Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Listening to music can be effective for reducing pain in high-anxiety persons

Date:
January 9, 2012
Source:
American Pain Society
Summary:
Distraction is an effective pain reliever, and a new study concludes that listening to music can be effective for reducing pain in high-anxiety persons who can easily become absorbed in cognitive activities.

Distraction is a proven pain reliever, and a new study reported in The Journal of Pain concludes that listening to music can be effective for reducing pain in high-anxiety persons who can easily become absorbed in cognitive activities.

Researchers from the University of Utah Pain Research Center evaluated the potential benefits of music for diverting psychological responses to experimental pain stimuli. They hypothesized that music may divert cognitive focus from pain. If true, the key to successful pain control from this method would be the degree of engagement by the patient in the diversion task.

One hundred forty-three subjects were evaluated for the study. They were instructed to listen to music tracks, follow the melodies, and identify deviant tones. During the music tasks, they were given safe, experimental pain shocks with fingertip electrodes.

The findings showed that central arousal from the pain stimuli reliably decreased with the increasing music-task demand. Music helps reduce pain by activating sensory pathways that compete with pain pathways, stimulating emotional responses, and engaging cognitive attention. Music, therefore, provided meaningful intellectual and emotional engagement to help reduce pain.

Among the study subjects, those with high levels of anxiety about pain had the greatest net engagement, which contradicted the authors' initial hypothesis that anxiety would interfere with a subject's ability to become absorbed in the music listening task. They noted that low anxiety actually may have diminished the ability to engage in the task.

The findings suggest that engaging activities like music listening can be effective for reducing pain in high anxiety persons who can easily become absorbed in activities. They noted that interaction of anxiety and absorption is a new finding and implies that these personality characteristics should be considered when recommending engagement strategies for pain relief.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Pain Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. David H. Bradshaw, Gary W. Donaldson, Robert C. Jacobson, Yoshio Nakamura, C. Richard Chapman. Individual Differences in the Effects of Music Engagement on Responses to Painful Stimulation. The Journal of Pain, 2011; 12 (12): 1262 DOI: 10.1016/j.jpain.2011.08.010

Cite This Page:

American Pain Society. "Listening to music can be effective for reducing pain in high-anxiety persons." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 January 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120105161750.htm>.
American Pain Society. (2012, January 9). Listening to music can be effective for reducing pain in high-anxiety persons. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120105161750.htm
American Pain Society. "Listening to music can be effective for reducing pain in high-anxiety persons." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120105161750.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Researchers are puzzled as to why obesity rates remain relatively stable as average waistlines continue to expand. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama Orders Military Response to Ebola

Obama Orders Military Response to Ebola

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Calling the Ebola outbreak in West Africa a potential threat to global security, President Barack Obama is ordering 3,000 U.S. military personnel to the stricken region amid worries that the outbreak is spiraling out of control. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: 20,000 Could Be Infected With Ebola by Year End

UN: 20,000 Could Be Infected With Ebola by Year End

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Nearly $1.0 billion dollars is needed to fight the Ebola outbreak raging in west Africa, the United Nations say, warning that 20,000 could be infected by year end. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins