Swollen, stiff and painful joints, including the knuckles may be due to causes such as arthritis, gout or injury, according to WebMD. Arthritis due to wear and tear is osteoarthritis; however, there are other forms of the disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis, an inflammatory disease that affects people of all ages and infectuous arthritis, due to bacterial, fungal or viral infections. Infectious arthritis is more common in joints larger than the knuckles.
Gout is a disease due to uric acid deposits in the body, advises WebMD. Uric acid is a normal substance found in the human body; however, sometimes crystals of the chemical form in the joints or as nodules under the skin. In the joints, these crystals cause inflammation and pain. Uric acid crystals that form in the kidneys may become kidney stones.
An injury to the muscles or connective tissue surrounding a joint can cause inflammation, pain and stiffness, warns WebMD. Fractures are other injuries that lead to these issues.
Treatment for joint inflammation, stiffness and pain depend on the underlying cause of the issue, according to WebMD. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are common for use with arthritis and injuries. A doctor often prescribes colchicine for gout and may prescribe stronger pain medication than what is available over the counter.