Welcome to the forum.
I can tell you for sure that this is the work of sucking pests. Most likely mites of some sort, though aphids can do this as well (but aphids are easier to see -- you might want to examine the damaged areas under high magnification but you need at least 60x to 100x to see the mites).
All of MY last winter while I was growing them indoors, I had similar issues and I had blamed it on Tomato Russet Mites because the tomatoes had them, but Imafan, another member here, mentioned possibility of Broad Mites infesting the peppers with these exact results you are seeing -- the new emerging growing points are attacked so that bumpy brown/russeted nodes are all that remain. I also saw same symptoms on my citrus plants.
When every possible growth points are damaged, the stem cannot grow and the plant will have to resort to developing new shoots closer to the base. Many of my tomatoes and peppers both had to start over from scratch -- all upper growths had been damaged by the mites beyond recovery, and new shoots grew from the leaf nodes near the bottom of the plant or even from the base of the main trunk.
In my case, I relied on ladybugs (which I purchased and released on the plants in the house) and predatory mites -- I knew some were already present on these indoor plants -- then when the weather warmed enough, I put the plants outside in areas where I knew the predators are plentiful. Some recovered -- new growths were not attacked, some died. But I had enough seedlings/plants to grow for the season and have some harvest, though I did lose some of the varieties I wanted to grow. Some recovered magnificently -- I intend to go over my notes and make special note that these varieties might be resistant.
If you can'y rely on predators, you will have to put your plants under miticide regimen, spraying or dipping every 4 to 5 days. My understanding is that you will need to use some kind of oils-based insecticide. Neem oil is often mentioned. A friend in Germany (not a member here) uses a home made mixture of rapeseed oil, a drop of soap, baking soda, and water (I will need to look up her recipe). Be aware that miticidal treatments will also kill predatory mites. (This is why I didn't use them)