Degenerative disc disease is often, in part, a result of aging. As people get older, there is less fluid in the discs, which means that they are not as capable of providing cushioning for the spinal column and nerves. People may also experience tears and cracks in the outer layer of the disc, which can allow the fluid inside to be forced out, causing the disc to bulge or rupture.
People who are overweight or obese are more prone to degenerative disc disease because there is more pressure on their spines.
An acute injury can cause a tear in the outer portion of the disc, which can cause the onset of degenerative disc disease. When degenerative disc disease is allowed to persist, it can lead to other painful conditions that include bone spurs, arthritis, nerve damage, and spinal stenosis.