Your symptoms do seem to qualify as part and parcel of degenerative disc disease. I too have lumbar disc degeneration. My diagnosis came right out of the blue about 9 years ago. I also have pain in my neck at times, and this is caused from cervical spinal stenosis. I have several pinched nerves in my lower lumbar spine and also have lumbar spinal stenosis. (which is narrowing of the spinal cord caused by the pinched nerves and osteophytes that have grown on my spine). Basically I have herniated discs in my entire spine. I think it depends upon the individual’s biology so to speak as to what medical challenges they may face in their lifetime. I would think that the exercise you had when dancing would have been the best for you. But it would also depend upon whether your bones were strong throughout your life, if you smoked during your life time, or consumed alcohol. Both of these tend to soften the bones. I was an office assistant and secretary for 40 years, so I spent lots of my days sitting at an office desk. And I really didn’t do much exercise when I was working. Now I know, that was a big mistake. Sitting for all of those years certainly wasn’t good for my spine. I also have developed idiopathic scoliosis over this period of time. Both of these medical conditions can be inherited, however, most doctors would say that wear and tear on the body over a long period of time, can contribute to these medical challenges.I have arthritis throughout my spine and body. I have practiced body/mind/spirit psychology since my diagnosis. I too have chronic pain. Some of my pain is from Osteoarthritis of the spine, hips, knees and feet. I only focus on the “moment”, and not the past nor the future. I try hard to put my focus on positive energy and something constructive to keep myself busy during the day. I web surf, play video games on my Wii Station (used to have a Play Station), and do some sort of exercise each day. I have to use a walker some of the time, especially when I am out of my home because scoliosis and spinal stenosis prevent me from walking like a normal person. I committed to doing exercise each day this past Spring and Summer. I take my walker and go walking for about 20-30 minutes each day. Exercise will help to keep one’s mind off the pain that we experience. And most of all it keeps the joints more limber. I am not a believer in pain medication, so I don’t take any meds other than an aspirin on occasion. Like most people who have these challenges, I also experience some nights of sleeping problems because I cannot settle like I would like to. My lower back pain sometimes causes my legs to be restless and my ankles and feet also hurt. I try to put on some type of socks on my ankles, not my feet when this happens to me and I also use Ben Gay, or something similar to reduce pain. The doctors have not given me many options for my challenges either. I was given the option of shots in my back, but won’t do it. I’ve read too many negatives about that. I also opted out of meds like Celebrex because they tear up my stomach. If you are taking meds such as this, that may be the reason for your acid reflux. I also have researched that subject as to scoliosis, and when the spine and ribs turn due to the scoliosis, one can experience stomach acid. I do feel for you that you have the medical challenges you do. I hope sharing this information with you will be of some help.