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Music to Soothe the Aching Back

Just think about the power of music: It can bring an isolated person out of their shell, make a sad person feel happy, and provide inspiration and support in time of need. For people who are in chronic pain, a new study shows that music can make a big difference in the way people feel about themselves and their ability to deal with the pain.

In the study, 60 people suffering from chronic back pain, neck pain and other conditions were recruited from pain and chiropractic clinics, and divided into two groups. One group listened to music on headsets for one hour per day for seven consecutive days, while a control group did not listen to music at all. Among those who listened to music, half could choose the music themselves, while the other half selected from five relaxation recordings provided by the researchers.

After one week, people who listened to music reported that their pain had decreased by between 12 percent and 21 percent; in the group of patients who didn't listen to music, however, their pain levels actually increased 2 percent. People who listened to music also reported feeling less depressed and less disabled, and felt that they had more power over their pain, than people in the control group.

Of course, while this study shows that music can help reduce pain, it doesn't mean that chiropractic care is any less effective. Music is simply another instrument chiropractors can recommend to their patients as a means of pain relief. An adjustment from a chiropractor is one of the best, most effective ways of treating back pain and other ailments - with or without musical accompaniment! To learn more about how doctors of chiropractic can relieve pain, visit www.chiroweb.com/find/archives/musculoskeletal/index.html.


Siedliecki SL, Good M. Effect of music on power, pain, depression and disability. Journal of Advanced Nursing June 2006;54(5)553-562.

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