Low back pain (LBP) is one of the most common health problems in people’s lives, which brings a massive burden to clinicians, and the leading cause of LBP is intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD). IDD is mainly caused by factors such as aging, mechanical stress, and lack of nutrition. The pathological mechanism of IDD is very complex, involving inflammatory response, cell metabolism disorder, and so on. Unfortunately, in the current treatment of IDD, only relieving symptoms as the primary means of relieving a patient’s pain cannot effectively inhibit or reverse the progression of IDD. Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) is a multifunctional pro-inflammatory factor involved in many diseases’ pathological processes. With the in-depth study of the pathological mechanism of IDD, more and more evidence has shown that TNF-α is an essential activator of IDD, which is related to the metabolic disorder, inflammatory responses, apoptosis, and other pathological processes of extracellular dissociation in the intervertebral disc. Therefore, anti-TNF-α therapy is an effective therapeutic target for alleviating IDD, especially in inhibiting extracellular matrix degradation and reducing inflammatory responses. This article reviews the pathological role of TNF-α in IDD and the latest research progress of TNF-α inhibitors in treating IDD.