A relative of mine was experiencing severe back pain and, based on x-ray examination, was diagnosed with arthritis. I, myself, was diagnosed with arthritis in my big toe (painful!). However, after I started practicing IntuFlow (which includes mobilizing the toes), I have no chronic pain in my toes – yet another example of the benefit I have realized by training to build pain-free mobility and functional strength (CST). My relative’s diagnosis prompted me to do a little research on arthritis treatment (below). As I reviewed these articles, I observed that CST addresses all the recommended exercises for arthritis prevention and treatment.


  • Arthritis isn’t a single disease; the term refers to joint pain or joint disease, and there are more than 100 types of arthritis and related conditions. People of all ages, races and sexes live with arthritis, and it is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. It’s most common among women, and although it’s not a disease of aging, some types of arthritis occur in older people more than younger people.
  • Osteoarthritis (OA) is by far the most common type of arthritis. It can damage almost any joint but mainly occurs in the hands, spine, hips and knees. OA was once considered a wear-and-tear disease in which cartilage — the protective layer on the ends of bones — wore down after years of use. But with further research, the thinking about OA has changed. Doctors now know that OA is a disease of the whole joint, not just cartilage. Bones in affected joints become weaker, the connective tissue that holds the joint together deteriorates and inflammation damages the joint lining. Contrary to decades of belief, inflammation plays a key role in OA, just as it does in most other types of arthritis.
  • Metabolic or gouty arthritis — commonly known as gout — results from a buildup in joints of painful uric acid crystals. These are a byproduct of the breakdown of purines — substances normally found in human cells and many foods, especially red meat, organ meats, some seafoods and alcohol. Normally the body gets rid of excess uric acid, but when it doesn’t, it can accumulate in joints, causing sudden and intense bouts of pain, especially the big toe.

Arthritis Prevention (Healthline)

  • Def: a disease of the joints that results in pain and can lead to joint deformity and loss of function.
  • Three main types of arthritis: osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic arthritis (PsA)
  • Reduce risk of painful joints:
    • Eat omega-3s (salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines) twice a week. 3.5 oz serving. Wild-caught not farm raised. Nuts, seeds, eggs, fish oil, krill oil, cod liver oil
    • Maintain healthy weight
    • Exercise (do all four types)
      • Endurance/aerobic (walking, swimming, biking). 30 min 5x/week
      • Strength (lift weights, resistance bands, body weight). Builds muscles that support joints. Two 20-30 min sessions/week. 8-10 reps of each weighted exercise, 10-15 reps unweighted. Examples: Leg extensions, table pushups
      • Flexibility (stretching, yoga, Pilates). Move joints through entire range of motion. Prevents stiffness and reduces risk of injury. Stretch 4-5 days/week.
      • Balance (tai chi, standing on one leg, walk heel-to-toe). Helps prevent falls.
    • Reduce blood sugar. High blood sugar may lead to a constant state of low grade inflammation in the body.

Arthritis Pain (Mayo Clinic)

  • When you have arthritis, movement can decrease your pain and stiffness, improve your range of motion, strengthen your muscles, and increase your endurance.
  • Focus on stretching, range-of-motion exercises and gradual progressive strength training. Include low-impact aerobic exercise, such as walking, cycling or water exercises
  • Medication
    • Over-the-counter pain medications, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or naproxen sodium (Aleve) can help relieve occasional pain triggered by activity your muscles and joints aren’t used to.
    • Cream containing capsaicin may be applied to skin over a painful joint to relieve pain. Use alone or with oral medication.