Music Soothes Pain after Surgery

Listening to Tunes Eases Discomfort

Tyler Olson/

Researchers from the Louis Armstrong Center for Music and Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital, in New York City, studied the impact of music therapy on 60 patients that had undergone spinal fusion surgery. Half received a 30-minute music therapy session, along with standard postoperative care, within 72 hours of surgery. The other half received only standard care. The scientists used the visual analog scale to measure pain before and after music therapy in both groups concurrently. The patients receiving music therapy experienced average pain level reductions from 6.2 to 5.09, while the control group averaged slight increases in pain, from 5.2 to 5.87.

“The degree of change in the music group is notable for having been achieved by non-pharmacologic means, with little chance of adverse effects,” explains Center Director and study co-author Joanne Loewy. “Pain is subjective and personal, and warrants an individualized approach to care. Certified, licensed music therapists can tailor treatment to each patient’s musical preferences and address their pain level.”

This article appears in the October 2017 issue of Natural Awakenings.

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