We performed magnetic resonance imaging of the lumbar spine on 66 asymptomatic subjects and found that 12 (18%) had either a disc protrusion or herniation. An additional 26 (39%) had a bulge that was associated with degenerative disc disease. We also found examples of spinal stenosis, narrowed nerve root canals, osteophytes, and vertebral body involvement with multiple myeloma. Degenerative disc disease is a common finding in asymptomatic adults that increases in frequency with age. It occurs more frequently in men and usually involves more than one level. The most common location is L5-S1.