New research into pain management by boffins at Queen Mary University and University College Dublin suggests that music can be used to control pain. But it’s not just what music we listen to. It’s believing that we can control over the song selection.
According to this report in StudyFinds, pain patients who thought they were in control of the music they listened to reported less pain than those who didn’t have any musical independence. I quote:
“Prior research reveals that music has the power to relieve pain, particularly chronic pain (lasting more than 12 weeks). However, the underlying mechanisms behind the relationship between pain and music remain unclear, especially when it comes to acute (short-term) pain.”
This has nothing to do with tempo or energy of the music. It’s all about feeling in control of what music you listen to. In other words, if you run the playlist, then that leads to more pain relief.
I quote again:
“Now we know that the act of choosing music is an important part of the wellbeing benefits that we see from music listening. It’s likely that people listen more closely, or more carefully when they choose the music themselves.”