What Is Degenerative Spine/Disc Disease?

Degenerative spine/disc disease (DDD) involves degeneration of the discs, ligaments, and joints of your spine. While these changes are typical of the aging process, they are considered a "disease" when the symptoms interfere with your quality of life. 

DDD can occur anywhere in your spine, but it is most common in the cervical spine (neck) and the lumbar spine (lower back).  Degenerative spine/disc disease can cause pain anywhere in your back. It can also cause pain, numbness, or weakness in your arms or legs.

Degenerative spine/disc disease is the most common of all spine disorders. Risk factors for degenerative spine/disc disease include:

To diagnose degenerative spine/disc disease, doctors at The Mount Sinai Health System conduct a thorough physical examination. Your doctor may also order a diagnostic MRI, X-ray, or CT scan.


While some spinal degeneration occurs with normal aging, it does not always cause symptoms. The best way to prevent symptoms is to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle, perform weight-bearing exercises to maintain strong bones, and not smoke. 

We can help

If you have back pain or think you may have degenerative spine/disc disease and would like to schedule an appointment, please call:

Tanvir Choudhri, MD, 212-241-8560

Arthur Jenkins, MD, 212-241-8175

John Caridi, MD, 212-241-9517

Nirit Weiss, MD, 212-241-6820

Hongyan Zou, MD, 212-241-8628



Contact Us

Tel: 1-800-MD-SINAI (800-637-4624)