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Outdoor Enthusiasts in Bend: Managing TMJ While Staying Active

Outdoor Enthusiasts in Bend: Managing TMJ While Staying Active
The scenic beauty of Bend and its surroundings attracts numerous outdoor enthusiasts who want to enjoy an active life amidst captivating scenery. From bike rides, rock climibing and kayaking to hiking and nature walking, there are plenty of physical activities one can engage in whether to relax or gain some adrenaline. However, many are not aware of the problems participating in such activities can cause, especially when it comes to TMJ, or Temporomandibular Joint Disorder. TMJ is a common orthopedic issue, but can be stubbornly aggravated by outdoor activities. In this article we will outline some useful tips for preventing TMJ problem and treating it if it occurs, so active people can still enjoy everything Bend has to offer!

Preventing TMJ Problems

Low-impact exercise is a good option for outdoor enthusiasts suffering from TMJ, since it doesn’t strain the TM joint as much as high-impact exercise. Activities such as walking, biking, and swimming are good options for those with this condition.
It is also important for outdoor enthusiasts to practice good posture when exercising. This can help keep their TMV aligned, reducing the chances of injury.

Stretching the Face Muscles

Just as stretching other muscles can prevent injury and improve performance, stretching the facial muscles can help prevent the development of TMJ. To stretch the facial muscles, place the index fingers on the front upper portion of the chin. Then extend the jaw as far as possible while applying gentle pressure with the fingers. Finish by opening the mouth as wide as possible. Performing these facial exercises can help keep TMJ at bay.

Using the Right Equipment

Opting for well-maintained equipment with proper support can help prevent TMJ problems outdoor activities can trigger. For example, investing in braces that provide support for the feet while hiking can help keep the alignment of the TMJ joint in check.

Staying Hydrated and Getting Enough Sleep

It is important for outdoor enthusiasts to drink plenty of water and get enough sleep to help stave off TMJ problems. Dehydration can lead to dizziness when exercising, which can lead to accidents and injury. In addition, getting enough rest can help the facial muscles recover faster after an intense workout, reducing the chance of TMJ.

Treating TMJ after the Fact

The most common method for treating TMJ after the fact is to apply ice to the affected area for 20 minutes at a time several times a day. In addition to icing, over-the-counter analgesics can help reduce the discomfort of TMJ.
For more severe cases of TMJ, the use of a mouth splint may be necessary to help align the joint and reduce pain. These custom-made orthodontic devices can help keep the joint in proper alignment while the user is sleeping to help prevent further TMJ damage.
For even more severe cases of TMJ, surgery may be required to repair damaged tissues to provide relief.


Bend is a beautiful place full of outdoor activities for enthusiasts to enjoy. However, those with TMJ have to be careful to prevent injury. Fortunately, by following the tips above, it is possible to stave off TMJ while still enjoying all that Bend has to offer!