Fishing in Bend, Oregon is a great way to engage in a gentle activity that comes with some exciting rewards. For those with TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder, the repetitive use of the jaw can be painful and distressing. However, the low-impact motion of fishing can serve as an excellent option for those struggling with the condition. This article will discuss some of the benefits of fishing for those with TMJ and offer some advice to make your next fishing trip a success.

The Benefits of Fishing for Those with TMJ

Fishing is a gentle activity, meaning it is low-impact and won’t put excess strain on the jaw. When casting your line or reeling in a catch, the most strength you’ll need to apply will come from your thumb. If you find that fishing lures or hooks are too uncomfortable to hold in your hand, you can use your thumb and forefinger to grip instead. Likewise, fishing is an enjoyable, passive activity that allows participants to take a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and take in the sights and sounds of nature. Finally, the act of fishing can offer a sense of accomplishment and gratitude as you reflect on your day with each catch.

How to Enjoy Fishing with TMJ

When planning a fishing trip, it’s a good idea to pack a few items in your backpack that will make your experience more comfortable. First and foremost, be sure to bring a small portable chair or stool. Sitting on the ground can put a lot of pressure on your jaw and neck, so having a resting place that gives your back and neck the support it needs can make all the difference. Additionally, packing an ice pack or ThermaCare heat pad can help relieve any discomfort that you may experience.

Protecting Your Jaw While Fishing

To keep from putting too much strain on your jaw while fishing, it’s important to use the proper gear. Consider a rod and reel combo that is under 10 pounds in order to reduce the amount of force required to cast and reel. Once you’ve made a catch, use your hand to hold onto the reel rather than gripping it between your thumb and forefinger. If you find that your jaw becomes overtaxed, take frequent breaks and use gentle stretches and massages to help reduce tension in the muscles.

Choosing the Right Fishing Spot

When it comes to fishing with TMJ, it’s best to find a location that is close to home and has easy access. Many of the area’s beautiful rivers and lakes are quite remote, making it difficult to park your vehicle and make your way to the water’s edge. Rather than struggling to get to an ideal fishing spot, look for conveniently located areas that will make your fishing trip much more comfortable. Likewise, make sure that the area you choose has plenty of shade and peaceful surroundings, as it can help to reduce stress and make for a more enjoyable experience.

The Best Time of Year to Go Fishing in Bend

The best time of the year to go fishing in Bend is during the spring and summer months. Look for early morning or evening fishing trips to avoid the extreme heat of the day. This is also a great time to take advantage of the Reel Big Fish program, which offers free fishing gear and instruction for families. Kids can get their hands on a rod and reel, as well as a variety of bait for one at the learning center. Locals also recommend packing a few snacks, sunscreen, and plenty of water to keep everyone refreshed and ready for a day of fun.

Pro Tips for a Successful Fishing Trip

As with any outdoor activity, it’s important to be prepared. Before you leave, make sure that you’ve stocked up on the proper gear, bait, and tackle. Additionally, it’s a good idea to check the weather and water conditions prior to your trip. If you’re planning on fishing for the day, bring along a cooler filled with ice to keep the fish cool and edible. Finally, be sure to leave the area cleaner than you found it. Taking time to dispose of your trash properly will help to keep our beautiful natural areas pristine for the generations to come.

Fishing in Bend can serve as an excellent outdoor activity for those with TMJ. The gentle, low-impact nature of the activity, combined with the stress-relieving sights and sounds of nature, make fishing an enjoyable and rewarding experience. With the right preparation and gear, those with TMJ can look forward to a peaceful and relaxing fishing trip.