Discogenic pain is pain originating from a damaged vertebral disc, particularly due to degenerative disc disease. However, not all degenerated discs cause pain. Disc degeneration occurs naturally with age.
Once a fully degenerated disc no longer has any inflammatory proteins that can cause pain, the disc enters into a stable position. Hence, discogenic pain rarely occurs after 60 years of age.
As we age, our bodies undergo many changes. For example, our hair may begin to turn gray or thin. Similar gradual changes affect the spine’s structures, notably the intervertebral discs. Early disc degeneration may not cause severe pain or other symptoms, but when the degeneration becomes advanced low back pain may occur. Typically, this pain is associated with activities that increase the pressure within the intervertebral disc (called intradiscal pressure).
The Pain can usually be successfully treated with non-surgical treatments, such as pain medication and physical therapy and exercise, but chronic discogenic pain that is severe and limits the individual’s ability to function may need to be treated with surgery.