Lesson Number Two

Always Keep Healthy

A lot of surfers out there don’t keep themselves healthy.  They think because they are getting more exercise than most people (who sit on the couch all day) that they are automatically healthy, but often that’s not the case.  We discussed recently in my blog post “Always Have A Back Up Plan” that you’ve got to have a contingency plan.  Today we’ll be discussing the how you always need to keep healthy.

I thought I was very healthy for the longest time.  I brushed my teeth twice a day.  I flossed once a day.  I made sure I had a couple servings of vegetables.  I didn’t smoke.  I didn’t go to dunkin donuts and eat french crullers for breakfast.  I felt like I had my health together.  Once day I got the worst jaw pain that I’ve ever had.  I went to the local dentist who said that I had something called TMJ.  TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint dysfunction which is comprised of pain during the movement of the jaw joint and surrounding muscles.

Turns out I wasn’t really taking care of my dental health.  I was slacking.  Despite my effort I had neglected to look at my overall health.  Every time I was out on the waves or in the wind I had been clenching my jaw.  The clenching of my jaw put a lot of stress on my temporomandibular joint and caused the muscles around the TMJ to get really tired.  Due to a misalignment of the joint there was a serious issue with my jaw.

The muscles around your temporomandibular joint don’t rest while you sleep

My dentist said…  which is a huge problem.  I’ve always had some aches and pain around my ear and near my jaw but never thought much of it.  My dentist said the most darnest thing “you’ve really got to start taking better care of yourself” which is exactly why I’m writing this article.  As windsurfers we are always so focused on that one thing, getting on the waves.  We often lose sight of the important things besides being out there.  I lost sight of my health and now it’s impacting my ability to surf.

Recovering from TMJ – 6 months later

6 months later I started finally recovering from my tmj pain.  It had gotten much worse before it got better.  I had been itching to ride the waves like crazy, but was unable to due to the fact that I would immediately start clenching my jaw.  My dentist urged against me heading over the sea.  I listened, because I realized something in the last year…  I’ve really got to start taking better care of myself.  The thing that bothered me the most about this whole situation is that I could have prevented it.

If the second I got that jaw pain I went to the interwebs and googled a tmj dentist near me this would have been totally prevented.  My dentist explained that TMJ is a degenerative disease that builds as time goes on.  Early detection is the key to preventing serious pain and often a serious bill.  Right now, I’m happy that I’m feeling better.   My wallet is in serious pain, but I guess that’s the price of neglecting my health for all these years.

I hope that this post can warn other windsurfers out there of the problems that you’ll run into if you neglect your health.

Ride hard, but be healthy first!

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *