There is good news for music lovers. Research has shown that music can be a powerful pain reliever. Specifically, studies point to the fact that listening to music can have a significant positive effect on a person’s perception of their chronic pain.
A study published in the U.K-based Journal of Advanced Nursing found that music can reduce chronic pain by up to 21 percent. It can also make sufferers feel more in control of their condition and less disabled by their pain.
So, what is the connection between music and pain relief? Many of the brain pathways that process pain also process music, according to Prevention magazine. As a result, focusing on the music you hear engages and triggers emotional responses that compete with pain pathways, leaving with less resources to process the pain.
One study divided a group of 60 clinical trial participants into two music groups and one control group. Results showed that the groups who listened to music an hour per day over the course of a week showed improved physical and psychological symptoms compared to the control group.
In short, listening to music is a not a cure for chronic pain, but it can be a welcome source of temporary relief. Consider adding it to your arsenal of pain management techniques like deep breathing and meditation.