If you live long enough, the chances are you will have degenerative disc disease. It’s why we shrink as we get older. Basically, our discs dry up. Occasionally this can happen prematurely to a young person, which makes it a disease. Otherwise it is a normal part of aging.
Disc Pain: If a disc is painful, it’s worse when you go forward (lumbar flexion), not back (lumbar extension—facet pain). Usually pain is described as low back pain, but a lot of discs that are degenerated also are bulging or protruded; so they can hit a nerve and cause radicular pain (pain down the arm or leg).
Treatment Options: Physical therapy, epidural injections, or a surgeon can remove the discs very similar to herniated disc. There is no current therapy to make the disc go back to normal, but stem cells will likely be a treatment for this in the future.