Living with Chronic Pain

Music and Chronic Pain


Music has many benefits for emotional and physical well-being, including reduced depression, alleviated anxiety, and increased feelings of empowerment. One surprising benefit is that music can also decrease pain levels. Becoming absorbed in music can be a simple and effective tool to help individuals with chronic pain. It also has no harmful side effects.

How it works

Though the exact way music reduces pain is unknown, scientists have several theories. Listening to music can release endorphins and other feel-good hormones that can help lessen pain. It may interrupt the body’s pain signals, similar to acupuncture. Music can also be used as a distraction technique to make the pain sensation less severe.

Which style of music works best

The type of music an individual chooses to listen to is of no importance for potentially reducing pain. It can be music with lyrics, instrumental only, energetic, or calming. However, it is important for music to hold a person’s interest. Listening to soothing music that relaxes the body is best for pain related to tension or accompanied by anxiety.

Listening to music is safe, free from side effects, inexpensive, easily accessible, and can be used alongside other treatment options. Although it is not suggested in place of regular treatment options, it is worth adding to the current treatment plan as a way to reduce chronic pain.

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