Monday, March 19, 2012

Music Can Mean Less Pain

Focusing on music can distract people who have significant anxiety about pain enough that they feel the pain less acutely, according to a recent study done at the University of Utah Pain Research Center.  The study found that pain was reduced as the demands of focusing on the task rose.

Researchers had 153 volunteers concentrate on following a melody so they could identify the tones that stood out.  During the session small pain shocks were administered through fingertip electrodes.  The authors explained that the effects of the music resulted from competition with the participants’ pain pathways.

Interestingly, those who had registered the most anxiety about pain became more absorbed in the task and were more likely to experience reduced perception of pain.  The study authors suggested that, “Clinicians should consider patients’ personality characteristics when recommending behavioral interventions like music listening for pain relief.”

Pathways has volunteers that can provide music sessions to our hospice patients as part of our Integrative Therapies program of care for body and soul.

The results were published in the December, 2011 issue of the Journal of Pain.

1 comment:

  1. I agree on this, music can help in relieving the pain. I tried it before even now and then, and it was really great.