Press Release

The Role Music Can Play in Pain Management

September 23, 2022

Many people listen to music as a way of relaxing and improving their mood, among other motives. With that in mind, researchers have put music to the test to see if it can help with pain relief for those who experience chronic pain as well as acute pain. The results of recent studies suggest that music may be able to play a role in helping with the management of chronic and acute pain.

A study published in the August 2022 issue of PLOS ONE shared the findings of how music can help with reducing acute pain [1]. Their study involved 286 adults who were experiencing acute pain. They wanted to see if allowing the people to feel they had control over what music they listened to led to a reduction in pain. 

The participants in the study who were in pain were asked to rate their pain before the music selection and after listening to the music. The people didn’t know that the music being played was the same for everyone, but researchers made it appear that some of the people had control over which music selection was played.

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Those who believed they had the ability to select the music being played reported greater pain relief. The research showed that music could help people with pain relief when they have control over what music they are listening to. Additionally, people who engage with music more in their daily lives also reported a greater decrease in pain than those who don’t engage with music on a regular basis.

An additional study, published in the July 2022 issue of The Journal of Pain, reports that music interventions provide low-cost, easily applicable, complementary pain treatments that do not require heavy utilization of health care resources [2]. They share that music-based treatments are efficacious and safe means to enhance the management of acute and chronic pain. The report also mentions music being used in health care settings for its assistance in helping to reduce pain. 

Music plays a role in many people’s lives, creating nostalgic moments, setting the mood, and more. It is also emerging as a natural way to help reduce pain. Nearly everyone has access to music, and most people have a variety they prefer when trying to ease the mood or feel better. Music is one more tool that people who suffer from pain have that they can turn to and won’t have to worry about serious side effects in the process.

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  1. PLOS ONE. Perceived choice in music listening is linked to pain relief. August 2022. 
  2. The Journal of Pain. Isn’t There Room for Music in Chronic Pain Management? July 2022. 
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Posted: September 14, 2022
<a href="" target="_self">Dr. Steven H. Richeimer</a>

Dr. Steven H. Richeimer

Steven Richeimer, M.D. is a renowned specialist on issues related to chronic pain. He is the chief of the Division of Pain Medicine at the University of Southern California. He has written or co-written a large number of scientific articles about pain medicine. He recently published an instructive book and guide for pain patients. Dr. Richeimer has given numerous lectures to medical and lay audiences throughout the U.S.