Posted by: Kelley Dees | October 11, 2011

Farming and Ranching with Arthritis: Part 2

Last Friday, we discussed the ways that arthritis plagues farmers and ranchers. Today, we’ll discuss several steps that can help alleviate symptoms and allow performance of day-to-day tasks on the ranch or farm:

  • Avoid long durations of gripping or grasping objects tightly; build up handles or levers with padding to reduce the amount of grip needed.
  • Avoid jarring motions or shocks when operating or servicing equipment. Never jump from equipment and take breaks to stretch and walk.
  • Maintain proper posture.
  • Move around, don’t stay in the same position for extended periods.
  • Use power equipment to move and hoist heavy objects when possible.
  • Use caution when entering and exiting equipment. Climb one step at a time leading with the weaker or more painful leg. Consider installing additional grab bars or step extensions.
  • Wear good-quality shoes with proper fit to support feet and ankles to relieve pressure, absorb shock, and reduce pain. Use assistive aids such as handles extensions, canes, etc. Aids such as simple splints can be used to support weak finger and prevent deformities.
  • Use hot and/or cold treatments to help reduce pain.
  • Practice simple daily exercises such as rang-of motion, strengthening, and fitness or endurance exercises to reduce chances of painful movement or potential deformities. Walking, bicycling, and swimming are examples of exercises that may help alleviate symptoms.
  • Conserve energy by pacing tasks, and match them with times you are most able to complete them.

If you or someone you know has additional ways they continue to farm and ranch with arthritis and you would like to share, please contact us at the website or phone number listed below.

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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