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A guide to overexertion injuries at work

Working too hard may cause injuries. Physical overexertion at the workplace is a serious problem. Whether the nature of your work is intensely physical or you work long hours, you may be at risk of strains, sprains and musculoskeletal issues. 

Thankfully, most workplace overexertion injuries are preventable. If you want to reduce your risk of getting an injury while working, here is some important information about overexerting yourself. 

What is overexertion?

According to, common causes of overexertion injuries include:

  • Lifting heavy objects
  • Typing
  • Working in awkward positions

Sometimes the injuries that result from these behaviors are acute. You may be able to reduce or eliminate the pain with some medication and ergonomic improvements. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Without preventative measures or treatment, repetitive motions and working too hard can result in chronic problems.

What is chronic pain from overexertion?

One potential chronic complication is osteoarthritis. Symptoms of osteoarthritis include pain, tenderness or stiffness in your hands, fingertips, hips or knees. Another long-term overexertion injury is carpal tunnel syndrome, with symptoms of numbness, tingling and weakness in your hand and wrist.

Are there other dangers related to overexertion?

If you push your body too hard for long hours, you may experience fatigue. You may have fatigue if you experience irritability, depression, reduced cognitive function or dizziness. Dehydration is another common result of overworking. Signs of dehydration include dry mouth, cracked lips, tiredness and nausea. 

How do I avoid overexertion injuries?

To avoid these injuries and complications, you should use good posture, use safe lifting techniques, ask for help when necessary, take frequent breaks during challenging and repetitive tasks and take advantage of ergonomic workspaces. Your employer should help you avoid overworking. 

Sometimes a workplace injury does not occur all at one time due to an accident. In certain cases, it builds up over time from working too hard or too long.

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