Osteoarthritis (OA) and intervertebral disc degeneration (IVDD) as major cause of chronic low back pain represent the most common degenerative joint pathologies and are leading causes of pain and disability in adults. Articular cartilage (AC) and intervertebral discs are cartilaginous tissues with a similar biochemical composition and pathophysiological aspects of degeneration. Although treatments directed at reversing these conditions are yet to be developed, many promising disease-modifying drug candidates are currently under investigation. Given the localized nature of these chronic diseases, drug delivery systems have the potential to enhance therapeutic outcomes by providing controlled and targeted release of bioactives, minimizing the number of injections needed and increasing drug concentration in the affected areas. This review provides a comprehensive overview of the currently most promising disease-modifying drugs as well as potential drug delivery systems for OA and IVDD therapy.Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier B.V.