessary if DDD is severely affecting the quality of life of the patient. Oftentimes, spinal fusion can alleviate the instability and pain associated with DDD.