Degenerative Disk Disease (DDD) is the term often applied to the intervertebral discs (which are between the vertebrae in the spine) when they “degenerate” or break down. During the process of aging, the spine undergoes normal wear and tear and sometimes the discs dry out and shrink. This process of disc degeneration can lead to increased pain, arthritis, disc herniation, or spinal stenosis. DDD can occur in any area of the spine, but often occurs in the lumbar spine. Imaging (X-RAY etc) may or may not correlate with DDD. Common symptoms are low back pain, pain into the buttocks or posterior thighs and low back stiffness. Pain is often aggravated by heavy physical activity and alleviated by resting, especially lying down. DDD is most common in individuals with a family history of DDD, who smoke, have excess body weight and are middle aged.