UNL Extension Educator Says Wheels, Task Modifications Can Ease Arthritis Pain

Oct. 28, 2013

LINCOLN, Neb. — Arthritis can be a debilitating disease for farmers and ranchers, reducing mobility and physical strength, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension educator said.

"We estimate that there are over 50 million doctor-diagnosed cases of arthritis," said Sharry Nielsen, UNL extension educator. "To accommodate some arthritis related limitations people can consider some solutions."

One solution uses a very ancient technology, the wheel.

Nielsen said that farmers and ranchers can use wheeled devices such as wheelbarrows to transport seed, feed and equipment, which eliminates heavy lifting and puts less stress on joints.

Nielsen suggested using ergonomically designed tools that are of a lighter weight to reduce joint stress, pain and fatigue.

"Many farmers think that pain is just part of the job," she said, "but there really are some steps that they can take to prevent the pain of arthritis."

To help prevent arthritis, the Nebraska AgrAbility Project has created a brochure describing a series of daily stretches to help joint health.

To view the brochure and other information about arthritis, go to: http://www.agrability.org/Resources/arthritis/index.cfm.

Sharry Nielsen
Extension Educator
Kearney County

Heather Haskins
Student Writer

Sandi Alswager Karstens
IANR News Service