Degenerative disease of the lumbar spine is exceedingly common. Whether any specific activity increases the likelihood of developing degenerative disc disease (DDD) or facet degeneration (FD) has enormous implications. Within the field of occupational medicine there are specific activities, occupations, and morphologic characteristics that have been related to low back pain. Several specific risk factors have been conclusively linked to low back pain, and in particular DDD and FD. Within the sport of American football, there has long been the feeling that many athletes have or will develop low back pain, DDD, and FD. Proving that certain risk factors present in football will predictably lead to an increase in LBP, DDD, and FD is more difficult. At this time, it can be said that football players, in general, increase their risk of developing low back pain, DDD, and FD as their years of involvement with their sport increase. Because specific spine injuries like fracture, disc herniation, and spondylolysis are more frequent in football players, the resulting DDD and FD are greater than that of the general population. The weightlifting and violent hyper-extension that are part of American football are independent risk factors for degenerative spine disease.