Harvesters at high risk for injury, but avoid doctors

Stooped over a 5-gallon bucket while wielding a clam rake in heavy, wet sand left by a receding tide? It’s hard work, but that’s where the clams are. The same holds true for hauling traps from the bottom of the ocean floor onto a lobster boat – if you want to sell lobsters. The Downeast Health Research Collaborative conducted a harvester health study led by Dr. Tora Johnson, a University of Machias professor who comes from a family of Downeast fishermen. The connection between injuries and pain and substance misuse is well known, but among fishery harvesters, the risk is high. “Chronic pain is the driver for most opioid use and misuse,” student Lauren Sachs said at the Northern Light Health symposium. To compound the issue, harvesters are self-employed and often are uninsured or underinsured for health care. >click to read< 18:39

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