Mild disc degeneration is a normal part of the aging process and is generally not a problem in and of itself. However, for certain individuals an even relatively mildly degenerated disc may cause pain of varying intensity. DDD is thought to be one of the most common causes of persistent low back pain. Disc degeneration is not technically a disease, but rather a condition in which the discs dry out and shrink very slowly over time. Once discs begin the process of degeneration, potential related problems may arise in the spine due to the shrinkage, e.g. facet arthritis, muscle guarding pain.