Posted by: Kelley Dees | October 7, 2011

Farming and Ranching with Arthritis: Part 1

Arthritis affects many in the United States each day. Approximately 31 percent of Americans clinically diagnosed with arthritis report experiencing limitations in their normal work routine. More than 50 percent of those were age 75 or older.According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 27 percent of adults in Wyoming report living with some form of arthritis. That’s 104,000 adults in Wyoming!

Ranchers and farmers have physically demanding jobs and they are heavily affected by this disease, which can reduce their ability to perform everyday tasks efficiently and to the best of their ability.

Ranchers with arthritis should take extra precautions when working with livestock to reduce the chances of further or secondary injuries. Adding gates and panels to limit direct contact can assist while sorting, treating, or shipping animals. Dairy farmers may consider automatic milking unit detachers to reduce the number of times they must bend and reach.

Automatic gate openers or cattle guards and automatic hitching systems allow easier access and reduce the number of times a farmer or rancher with arthritis must mount and dismount a tractor or other vehicle.

Remember that working with your doctor to manage arthritis is the best approach. Stay educated, work smart, and learn to work with, rather than against, your arthritis.

Check out our post next Tuesday, where we’ll address ways to help alleviate symptoms and allow performance of day-to-day tasks.

This information is provided courtesy of the Wyoming AgrAbility Project. For more information, visit our website or call toll-free at 866-395-4986.

This information is adapted from Wyoming AgrAbility 2008 Newspaper Insert.

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