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Understanding and Preventing Overexertion

Published August 16, 2019 by Matt Fendon Law Group | Workers' Compensation

Overexertion refers to injuries of soft tissues that result from pushing the body past its limits. This may happen acutely, as when a laborer in Arizona attempts to lift a load that is too heavy and pulls a muscle. It can also occur over time, as when an office worker irritates the tendons of the upper extremities with awkward work positions and/or repetitive motions. Overexertion injuries are not always work-related, but according to the National Safety Council, 35% of all work-related injuries stem from overexertion.

Workers in all types of industries may be prone to overexertion. Statistics for 2014 show that overexertion injuries had the biggest impact on workers in the fields of government, education and health services. Manufacturing, retail trade, transportation and warehousing also saw fairly significant numbers of overexertion.

Fortunately, overexertion injuries are preventable. Healthline offers the following pieces of advice to people who want to avoid overexertion in the workplace and the painful conditions that can result:

  • Knowing and respecting the body’s natural limitations
  • Stretching and strength training as part of regular exercise routines
  • Utilizing ergonomically designed workspaces
  • Practicing good posture
  • Using proper lifting techniques
  • Taking frequent breaks

With preventative measures like these, as well as the proper treatment to address the issue at its source, the pain of an overexertion injury often resolves in due course. Left untreated, however, it may develop into a chronic issue like osteoarthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome. For this reason, it is important for workers who believe they may have a work-related overexertion injury to file a workers’ compensation claim as soon as possible.

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