Has rapamycin helped anyone’s degenerative disc disease (DDD)?

I’m a 33 year old male and physician, I have a history of intermittent bouts of weight lifting but otherwise an unremarkable lifestyle. A few months ago I developed neuropathic pain and tingling in my legs/feet and also occasional hand/arms. Imaging shows multilevel degenerative disc disease and other mild-moderate signs of spinal aging. I don’t think direct disc impingement on nerve roots is the main issue as a steroid burst effectively all but eliminates the symptoms, so it seems to be primarily an inflammatory process. All my labs are normal except elevated CRP (although when tested I was also recovering from strep). I have no significant past medical history other than very mild intermittent asthma.

I’m really saddened by this new issue as it really affects my quality of life, and it just happened seemingly randomly, I wasn’t lifting weights recently nor did I injure myself in any other way.

I just started my first dose of rapamycin 1mg today with plan to slowly ramp up the dose but was wondering if anyone has had similar issues and whether Rapamycin helped, or any other recommendations.

I’m following the back rehab program by Stuart McGill from Back Mechanic book.


Sorry to hear that.
Are you using any medication except rapamycin or are you using supplements? If so I would look for side effects of those and the symptoms you are having in Google + prompting for studies, in case there is any case reports matching. I’m not a doctor and this isn’t medical advice by the way, also feed all data you have into GPT4 or Claude 3 Opus in case they can find something novel with good prompts (see Anthropic manual) as the intelligence of the models improve this will be more and more useful, so it’s worthwhile to look into now IMO.

Hi Brandon, welcome to the site.

Have you seen this part of our website, from this thread: The Case for Starting Rapamycin Earlier in Life (e.g. late 20s) vs middle age (e.g. 50s)

Spinal Health

Also - when you look at spinal disc degeneration that comes with age you see that rapamycin reverses some of the effects of age on the spinal disc , but only about 50% (very roughly). While this study was done in older monkeys and looked at spinal disc regeneration, I suspect that the results for preservation of the discs would be much better if rapamycin was started earlier. As with all these areas, more research needs to be done.


Thanks for your reply and welcome, and yes I did do a search before I posted and I saw that, which is one reason I decided to give rapamycin a try. And I’ve seen personal reports on here of rapamycin improving general aches and pains but I didn’t see anyone post specifically about their personal experience with DDD.

Great book. Hoping you get some relief.

Hi Brandon, great to have another doctor on the forum!
As I’m gaining more experience over the last 4-5 months with patients on rapamycin, one of the things that is a recurring theme, is symptomatic improvement in patients with DDD and also osteoarthritic symptoms. It’s not 100% of the time- but I’ve had some folks go from thinking they were going to need a back procedure, to reversing that thought process.
I’ve not specifically prescribed Rapamycin for that indication - but it is something to add to the potential benefits.


Thanks for mentioning that- that is certainly encouraging and hopeful

Hi Brandon,
Any feedback on your progress?

My wife got injured while squatting and we are considering rapamycin as the doctor told her she had to live in pain for the rest of her life (she’s 25)

Yes, rapamycin definitely helps my symptoms (by as much as 90%) but only as long as I take it. I tried stopping and symptoms came right back, although only tried it for a few weeks total so far.

But it really depends what the issue is. If you have a herniated disc then the issue is mechanical pressure from the disc into nerve roots. In my case, I don’t have any herniation, only disc degeneration and probably a disc annular fissure causing a local inflammatory reaction that then highly sensitizes the nearby nerves.

So rapamycin helps because my issue is primarily inflammatory but if it’s more structural then it may not help as much.

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Tell us more. Sounds bizarre.