Music May Help Alleviate Pain and Reduce Opioid Use

New research suggests that listening to music can help reduce pain and the need for opioids. The study found that patients who listened to music before, during, or after surgery reported less pain and needed fewer opioids to manage their discomfort.

The researchers believe that music may activate the brain’s reward and pleasure centers, which can distract from pain signals. They also noted that music can reduce anxiety, which is often associated with pain.

The study involved a review of over 7,000 patients who had surgery at two hospitals in the United States between 2015 and 2019. The patients were divided into three groups: those who listened to music before, during, and after surgery; those who only listened to music during surgery; and those who did not listen to music at all.

The researchers found that patients in the first two groups reported less pain than those in the third group. In addition, patients who listened to music before, during, and after surgery required less opioids to manage their pain compared to those who did not listen to music.

The study’s findings highlight the potential of music as a non-pharmacological intervention to help manage pain and reduce the use of opioids. The researchers suggest that healthcare providers should consider incorporating music therapy into their pain management plans.

However, the researchers also noted that more research is needed to fully understand the relationship between music and pain relief, and to determine the most effective ways to use music as a therapeutic tool.

Case Report: “I got my brain back” A patient’s experience with music-induced analgesia for chronic pain” by Roberto E. Mercadillo et al. Frontiers in Psychology

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