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Effective TMJ Treatments for Hikers: Keeping Your Jaw Healthy on the Trails

Traveling has always been a part of human culture and it’s more popular than ever before, thanks to the increased ability to explore previously inaccessible places. For many, traveling comes in the form of hiking, which can range from a simple stroll in the local pathway to a challenging journey through the wilderness. No matter your level of experience, however, hikers have to be mindful of their overall health including TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder) and the associated jaw pain that can occur.

Jaw injuries and muscle tension are common complaints for hikers. Studies show that jaw discomfort can often be treated naturally with good jaw exercises. These exercises can help to promote proper jaw alignment and can also help to reduce TMJ pain. Since each individual is unique, you should work with a healthcare provider (chiropractor or physical therapist) to ensure that the exercises you perform are the best for your unique situation.

Preventing and Avoiding Jaw Symptoms and TMJ Pain

The simplest way to keep your jaw healthy while hiking is to ensure that good posture is maintained. Keeping proper head positioning when walking will help to keep your jaw in alignment and reduce the likelihood of jaw pain. If you are a passionate hiker and are prone to muscle tension and injury, consider purchasing a neck pillow that helps to take the weight off your neck and jaw. Also, be sure to take stretch breaks even on short hikes and to have regular massages and chiropractic care to keep your muscles loose.

Natural TMJ Treatments for Hikers

There are also several natural treatment options for hikers to help them find fast relief from mouth and jaw pain experienced while traveling. Here are some of the most popular options:

Hot/Cold Therapy

Hot and cold therapy can help to reduce pain and improve muscle function. Try placing a warm, moist towel against your jaw and hold it on for 10-20 minutes. Follow this with a cold pack to help reduce inflammation and reduce swelling.

Massage and Relaxation

Having regular massages and relaxation exercises like deep breathing, visualization, and meditation can help to reduce muscle tension and pain in your jaw and mouth. Take time during your hike or when you are resting to practice relaxation techniques. This can help to reduce the pain experienced and can also help to reduce stress levels.

Chiropractic Treatments

Chiropractic care can have many benefits for hikers. Not only can it help to boost overall health and wellness, but maintaining proper spinal alignment and nerve function can also help to reduce muscle tension and relieve TMJ symptoms. Many hikers turn to chiropractic care as a way to help them stay pain free while traveling.

Nonprescription Supplements

Several supplements have been found to be helpful in reducing jaw pain and discomfort. Research studies have shown that vitamin B12, phytocannabinoids (CBD), and magnesium can help to reduce the symptoms associated with TMJ. Be sure to ask your healthcare provider if these supplements are right for you while hiking.


Living an active lifestyle is great for overall health and can even be beneficial for muscle and joint conditions such as TMJ. Taking steps like keeping good posture, performing jaw exercises, and using natural forms of treatment can help you to stay active and pain free internationally. Be sure to speak to your healthcare provider to find the best treatment options for your unique health concerns.