Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors

"What is degenrative joint disease of the spine?"


L2 thru L5


I recommend that you discuss this concern with a physiatrist. Degenerative joint disease or degenerative disc disease of the spine is an extremely common condition especially in people over the age of 40. It essentially occurs when the discs between the vertebrae begin to wear down because of age and general wear and tear on the body.

See a doctor who can help

Find a Chiropractors near you

It is this condition that causes our grandparents to seem to shrink over the years. It most commonly occurs in the lumbar spine (as in your) or the cervical spine. Degenerative joint disease of the spine can also cause low back pain. As the vertebrae start to move closer to each other, the joints or facets between them can start to rub together and cause pain. This is probably the main way in which degenerative joint disease in spine actually gets diagnosed. The best treatment for this kind of problem, assuming that no spinal stenosis exists and there are no nerves pinched, is physical therapy. Physical therapy can strengthen the core muscles around the spine and improve the alignment of the spine and improve the stability. The best type of physician for you to consult about this problem is a physiatrist also known as a physical medicine and rehabilitation doctor. This is the doctor that is most equipped to deal with low back pain and is very experienced in dealing with degenerative disc disease of the spine. Good luck.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.