What could be causing stiffness and pain mainly in the joints in the fingers and toes that is also affecting wrists, ankles, and knees?
Arthritis.. There are many different kinds. Some occur after a significant trauma to a joint, or with gradual wear-and-tear over time, but if you're having pain and swelling in multiple joints on both sides of your body, you may have an autoimmune disease, like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or psoriatic arthritis. Check with your doctor to see if blood tests need to be run for confirmation.
I have repeated painful swollen joints I have been told it is gout I have had the joint fluid analyzed 4 times and there have never been any crystals negative rheumatoid panel it affects fingers wrist foot ankle heel knee usually one at a time occasionall
RF - rheum arthritis. You could have rheumatoid factor negative (rf-) rheumatoid arthritis. Not likely gout without crystals in fluid. Other possibilities are pseudo gout or lupus. You may want to see a rheumatologist.
Uric acid. Have your uric acid checked.
Check w your rheum. Having 4 negative joint aspirations makes gout less likely. Other multi joint problems (poly articular arthropathies) may not show up on rheumatoid panels, though a general inflammation test such as an ESR or CRP will normally be elevated). You should get a diagnosis bc many good medications are available to treat rheumatologic diseases today.
Other ways. To check for gout would be elevated uric acid in blood and by way of 24 hour urine. Tapping the joint is the definitive way. There are reasons the tap could be negative, however, I would advise a rheumatology work up with complete bloodwork to rule out causes other han gout.
Small joint pain. Another possibility is psoriatic arthritis if some scaling skin or nail disease/dryness. Have seen many cases of this where fingers and toes are swollen one at a time along with generalized aching joints. Also have a lyme disease test //aso and consider infectious precursor (bacterial or parasitic organism, e.G, tick-born illness if you have visited or lived in ne areas us) to this disease process.