-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas
THURSDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Concentrating on music can
provide enough distraction to ease the pain of people with
significant anxiety, according to a new study.
Researchers from the University of Utah Pain Research Center
studied the effectiveness of music as a pain reliever on 143 study
participants. The volunteers were asked to follow a melody so they
could identify the tones that stood out. While tackling the
assignment, they received safe pain shocks with fingertip
The study, published in the December issue of the
Journal of Pain, found that pain was reduced as the demands of the music task rose. The researchers explained that the music competed with the participants' pain pathways. By triggering emotional responses and engaging the participants' minds, the music task helped to ease their pain.
Participants with the most anxiety about the pain became more
engrossed in the music-listening task than those who were less
anxious, according to a journal news release. The study authors
suggested that experiencing little anxiety lowered the
participants' ability to focus on the task.
The researchers concluded that people with a lot of anxiety who
can become preoccupied by activities, such as listening to music,
can reduce discomfort by using this type of pain-relief
Doctors should take patients' personality traits into
consideration before suggesting pain therapies such as music, the
The American Music Therapy Association provides more information
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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