Your favorite tunes might help relieve that nagging pain

Tue, Apr 12, 2016

Most of us experience occasional pain, and it’s no big deal. Just pop an over-the-counter medication and voila, the pain’s gone.


But for those who are wracked with pain every day, finding relief poses a challenge that can lead to dependence on opiate-based pain medication and many problems that brings.


One increasingly touted alternative for pain management might be as easy to use as turning on the radio or opening the stream. That’s because music can have a direct and measureable effect on pain, numerous studies say.


One such study, published in the journal Psychomusicology, examined the process by which listening to music helps relieve pain. It recruited 41 people, subjected them to controlled testing in a laboratory setting and recorded the results.


“Findings indicated that music enhanced pain tolerance over no music, and happy and relaxing music increased pain tolerance … to a greater extent than sad music,” according to the study’s abstract. “Happy and relaxing music facilitated distraction from pain and enhanced perceived pain control. Relaxing music additionally … reduced pain intensity.”


The results suggest music can be used to support pain management, the researchers said.


That’s encouraging news for Dr. Thomas Wilkins of BayCare Clinic, a pain and rehab physician.


“Given the national focus on opiates and increasing problems with addiction, studies that offer alternative options for treating pain are especially valued,” he said. “It’s worth continued study, especially if it can help patients relieve their pain symptoms while also helping physicians gradually lower the doses of pain medicine prescribed.”


At BayCare Clinic partner Aurora BayCare, a hospital certified harp therapist visits patient rooms playing soothing music


BayCare Clinic Pain & Rehab Medicine helps patients affected by pain, injury or serious illness identify treatment options best-suited to address their condition through customized combinations of surgery, acupuncture, chiropractic care and physical therapy.


Call 866-965-4380 for information or request an appointment online.


Innovation happens all the time at BayCare Clinic. Keep up on our breakthroughs and meet our specialists by subscribing to our newsroom feed. We’ll also keep you updated on health topics in the news. Watch our providers share their expertise on a wide range of topics.


Enter your e-mail address:

Check your email for a subscription confirmation!

  • BayCare Clinic YouTube
  • BayCare Clinic RSS

© 2019 BayCare Clinic. All Rights Reserved.

BayCare Clinic,, is the largest physician-owned specialty-care clinic in northeastern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It is based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. BayCare Clinic offers expertise in more than 20 specialties, with more than 100 physicians serving in 16 area communities. BayCare Clinic is a joint partner in Aurora BayCare Medical Center, a 167-bed, full-service hospital. Follow BayCare Clinic on Facebook and Twitter.