What Is Overexertion?
There are various occupations and hobbies that require repetitive and continuous activities that could stress the body and mind. This can lead to overexertion, as evident in discomfort, pain, or injury. Overexertion occurs when you push yourself too hard. There are certain factors that determine how early overexertion occurs, and how severe it is. Some of these factors are:
- medical history
- environment or workplace
- certain activities
Overexertion can also cause strains, sprains, or fractures.
5 Causes of Overexertion
Repeated movement of the joint or muscle over a long period of time can lead to overexertion. Such repetitive movements can cause pain and discomfort, as well as put a strain on the body. Some of such repetitive movements are:
- playing musical instruments
- kicking, hitting or throwing a ball
- training for sports
- sewing or knitting
- using a computer mouse
- typing or writing
- working on an assembly line
Overexertion may come from doing a task incorrectly. This can stress the bones, muscles, joints, and connective tissues, thereby causing overexertion injuries. Here are some of the common improper techniques that cause overexertion:
- standing in awkward positions
- taking wrong postures during exercise
- lifting items incorrectly
- sitting with poor posture
- not wearing knee pads while kneeling
- using the wrong equipment
Sudden Body Movements
A sudden, forceful movement can cause overexertion and lead to injuries like:
Doing activities continuously without regular breaks can cause overexertion. There are some activities that particularly cause fatigue if you don`t take breaks while on them. Strenuous exercises and over-training for a sport or physical fitness are some of such activities. You can also develop mental overexertion after focusing on a cognitive activity such as studying for a long period of time.
Engaging in activities in extreme temperatures, whether too hot or too cold, may cause overexertion because the body finds it difficult to maintain its normal temperature. This is common with outdoor manual labor and exercising outdoor.
5 Symptoms of Overexertion
Depending on the cause of overexertion, fatigue can be physical or mental. Physical fatigue comes with symptoms such as:
- hurting limbs
- persistent soreness
- slow recovery after training
- poor physical performance
Mental fatigue comes with some other symptoms such as:
Whether your fatigue is physical or mental, ensure you rest and maintain healthy lifestyle habits such as:
- eating nutritious meals and snacks
- doing mild forms of exercise
- staying hydrated
- getting adequate sleep
Pain is a common sign of overexertion. Such pain can be sharp, achy, tingling, burning, throbbing, or pinching. Stop any activity that makes you feel this way and rest immediately. See your doctor if the pain worsens.
An overuse injury, also called a repetitive strain injury, develops slowly over time. Some of the common overuse injuries are:
- tennis elbow
- carpal tunnel syndrome
- stress (hairline) fractures
Overuse injuries have symptoms such as:
- weakness in the affected area
Some of these symptoms only come up when you’re doing a specific activity. You should see a doctor if you have any of these symptoms. A common treatment for overuse injuries is the RICE treatment which stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Other treatment options are:
- steroid injections
- securing the affected area with a splint or brace
- medications to reduce pain and inflammation
- exercises to strengthen the affected area
- changing your technique and avoiding positions that worsen the affected area
Increased Injuries or Sickness
Overexertion causes difficulty in healing after engaging in strenuous activities. It also impairs immune health and makes people more prone to sickness. If you experience frequent injuries or sickness, you should consider taking a break. Eating healthy meals and getting enough sleep can help your body recover fast.
If you find it difficult to breathe during a physical task, you should consider reducing the intensity of the activity. Breathe deeply to help your brain and body get adequate oxygen, as well as help your body relax.
How to Avoid Overexertion
- Stretch and warm up your muscles before getting on any activity.
- Take periodic breaks if you stay in the same position for many hours.
- Exercise regularly.
- Learn the proper techniques for the tasks and exercises that you do.
- Avoid overexercising.
- Switch up your routine as often as you can.
- Lift heavy objects with your legs, not your back. Bend your knees before lifting heavy items, and keep the items tucked close to your body.
- Take off a day each week to rest.
- Don’t take up so many tasks so quickly. Slowly increase your activity duration, intensity, and frequency.
- Rest after strenuous or repetitive activities.
If you feel overwhelmed or mentally exhausted from work, parenting, or daily stressors, try taking some of these steps outlined below.
How to Deal with Mental Exhaustion
Reduce your Workload
Excessive work can endanger your mental health. Find ways to reduce the work you do. There are tasks that you can delegate. For instance, you can get people to help with duties like childcare, running errands, or caring for loved ones.
Dedicate time to rest. Try scheduling a vacation, or just clear your calendar for a few hours to focus on doing other activities that will brighten your mood and get you relaxed.
Try Relaxation Techniques
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is essential for emotional, mental, emotional, and physical well-being. You should get at least 7 to eight hours of sleep every night.
Keep a Gratitude Journal
Constantly facing and thinking about challenges can bring about mental fatigue. You can keep a journal to remind yourself of the things that you’re thankful for. This will help you to remain positive and focus on the good things instead of those that don`t work.
Seek Medical Treatment
There are situations in which home remedies may not suffice to combat overexertion. Try speaking with a mental health professional or therapist who can help you cope with mental exhaustion and stress.
Using Meditation to Combat Mental Exhaustion
Meditation will give you inner peace, cause the brain to alter its neural pathways, as well as increase its resilience to stress. People who meditate often are more likely to attain a calm state of mind and relaxed nerves.
Meditation will help you to have new perspectives about life and your endeavors. It will also help you focus on the present, increase your self-awareness, and reduce negative emotions. Regular meditation will also get you to be more patient and tolerant.
Now that you Know…
Overexertion is usually a result of repetitive movements, sudden motions, and prolonged effort. It may also be due to incorrect technique or working in extreme temperatures. It may bring about fatigue, pain, and higher vulnerability to injuries. Overexertion can be both physical and mental. You`re advised to take regular breaks to avoid overexertion.