The tough fibers along the outer portion of the disc have torn and the viscous gel within the disc has come out. This causes inflammation and pressure (pinching) upon the nerve root which can cause pain.
The tough fibers along the outer portion of the disc have been overly stretched and are bulging into the spinal canal. This causes inflammation and pressure on the nerve root, both of which can cause pain.
When a spinal canal has gotten smaller in diameter. Typically caused by arthritic changes, bulging and/or herniated discs, and overgrowth of bones and/or ligaments. These patients usually have pain when walking or prolonged standing.
An abnormal lateral curve of the spine. If the curve becomes significant enough, it may lead to worsening arthritis and degenerative disc disease.
Arthritis of the spine. Usually this results in non-radiating pain, especially first thing in the morning and towards the end of the day. This initially improves upon awaking within one to two hours. This occurs in everyone as we age but some have it much worse than others.
Dehydration of the disc. This occurs in everyone as we age. Can be a contributing cause of a disc bulge or herniation.