Like food, there is music for every occasion. Music influences our mood, as it can be relaxing for some whereas uplifting for the others. Various studies indicate that music can play a vital role in modern healthcare and prove to be therapeutic in chronic pain management.
Everybody loves some kind of music. People do have their own taste when it comes to music, and doubtlessly music can generally have a positive impact the on the mind. Several studies also indicate, however, that music and music therapy can also help to alleviate chronic pain.
I know what you’re thinking – if something as enjoyable as music could have a therapeutic effect on the body that could be revolutionary, right?
Scientists have conducted several research studies, all leading to the evidence that music can have a positive impact on patients dealing with conditions such as Fibromyalgia, or arthritis patients that suffer from intense and chronic muscle and joint pain.
Other research supports this evidence and it seems that an emerging consensus is that music can have a noticeable effect on providing relief to chronic pain patients.
A study conducted by the researchers of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation to study the effect of music on patients suffering from chronic pain for many years, reported that music proved effective in not only reducing up to 21% of the pain but also in lowering up to 25% of depression, in comparison to those who didn’t. Another study from the Journal of Advanced Nursing showed that those who listened to 45 minutes of soft music before they went to bed experienced remarkable improvement in their sleep patterns.
There could be more than one reason to believe music could help to ease pain. Another interesting study was conducted at Denmark’s Arhus University by the Center for Functionally Integrative Neuroscience (CFIN) to study if music could have an effect on how we perceive pain. Their study mainly observed Fibromyalgia patients and found that they experienced considerable relief from pain after having listened to calm music.
Researchers have a neuroscientific basis for their hypothesis that pleasant music could trigger the release of body’s own morphine – Opioids, in the brain. Hence, the pain relieving effect. They further go on to explain that, music could prove to be a pleasant distraction from pain, which in a way, help patients to experience less pain and feel better.
Another study by psychologist Mathieu Roy – University of Colorado shows that music could function as an obstruction to pain signals that reach the brain.
Chronic pain disorder is often accompanied by symptoms like stress, anxiety, depression, etc. The impact of music shouldn’t be focused on treating chronic pain alone but rather it should be considered as an important component of an integrative treatment strategy. Music therapy is practiced by the prestigious Chronic Pain Care Center at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago to help control patients’ experience of pain. According to the medical director of the center and osteopathic physician, Steve Santos, their chronic pain patients report that the therapy is a pleasant intervention and relaxation strategy, having a pain-relieving effect.
So to see the brighter side of things, music therapy can play a vital role in modern healthcare and if listening to your favorite music helps you forget your agony or ease pain then perhaps it might also help you in lowering your dose of painkillers!