Chinese Medical Sciences Journal ›› 2016, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (3): 185-191.doi: 10.1016/S1001-9294(16)30049-9

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Etiology for Degenerative Disc Disease

Dhungana Hemanta, Xiao-xing Jiang*, Zhen-zhou Feng, Zi-xian Chen, Yuan-wu Cao   

  1. Department of Orthopedics, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai 200032, China
  • Published:2016-09-20 Online:2016-09-20
  • Contact: Tel: 86-13901790767, E-mail:

Degenerative disc disease is a multifaceted progressive irreversible condition and an inevitable part of aging, which has been found to be a contributing factor for low back pain and might cause radiculopathy, myelopathy, spinal stenosis, degenerative spondylolisthesis, and herniations. Its etiology is complex and multifactorial. Although genetics influence more dominant, the occupational and mechanical influences still persist as a major risk factor. This review emphasizes up-to-date knowledge regarding etiology of disc degeneration with special consideration on occupational, lifestyle factors, and genetic polymorphisms.

Key words: degenerative intervertebral disc disease, cervical spine, genetics, back pain

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