IVD degeneration is the most recognized cause of low back pain, characterized by the decline of tissue structure and mechanics. MRI relaxometry is one quantitative measure of IVD degeneration, yet MRI metrics of mechanics have not been fully explored. We quantified patterns of IVD strain and mechanics during physiological compression and bending. Strains patterns depended on the loading mode, and shear modulus in the nucleus pulposus was typically an order of magnitude lower than the annulus fibrosis, except in bending, where the apparent stiffness depended on the loading direction. Strain and material properties provide new possible biomarkers for IVD degeneration.