Those who have a loved one suffering, or who suffer from chronic pain themselves, understand that there is no one solution. Pain management is often a combination of strategies that work together to ease the suffering. Amidst the effort, one healing method is as simple and enjoyable as listening to your favorite song: music has recently shown to be an effective tool for chronic pain management.
Chronic pain is any pain that lasts longer than six months, ranging from mild to severe, constant or episodic. The most common types of chronic pain are low back pain, joint pain, and headaches. There is oftentimes an underlying mechanical problem to explain the pain, but not always. It can sometimes be difficult to cure chronic pain, but there are ranges of management techniques to help alleviate suffering, including the healing power of music.
Music therapy practices range from simply listening to music to singing and playing instruments. The treatment can aid a variety of pain-related issues, such as diminishing pain intensity levels, relieving depression, restoring a sense of control, and even lowering medication dosages.
There are two schools of belief on why music can decrease discomfort and even induce a drug-free high for listeners. The first theory is that music may trigger the release of opioid compounds, natural substances that act on the nervous system and control our reactions to physical and emotional suffering. The second explanation may be as simple as distraction: a beautiful song can redirect attention away from the pain by powerfully affecting our thought processes and emotions.
If you are suffering from low back pain, music, in concert with treatment from medical professionals, is a simple method for achieving greater quality of life. Those who practice music therapy across varying health needs and conditions report significant improvement in respiration, blood pressure, memory, and muscle relaxation, all of which help address common lower back pain symptoms of stress, depression, and fatigue.
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