On May 31 you can join the 2014 Walk to Cure Arthritis in Traverse City and stroll along the beautiful Lake Michigan shoreline! The Walk to Cure Arthritis raises funds and awareness to fight the nation’s leading cause of disability. It isn’t just helping the millions of people who live with arthritis pain, but also funding research that’s getting us closer to a cure. The event is at Holiday Inn, West Bay, and features a three-mile and one-mile course. It seems appropriate to take a walk in support of arthritis research, since research shows that moving the joints is one of the best treatments for arthritis! So what does this have to do with Karate Kid?
One of the few movies I watched in my youth was Karate Kid, but I distinctly remember the car waxing scene. The wise old trainer taught the young student to wax a car. Around and around and around circled the arm, and the student fussed over why he was doing all this work. Wasn’t it supposed to be karate lessons? Next he was scrubbing the deck. WHY?
Only later did it become clear that scrubbing the deck and waxing the vehicles was the exact motion needed for blocking opponents punches! The work itself was the training. A job was completed, and the training was accomplished.
This same idea of work being the therapy applies to tradesmen and women with arthritis conditions. If exercise and activity are crucial parts of arthritis treatment, why not have an active job and keep the joints moving at work? It is a win-win situation where a person can have productive activity and maintain their health at the same time. Of course there should be proper tasks that do not cause the arthritis to worsen. Occupational Therapists are trained to help people make transitions back to safe work levels after an injury, so they should be consulted to evaluate appropriate work tasks for a person’s condition.
In addition to guidance from an Occupational Therapist, a worker returning to work to gain strength can benefit from using assistive technology to reduce the strain on sensitive joints. The activity of working will keep the joints moving for arthritis health sake, but the adaptive tools can reduce the pain from heavier tasks. Some examples from www.DisabilityWorkTools.com are below.
Many workers can’t lift heavy gas cans to fuel outdoor power equipment. This gravity flow fuel station is designed to be mounted on a metal surface such as a trailer frame that is higher than the gas tank on the power equipment being fueled. This gravity flow fuel station can then be filled at a gas station, hauled back to the work site, and emptied into power equipment such as lawn mowers, generators, snow blowers, log splitters, etc… by simply squeezing the handle at the end of the hose. It is no longer necessary to lift a 40-pound gas can to fuel small power equipment.
All terrain creepers help workers do projects low to the ground without crawling or scooting on their backs. Changing oil in tractors, repairing tillage tools and many other shop tasks require the worker to work on his knees or laying down. The creeper has large tires and a padded platform for the worker to lay/recline on while working under equipment. The large tires let it roll over bumps or hoses, while the platform is very low so it can roll under vehicles and other equipment. The All-Terrain Mobile Creeper has rubber casters/wheels, where most all terrain type creeper wheels are PVC.
The Shoulder Dolly is designed to encourage proper lifting techniques when lifting heavy or awkward items. Workers with arm injuries can use this tool to lift heavy items and not worry about losing their grip. Lift with your legs and shoulders with far less strain on the back and arms. Great for: construction workers carrying and installing cabinets; plumbers carrying and installing appliances; homeowners moving furniture; and more!