Farming with Arthritis

Farming with ARTHRITIS has its problems. The good news is that by using modifications you may prevent further injuries and reduce arthritis pain.


  • ADD A STEP with non-slip material to farm machinery to help with getting on and off farm machinery safely.
  • SUSPENSION SEAT could be installed on your tractors or a SEAT CUSHION with lumbar support and ADJUSTABLE ARM RESTS added.
  • ADDITIONAL MIRRORS could be added to the inside and outside of the tractor cab. You can see what is happening behind you without twisting your back.
  • COMMUNICATION TOOLS, such as a cellular phone or two-way radio, can help save unnecessary trips and can be used in the event of an emergency.  
  • SPINNER KNOBS or ENLARGED HANDLES can be used to help with grasping or if you have a limited range of motion. 
  • PORTABLE STOOL and UTILITY VEHICLE will allow you to SIT DOWN as much as possible to lessen joint pain from prolonged standing and/or walking.  
  • KNEE PADS can be used when working on the ground.  
  • GLOVES can be worn to protect your hands. 
  • THICKER GRIPS can be used on tools and utensils to help with your grasp.  
  • CUSHIONED MATS can be placed around your work area to help reduce pain in your joints.  
  • AUTOMATIC or SELF ADJUSTING TOOLS, such as ratchets, power tools and air tools, can prevent repetitive motion.  
  • MANY LOW COST MODIFICATIONS can be used on your farm to prevent further injury. 

A portion of the information shared from: Arthritis Foundation and Missouri AgrAbility Project Fencepost Newsletter Volume 9, Number 1.

For further information please contact the NY AgrAbility Project, Cornell Agricultural Health and Safety Program, 777 Warren Road, Ithaca New York 14850 or by phone 1-877-257-9777. The New York AgrAbility Project can not guarantee the effectiveness of any suggestions, solutions or recommendations. The New York AgrAbility Project is administered by Cornell University through funding provided under the United States Department of Agriculture CSREES project number 2002-41590-01372.

Disclaimer and Reproduction Information: Information in NASD does not represent NIOSH policy. Information included in NASD appears by permission of the author and/or copyright holder. More