Can music manage chronic pain?

Music can help improve our mood and mindset and it now appears that it can even help to manage chronic pain.

A study of a woman who had lived with chronic pain for 20 years revealed that listening to music relieved her pain and reduced the withdrawal effects she experienced after stopping her opioid-based treatment.

Opioid-based medication has been the main treatment for chronic pain for a long time but there are questions around its effectiveness as a long-term solution. While its pain relieving properties are undisputed, it can also have significant side effects, including drowsiness and brain fog.

The effects of listening to music may involve endogenous opioid and dopamine mechanisms associated with pleasurable experiences, providing natural pain relief.

Alongside the physical and mental improvements she experienced, listening to music enhanced the woman’s communication skills, boosted her motivation for exercise and improved her sleep quality.

Of course, music may not be the answer for every person living with chronic pain, but the study does suggest that music may play a meaningful part in the treatment of chronic pain. It’s an interesting area that demands more focused research.

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