Music may be an alternative to opiate-based medications for chronic pain

Summary: Music has been suggested as an additional alternative to medication for chronic pain. A new study explores the experience of a woman with chronic pain who used music to cope with the pain. The study delves into the contextual aspects of listening to music, as well as the physiological and cognitive benefits of listening to music.

The study suggests that music-induced analgesia involves complex cognitive and emotional mechanisms that may modulate the descending pathway of pain modulation.

Key facts:

  1. The case study highlights how a woman found relief from chronic pain by listening to music after stopping her opiate treatment.
  2. The participant’s experience suggests that music-induced analgesia involves cognitive and emotional mechanisms, such as the descending pain modulatory pathway, and that it may be possible to reduce the use of pain medication.
  3. Therapeutic accompaniment, which includes an intermediary figure between the patient and the institution, can be useful to help patients reorient their subjectivity and follow their experience during treatment.

source: Neuroscience News

Chronic pain can have a debilitating effect on an individual’s life, making it challenging to perform daily activities and experience well-being. For years, opioid-based medications have been the primary treatment for chronic pain, providing pain relief but also altering body perception and emotions.

However, recent studies have shown that music can be a complementary alternative for chronic pain, providing relief from pain and anxiety, motivation to exercise and improved sleep quality.

A recent study examined a woman who had lived with chronic pain for 20 years. The study included examining the participant’s experience of the context in which she listened to music, the intensity and quality of pain, body mapping, memories, emotions and cognition.

The participant listened to music for a variety of reasons, such as pain and anxiety relief, exercise motivation, and sleep quality, all of which revolved around different pain management strategies.

The study revealed that listening to music not only eased the participant’s pain, but also reduced the withdrawal effects after stopping her opiate treatment. Effects may involve endogenous opioid and dopamine mechanisms associated with pleasurable experiences providing natural analgesia.

The study revealed that listening to music not only eased the participant’s pain, but also reduced the withdrawal effects after stopping her opiate treatment. Credit: Neuroscience News

The frequency with which music is used and certain properties of the instruments, such as acoustic quality and the use of high-quality headphones, may affect the effectiveness of music-induced analgesia.

In addition, the study showed improvements in physiological and cognitive aspects, including the perception of restorative sleep, which may have improved the participant’s general well-being and cognitive and motor performance.

In addition, the participant’s communication skills were enhanced, enhancing her learning of new experiences and building spaces in which she expressed her pain with less stigma.

A therapeutic accompaniment was proposed to redirect the subjective properties of pain and expand quantitative and qualitative knowledge for more comprehensive reports of music and analgesia.

The accompaniment serves as a mediating figure between the patient and the institution, allowing the patient to reorient his subjectivity and follow his experience during treatment. It helps convey experience and systematize it for better understanding of both the patient and the medical facility to design more sensitive treatments and research.

The findings reveal that music can be a powerful tool for managing chronic pain, providing an alternative to opiate-based medications. A sense of self-control over the body and pain can further increase the pain threshold, and reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety together can increase quality of life.

Although music may not benefit everyone, the study suggests that music-induced analgesia may be a viable option for some people with chronic pain.

The researchers suggest that doctors should also explore how music can reduce pain medication, with the goal of more integrated treatment. With the help of patients like the one in the study, we can better understand chronic pain and music-induced analgesia.

About this pain research news

Author: Press office
source: Neuroscience News
Contact: Press Office – Neuroscience News
Image: Image credit: Neuroscience News

Original research: Free access.
“Case Report:”I got my brain back“Patient Experience with Music-Induced Analgesia for Chronic Pain” by Roberto E. Mercadillo et al. Frontiers in Psychology


Case report: “I got my brain back” Patient experience of music-induced analgesia for chronic pain

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