Neuropathy Pain and Music Therapy
Music is often taken for granted, but it is a low cost way to managing and reducing neuropathic pain. Neuropathy and music therapy is world that one must seriously consider.
The worst part of neuropathy is pain. Dealing with debilitation and problems with movement are one thing, but the excruciating pain can be the worst part of the disease. Many drugs are prescribed in order to deal with the pain, but there is one cheap aid to managing pain that is often taken for granted: music therapy.
We take music for granted. We hear it everywhere from the radio, the mall and even elevators. We listen to our favorite songs on Pandora, YouTube, iTunes and a whole host of platforms. We don’t just listen to music for entertainment, we listen it to it because we know how it can powerfully influence our emotions and even our view of the world.
But these are only some of the ways that music can influence us. Given the cognitive and emotional dimensions of music, our bodies are also affected. Studies have shown that music therapy can lessen the requirements for pain medication. These studies show that about 2/3rds of patients who were exposed to music experienced pain relief.
The most effective way music therapists managed to optimize their results was selecting the most effective songs for pain – this meant having patients listen to a range of songs and selecting which ones were the most optimal. The second step was to ask patients to attentively listen to the song and be present with it and not simply passively listen to it. What this resulted in was that the perception of pain reduced as it the mind became overwhelmed by sensations produced by the song that was being listened to.
Another way music works for chronic pain is the following: pain is often exacerbated by stress and anxiety. By providing people relief from stress and anxiety, an important trigger for chronic pain is taken out thus making pain a little bit more bearable.
How about neuropathy? One study investigated the effect of relaxing music on pain intensity in patients who suffer from neuropathic pain. Participants were regularly made to listen classical Turkish music for 60 minutes. After 6 months of therapy, there was noticeable reduction in the patients’ intensity scores due to music. The study thus concluded that “routine care of patients with neuropathic pain could provide nurses with an effective practice for reducing patients’ pain intensity.”
Shiraz Abbas is the founder and manager of the CIDP Neuropathy Support Group. He is also one of the main community educators of IVIG therapy. He resides in Fresno, California. Shiraz can be contacted through our free CIDP advice service at 1-855-782-0574