man surfing on a waveSurfing in South Carolina has a long tradition. There are many surfers attracted to the miles of beautiful beaches and the waves in the summer and autumn. Surfing is an incredible sport, and once you get into it, it’s hard to stop, which, unfortunately, can be a problem, as it can lead to serious TMJ, resulting in jaw pain, neck pain, and headaches.

Surfing Strain and TMJ

One of the reasons why surfers are at risk for TMJ is the workout you give your body. When you’re on the board paddling out to catch a wave, you’re flat on your stomach, but you raise your head up to look around. This creates strain in the neck. When you combine it with the stress from utilizing your arms to such an extent, it puts extraordinary demands on your neck as well as your jaw.

As a result, you can suffer significant muscle soreness that may develop in your head and neck. They may go away, or they may get worse, and other symptoms may develop.

Surfing Injuries and TMJ

As if that wasn’t bad enough, surfing puts you at risk for serious injuries to your temporomandibular joint. You can suffer whiplash during a wipeout or you can be hit by your board, the ocean floor, or other surfers.

About 30% of all fractures suffered by surfers are in the face, and that commonly includes jaw fractures. Even if you don’t sustain a fracture, the blow to the jaw can be enough to displace the jaw joint disc, leading to popping or clicking of the jaw joint. Whether or not you notice the displacement of your disc, you might notice the effects of it in the difficulty you are experiencing in your jaw muscles.

TMJ Treatment Can Help

If you are experiencing worsening symptoms related to a surfing injury or strain, you might find yourself feeling desperate for relief. The treatments your doctors are recommending aren’t helping, and your symptoms seem to keep getting worse. Your doctor may be treating other systems related to your symptoms, but not the true cause: your TMJ.

Not only can TMJ treatment alleviate your symptoms, but it can also help stabilize your core, improving your balance and reducing strain on your neck, arms, and back.

To learn more about how TMJ treatment can help you, please call (803) 781-9090 for an appointment with a Columbia, SC TMJ dentist at Smile Columbia Dentistry.