Individuals who suffer from severe or chronic pain are often unable to find relief when using mainstream medical procedures and medicines alone. Many such individuals turn to specialists in pain management. This special branch of medicine uses an interdisciplinary approach in order to ease suffering. The effective pain management combines holistic methods with time-tested medical knowledge to provide long-lasting pain relief.
In addition to providing relief from physical pain, great pain management can improve the overall well-being and happiness of patients. A wide variety of tactics, ranging from meditation to biofeedback to exercise, are used in the course of pain management. Researchers have recently found that music can also have surprising power when used in conjunction with the above methods of management.
Researching the Power of Music in Pain Management
A recent study conducted by the Centre of Memory Resources and Research at Montepellier University Hospital in Montpellier, France, was dedicated to discovering how music can affect treatment outcomes for suffering patients. The research group, led by Stéphane Guétin, PhD, focused on individuals suffering from pain, anxiety and depression. This research is poised to have a major impact on the field of pain management.
In order to conduct their research, the Montepellier team treated 33 patients. For the first five days of their hospital stays, patients were given pain relievers and anti-anxiety or antidepressant medications. During the last five days of their stays, patients were given oral medicine as needed. A separate control group of 30 patients also received physical therapy during the duration of their hospital stays.
The 33-person intervention group chosen by the Montpellier team received a dose of music therapy in addition to standard medication. Individuals in this group listened to 20 minutes of instrumental music a day. The music was drawn from various genres and their own personal preference.
The Astounding Benefits of Music in Pain Management
The results of the Montpellier study are truly striking. During the course of their hospital stays, the patients in the control group reported a 26 percent reduction in their pain scale scores. The intervention group, who received music therapy, reported an astounding 54 percent reduction in their pain scale scores. Patients being treated for depression and anxiety reported even more positive results than those individuals suffering from severe physiological pain.
The field of pain management is poised to gain many benefits from the exciting research of Dr. Guétin and the Montpellier University Hospital research team. In addition to being highly effective, music therapy is extremely inexpensive.
Music therapy also holds particular promise for patients who are already taking a variety of pain management medications. This innovative aural therapy is absolutely free of side effects. There is no risk of drug interaction or other physiological problems connected to music therapy. The vast majority of patients suffering from chronic pain will be able to access music therapy at a low cost.
This recent discovery has given pain sufferers have new options when addressing their struggle with pain. It also means that individuals who are in serious pain have ready access to an effective and inexpensive means of easing pain. Free of side effects, music therapy truly holds promise for patients dealing with pain management.
Mercedes Potter is a part of an elite team of writers who have contributed to hundreds of blogs and news sites. Need more information on pain management in Oklahoma City? Follow her @CedesPotter.