There are several diabetes-related joint problems that can cause inflammation and stiffness of the hands, according to Diabetes Self-Management. Some examples are diabetic stiff hand syndrome, carpal tunnel syndrome and trigger finger.
These disorders usually do not cause much visible swelling, but they can drastically limit hand mobility. Carpal tunnel syndrome can be very painful and causes the fingers and hands to feel numb, states the Diabetes Information Library. Trigger finger is caused by an increased level of collagen in the joints and can cause the fingers to shorten and bend inward toward the palm. This restricts the ability to fully open the hand.