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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Intervertebral disc disease


* Not a rare disease
Other Names for this Disease
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • IDD
  • Intervertebral disc degeneration
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Intervertebral disc disease (IDD) is a common musculoskeletal condition that primarily affects the back. It is characterized by intervertebral disc herniation and/or sciatic pain (sciatica) and is a primary cause of low back pain, affecting about 5% of individuals.[1][2][3] Both environmental and genetic factors are thought to predispose an individual to developing the condition.[3] Treatment for IDD may include physical therapy, pain medications, and sometimes surgical intervention such as discectomy or spinal fusion.[2]
Last updated: 3/12/2012


  1. Virtanen IM et al. Occupational and genetic risk factors associated with intervertebral disc disease. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). May 1, 2007; 32(10):1129-1134.
  2. Sakai D. Future perspectives of cell-based therapy for intervertebral disc disease. Eur Spine J. December 2008; 17 Suppl 4:452-458.
  3. Noponen-Hietala N. et al. Genetic variations in IL6 associate with intervertebral disc disease characterized by sciatica. Pain. March 2005; 114(1-2):186-194.
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In Depth Information

  • The Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is an catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Intervertebral disc disease. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.