Researchers in the U.S. have confirmed that listening to music can have a significant positive impact on the perception of chronic pain.
Previous studies have found music to be effective in decreasing pain and anxiety related to postoperative, procedural and cancer pain and while it is known that music encourages relaxation the researchers were eager to test the effect of music on power, pain, depression, and disability in working age adults who had endured years of chronic pain, reports News Medical.
Researchers from the Cleveland Clinic Foundation examined the effect of music on 60 patients who had been experiencing chronic pain for an average of six-and-a-half years. Most of the patients suffered from osteoarthritis, disc problems and rheumatoid arthritis. The majority experienced continuous pain in two or more parts of the body. They were recruited from pain and chiropractic clinics.
The patients were divided into two groups. One listened to music for one hour per day on headsets. The other did not listen to music at all. Among those who listened to music, half could choose the music themselves, while the other half could choose from five relaxation recordings the researchers provided them with.
The researchers found that music brought about a 21% reduction in pain levels as well as a 25% drop in depression linked to pain. The researchers said patients felt the pain less disabling with music therapy. There was no significant difference between those who could chose their own music and those who could select from five recordings given to them, informs Medical News Today.
Listening to music has already been shown to promote a number of positive benefits and this research adds to the growing body of evidence that it has an important role to play in modern healthcare, noted Marion Good, another researcher, who is part of the study.
Previous research published in the same journal found listening to 45 minutes of soft music before going to bed can improve sleep by more than a third, according to Hindustan Times.