Rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic inflammatory disease that can lead to articular cartilage destruction and periarticular bone erosion, which ultimately compromise joint integrity and function. Anti-inflammatory drugs and biological agents are commonly used to treat RA, but they cannot selectively target inflamed joints due to their systemic mechanism, short half-life, and low bioavailability. Therefore, these agents must be used at high doses that are delivered frequently, which increases costs and the risk of side effects. Drug delivery systems, such as nanoparticles, liposomes and micelles can significantly prolong drug half-life in the body and targeting delivery them into the joints. In this review, we introduce the pathogenesis and clinical diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis comprehensively, and summarize the recent advances in targeted therapeutic strategies especially nano-targeting systems for rheumatoid arthritis.