Cellular senescence is a contributor to intervertebral disc (IVD) degeneration and low back pain. Here, we found that RG-7112, a potent mouse double-minute two protein inhibitor, selectively kills senescent IVD cells through apoptosis. Gene expression pathway analysis was used to compare the functional networks of genes affected by RG-7112, a pure synthetic senolytic with o-Vanillin a natural and anti-inflammatory senolytic. Both affected a functional gene network related to cell death and survival. O-Vanillin also affected networks related to cell cycle progression as well as connective tissue development and function. Both senolytics effectively decreased the senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP) of IVD cells. Furthermore, bioavailability and efficacy were verified ex vivo in the physiological environment of degenerating intact human discs where a single dose improved disc matrix homeostasis. Matrix improvement correlated with a reduction in senescent cells and SASP, supporting a translational potential of targeting senescent cells as a therapeutic intervention.