Overexertion injuries are also known as ergonomic injuries. They cause soft tissue disorders to muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, joints, cartilage, blood vessels and spinal discs. The symptoms of an overexertion injury range from posture problems and intermittent discomfort to tendinitis, chronic pain and disability.
Some of the leading causes are work that involves:
- Lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling, reaching or stretching
- Repetitive motion
- Awkward positions
- Sitting or standing for long periods of time
- Using excessive force
- Temperature extremes
Overexertion knows no age boundaries, is costly and widespread. It was the second-leading cause of emergency room visits for adults age 25-64 in 2013. In 2012, it accounted for 35 percent of all work-related injuries, cost more than $15 billion in worker’s compensation, and was the No. 1 cause for lost work days.
Overexertion also knows no boundaries when it comes to professions. In 2014, government workers led with 72,050 injuries, followed by education and health services (68,720), manufacturing (46,040), retail (42,720), and transportation and warehousing (38,960).
Overexertion injury meets its match in simple exercises
You can prevent overexertion injuries through regular exercise, stretching, and strength training to maintain a strong core. Some other keys include:
- Keeping your back straight and using your legs when lifting
- Limiting repeated motions
- Taking breaks from sustained positions every 20-30 minutes
Even a desk job poses risks. Protect yourself by using a foot rest, adjusting the height of your computer and keeping frequently used items within easy reach.
It’s especially important to report signs of overexertion injuries before they develop into major injuries. Some of the telltale signs include pain, swelling, numbness, tingling, tenderness, clicking sensations and loss of strength.
You cannot overexert your rights
Overexertion injuries are frustrating because it is difficult to pinpoint exactly when and where you became incapacitated. For that reason, your employer may express doubts that you are injured at all or try to blame you.
In the meantime, you are unable to work, to pay your bills, or to provide for your family. The company’s insurer may make a lowball settlement offer because they know you are desperate for money. If you’re trying to navigate the workers’ compensation system, that’s an entirely new level of frustration.
Fortunately, the workers’ compensation attorneys at Kotlar, Hernandez & Cohen, LLC, have been fighting for the rights of injured workers like you since 1995. We will aggressively negotiate on your behalf and, if necessary, pursue litigation to secure justice and a fair financial settlement.
Contact us at our New Jersey offices in Mount Laurel Township, Cherry Hill, Trenton and Vineland, or at the Pennsylvania office in Feasterville-Trevose, for a free consultation.