Inflammatory arthritis is a major cause of disability in the elderly. This condition causes joint pain, loss of function, and deterioration of quality of life, mainly due to osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Currently, available treatment options for inflammatory arthritis include anti-inflammatory medications administered via oral, topical, or intra-articular routes, surgery, and physical rehabilitation. Novel alternative approaches to managing inflammatory arthritis, so far, remain the grand challenge owing to catastrophic financial burden and insignificant therapeutic benefit. In the view of non-targeted systemic cytotoxicity and limited bioavailability of drug therapies, a major concern is to establish stimuli-responsive drug delivery systems using nanomaterials with on-off switching potential for biomedical applications. This review summarizes the advanced applications of triggerable nanomaterials dependent on various internal stimuli (including reduction-oxidation (redox), pH, and enzymes) and external stimuli (including temperature, ultrasound (US), magnetic, photo, voltage, and mechanical friction). The review also explores the progress and challenges with the use of stimuli-responsive nanomaterials to manage inflammatory arthritis based on pathological changes, including cartilage degeneration, synovitis, and subchondral bone destruction. Exposure to appropriate stimuli induced by such histopathological alterations can trigger the release of therapeutic medications, imperative in the joint-targeted treatment of inflammatory arthritis.