Clinically, a large number of patients have persistent low back pain attributable to intervertebral disc (IVD) degeneration. After the concept of biologically regenerating the degenerated IVD using growth factor injection was first proposed in early 1990, the advancement of molecular technology to produce recombinant proteins, including growth factors, on an industrial scale accelerated research in this field. The purpose of this review is to summarize the most recent findings of the in vitro and in vivo effects of growth factors on the IVD and, further, to discuss the limitations of growth factor therapy and its clinical implications.