The term "arthritis" refers to an inflammation of a joint. Arthritis can reduce strength and mobility for performing even the most routine of chores around work or home. It is one of the most common disabling conditions, but can be managed through diet, exercise, education, and care.
Arthritis affects approximately one-third of all adult farm and ranch operators and is considered one of the leading causes of disability by customers of the USDA AgrAbility Project. With the average age of the American farmer climbing above 57, increasingly more farmers will find tasks difficult to complete. Many agricultural workers do not know they may be at risk of developing arthritis.
As the spring season begins, keep in mind a few simple solutions that can be implemented to help control joint stress and pain in farming situations: wearing quality, non-slip footwear; using appropriate assistive aids; proper posture when sitting for long periods of time in tractors; using the largest joint possible to complete a task; avoid gripping and grasping for long periods of time; simplify jobs and tasks and pace the amount of time working throughout the day; avoid jumping off of tractors or wagons.
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