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The Impact of Outdoor Activities in Bend on TMJ Symptoms

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder is a painful condition that can impact on an individual’s quality of life. Symptoms can vary, from jaw pain to popping or clicking of the jaw when opening and closing, and are often triggered by muscular imbalances in the neck, shoulders, and face. Physical exercise is known to help alleviate symptoms of TMJ, which is why outdoor activities in Bend, Oregon, are of particular interest to those with TMJ. As an outdoor lover’s paradise, Bend offers numerous types of activities to relieve stress, alleviate pain, and improve circulation.

Outdoor Activities to Help Ease TMJ Pain


Few activities heighten awareness of the body like hiking. Hiking allows for movement that is gentle on the joints and promotes circulation. It’s a great option for those with TMJ as it often involves visiting closer in distance hiking trails. Bend is especially well suited to hikes with a stunning variety of scenery in many parts of the area. This means hikers can experience a beautiful adventure without having to hike for 4 or more hours.


Biking is a low-impact aerobic exercise that targets the muscles of the upper body and is an excellent choice for TMJ sufferers. Bend is home to an extensive system of mountain bike trails, from cross-country to freeride. The varying terrain means that bikers can find the perfect trails to match their abilities. No matter the difficulty level—and even if one isn’t a seasoned biker—it’s a fantastic workout with great views of the surrounding area.


For those who suffer from TMJ, water activities and swimming can be an excellent choice. Kayaking is a peaceful and relaxing activity that lets you experience the beauty of nature. Bend is incredibly well suited to kayaking. The Deschutes River is a great place to paddle, with both raging rapids and calm, family-friendly sections. Kayaking is a great choice of activity for those who need an upper body workout that’s gentle on the joints, and with the added benefit of improved circulation and stress relief.


Frequently, physical activities can become too rigorous for those with TMJ. Gardening is a great way to enjoy physical activity that’s low-impact and gets you outdoors. Depending on the type of gardening, you’ll still get a great workout and work your upper body, back, and shoulders, but at a lower intensity than hiking, biking, or swimming. Plus, the cooler weather in Bend means that you can get your hands dirty any time of year.

Of Course a TMJ Treatment Plan is Necessary

Outdoor activities can be extremely beneficial for those with TMJ, but one should never forget the importance of a good TMJ treatment plan. Treatment plans can vary depending on the patient’s specific symptoms, but generally include a combination of home self-care, lifestyle changes, and professional therapies. Some common treatments may include physical therapy, exercises, splint therapy, acupuncture, and stress management techniques. The key to a successful treatment plan is to find what works best for the individual and to stay dedicated to the treatment.

In Conclusion

The outdoor activities in Bend are an excellent choice for those with TMJ, especially for those with a desire to combine all the benefits of physical activity with stress relief and gorgeous surroundings. From hiking, biking, kayaking, and gardening, the area has a great number of experiences to offer. In reality, though, treatment plans including activity and self-care are a crucial part of managing and alleviating symptoms of TMJ. With the right activities, those who suffer from TMJ can improve circulation, reduce stress, and better manage their symptoms while enjoying the striking beauty of Bend.