Can myofascial pain syndrome be prevented?

There are certain factors that can put you more at risk for developing myofascial pain syndrome. Managing these risk factors may not prevent you from developing the syndrome, but could help reduce the severity of the condition.

Many of the prevention suggestions to follow are also pain management strategies:

  • Maintain proper sleep hygiene.
  • Reduce your stress.
  • Get exercise.
  • Avoid preventable muscle injury. (e.g., is the shoulder bag/purse you carry too heavy and digging into the muscles in your shoulder?).
  • Practice relaxation methods.
  • Eat a healthy diet, such as the Mediterranean diet.

Some foods cause inflammation, and inflammation increases myofascial pain. Some foods to avoid include:

  • Fried foods (French fries, for example).
  • Dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt).
  • Refined carbohydrates and foods with refined flour (pastries, white bread, pastas, breakfast cereals, pizza).
  • Margarine (butter), vegetable oil.
  • Sugary foods and beverages such as soft drinks.
  • Red meat (burgers, steaks).
  • Artificial sweeteners and general additives (“no sugar added” products, zero-calorie “diet” soft drinks, processed foods that include fruit, ice cream, candy).
  • Processed meat (hot dogs, sausage).

Check your cupboards and your fridge. Empty it of any foods that will increase your myofascial pain syndrome symptoms.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 07/06/2020.


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