Degenerative Spinal Disorders Causes and Treatment
Degenerative spinal disorders are a combination of problems in the spine that involve a loss of normal structure and function. These disorders can be associated with damage to the disc caused by the normal effects of aging, but may have a variety of other causes as well.
The discs between the bones of the spine are made up of cartilage, fibrous tissue, and water. With age these discs can weaken and may flatten, bulge, break down, or herniate. Disc herniation, a common cause of pain associated spinal degeneration, occurs when the fibrous portion of a disc weakens and the disc nucleus pushes through and puts pressure on nearby nerves. In addition, a degenerating disc also may cause bony growths that can place additional pressure on the spinal cord.
Source: http://nyp.org/health/degenerative-spinal-disorders.html (causes section)