Disc degeneration, also known as disk degeneration, is part of the normal aging process. In young people, the discs are very elastic and have high water content. As people age, they naturally loose the disc molecules responsible for its elasticity and water content. This process is known as disc degeneration.
Genetic predisposition, overuse, or injury can accelerate the degenerative process. As disc elasticity wanes and the central disc becomes soft, more stress is transferred to the fibrous tissues surrounding the central disc (the annulus). With time, fibers in the overloaded annulus begin to fail, the annulus bulges, and the disc becomes narrower (shorter).
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