Music relieves chronic pain, depression 1


Associated Press of Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Listening to music helps relieve pain in people who suffer from chronic arthritis or other conditions.

Researchers from Ohio found that when patients with chronic pain listened to music for an hour everyday for a week, their levels of pain, depression and disability declined, BBC radio reported. They also felt empowered to help themselves feel better, which appeared to drive the improvement in depression. It did not matter what kind of music they listened to.

To investigate this, the researchers studied 60 African- American and Caucasian adults who had pain in the neck, back or joints for the past six months.

Often, the pain was related to arthritis, but in many cases, patients had received no specific diagnosis.

All patients were either using pain medication or some other standard therapy.

The researchers randomly assigned a group of patients to listen music of their choice; they assigned another group to listen to music the researchers provided or to stick with standard care alone.

After one week, it was found that patients in both music groups showed greater improvements in standard measures of pain, disability and depression symptoms.

While the control group’s average pain rating increased by 2 percent, there was a 20 percent of pain reduction among music listeners. Depression scores declined by 15 percent to 23 percent in the music groups, but held steady in the control group. It was found that the addition of music therapy seems to make mainstream treatments like pain medication more effective. Previous studies have shown that music helps ease pain after operations, as well as pain from cancer. But the reasons aren’t yet clear, but there are a lot of theories. One possibility is that listening to enjoyable music serves as a distraction from chronic pain. Another is that music promotes relaxation, which in turn changes pain perception.

Doctors can teach patients how to use music to enhance the effects of analgesics, decrease pain, depression and disability, and promote feelings of power. It’s something that people can definitely try.


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