Overexertion: causes, symptoms, and tips for prevention

Do you feel worn out all the time? Do you feel a sting of pain every time you try to do some physical labor? If yes, you need to give immediate attention to it, you might be suffering from overexertion. With people pushing themselves harder than ever and striving to be perfect, the cases of overexertion has increased manifold in recent years. Its symptoms are so common that they are often ignored by many. But ignorance of overexertion can have some dire consequences.

So let’s take a look at all we need to know about overexertion.

What is overexertion?

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If we look at the literal meaning of overexertion, it consists of two words, ‘over’ meaning more than usual and ‘exertion’ meaning physical and mental effort. A person’s physical endurance depends on age, gender, tolerance level, strength etc. Overexertion is using your body beyond its limit.

Overuse of one’s body while working or exercising or while playing sports can lead to overexertion. This, in turn, can result in injuries like sprain and strain. Sprain in tearing and stretching of ligament while strain in tearing and stretching of tender.
Overexertion can be both physical as well as mental.

Causes of overexertion

⦁    Overworking.
⦁    Sports.
⦁    Exercise.
⦁    Working or sitting in the wrong posture.
⦁    Lifting heavy weights for a long period of time.
⦁    Improper sleeping and eating habits.

Symptoms of overexertion

The signs of overexertion are quite palpable. Although it is mostly ignored by many. Following is a list of symptoms that need your attention.

Chronic injury/ overuse injury

If you had an injury a long time ago but you can still feel the pain, then it’s alarming as this might be a sign of overexertion. If you have soreness in a region or an aching sensation or joint pain, in such cases, it’s suggested to take rest and consult a doctor.

Excessive pain

If you are doing some physical work and all of sudden you feel a pain in muscles involved then you have overexerted yourself. You need to slow down and take a break. This might happen even when you are lifting weight or heavy objects.


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If your mouth is always dry, and you are having urination issues then your body is running out of fluids. Especially in summer when you work out extensively and sweat profusely without taking enough fluid.  It’s the most common symptoms of overexertion and might result in cramps.


Overexertion will make you feel worn out all the time. In addition to it, you may feel dizziness, chest pain and can have breathing issues. It’s advised to take proper rest in such situation.

Being unable to speak properly

While doing anything that involves physical labor if you find it difficult to speak or your words are not coming out of your mouth then you are overexerted. Stop whatever you are doing and take deep breaths. Ignoring this will only result in aggravation of the problem.

Tips to prevent overexertion

If you wish to ignore overexertion following tips can be of great use:

  • Avoid lifting heavy weights and objects as it may break down your muscles. This can serve as a cause of fatigue. You need to be extra careful if you are doing weight training. It’s better to know your limits and work accordingly.
  • Many problems in the human body are caused just because of our ignorance. Try to maintain correct posture while working, standing or sitting. Looking at your computer screen for too long or slouching on your chair or hiking up your shoulder can put a lot of pressure on just one muscle and lead to strain and sprain.
  • Restrain from during anything that puts a lot of pressure on one part of the body. Avoid repeating the same movement regularly.
  • Exercise regularly, warm up before starting with exercise. Do proper stretching but if you are feeling too tired and exhausted it’s better to take rest, stop for a while and then start again. While working out the blood sugar level decreases, its suggested to take snacks rich in carbohydrates in between. It helps you to avoid the wear and tear of muscles.
  • Drinking lot of water is also very beneficial when it comes to fighting overexertion. Hydrate every time you feel exhausted, drink water at regular interval of time. After you are done exercising, electrolytes in your body drop significantly. In order to replenish that you need to take a lot of fluid.
  • Take proper sleep, at least six hours a day, abstain from staying awake till late in nights. And eat properly, take balanced diet and include lots and lots of green vegetables in your diet. Improper eating and sleeping habits will only alleviate the chances of overexertion. Also, try to abstain from the consumption of alcohol.

Treatment of overexertion

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If you notice any symptom of overexertion, without wasting any time try to cure it. The most common problem that comes with overexertion is physical pain. The best remedy for this problem is heat treatment. Take a hot shower with Epsom salt in water. Do gentle stretching while taking shower. If you are feeling ace or your muscles are sore heat treatment can help you to get rid of it. You can consume anti-inflammatory pills if required.

  • Applying ice to the injured area can also be beneficial. Never apply ice directly to the skin. You can use a towel to apply ice.
  • Sleep on a proper pillow. Try to maintain the natural curve of your back.
  • Exercise regularly and eat nutritious food and sleep well.
  • If nothing is working consult a doctor ignoring the symptoms will only exacerbate your problem.

So do you think you are suffering from overexertion? If you feel tired and restless all the time then it’s a wake-up call. You need to stop, think and pamper your body.