A-Z List

Music & Pain Management

Annotated Journals

Chiles, Fudge, Gray, & Heiser. (1997). The use of music during the immediate postoperative period. AORN Journal. 65, 4. 777-784.
Call #: UWEC McIntyre Library - (Current Journals).

This study examines the effects of music on patients immediately after undergoing elective lumbar microdisectomies. Two groups of people were selected to take part in this study. The people in the first group, the treatment group, listened to music that they preferred for half an hour before the end of surgery and an hour immediately afterwards. The people in the second group, the control group, did not listen to music. Patient satisfaction, anxiety levels, and pain levels were evaluated at the end of the testing period. The results of the study were inconclusive. The amount of pain medication needed for each individual varied widely within each group. Also, according to the 10-point VAS system, pain levels ranged from very high scores to very low scores in individual groups. Patients in the treatment group, however, reported a higher satisfaction rate with their hospital stays; all said that music helped them relax and feel less anxious; and a few believed that music had eased their pain.

Funk, B. (1995). Using cognitive methods to control pain. Nursing-95. 25. 30.
Call #: UWEC McIntyre Library - (Microfilm).

Drugs and ice on the surgical sight of a patient are not the only ways to reduce postoperative pain. Non-drug, cognitive methods may also help reduce pain. Some of these are guided imagery, auditory stimulation, progressive relaxation, meditation or prayer, music, or humor. Music is a particularly good method to control pain. Music can serve as a distraction to pain and help the patient gain control in managing treatment. It may also be used with many other methods for pain management.

Goldberg, J. (1987, January). Music as medicine - use in pain treatment. McCall's, 114. 105.
Call #: UWEC McIntyre Library - (Microfilm).

According to this article, music may be able to prevent migraines, reduce anxiety, lower blood pressure, and encourage relaxation. Music can do this because it causes the body to release endorphins, which relieve pain and help a person relax. Mark Rider, a music therapist, uses a technique called entrainment to reduce pain. When using this technique, the client is told to produce a mental image of the pain. The music therapist uses music to reflect the image in the client's mind. Then the therapist slowly changes the music to something more soft or soothing. The client's image changes along with the music, thus changing the client's perception of the pain. Also, research into whether or not music can prevent migraines is taking place. So far the results have been promising.

Good, M. (1995). Relaxation techniques for surgical patients. American Journal of Nursing. 95. 38-42.
Call #: UWEC McIntyre Library - (Microfilm).

Postoperative pain is worsened by anxiety, so it is crucial that the patient is calm and relaxed at all times, especially before ambulation. Unrelieved pain can have many negative effects. It can cause problems such as pneumonia from restricted air movement, lead to pulmonary secretion retention, and delay bowel and gastric function after surgery. To stop these problems, it is important for a patient to learn how to reduce their own pain by relaxing. Music is one way to teach a patient how to relax. Music that a patient likes can be used as distraction from pain. It can also be used in conjunction with other relaxation techniques such as controlled breathing. It is important that the music used is something the patient likes and has chosen. Also, it is important that the device used to play music is portable (so that the patient can carry it) and easy to manipulate.

Jacob, S. (1986). Soothing the ragged edge of pain: Bring on the music. American Journal of Nursing. 86. 1034.
Call #: UWEC McIntyre Library - (Microfilm).

Ms. Cummings, an RN, had an idea to use music to reduce pain after observing the use of relaxation training tapes in Methodist Hospice Hospital's Home Care and Hospice in Memphis, Tennessee to reduce stress. By teaching residents to play the Autoharp, Ms. Cummings helped her patients take an active role in their therapy. She also began taping the music sessions and giving the tapes to their families.

Maize, D. M. (1992, August). Music's surprising power to heal. Reader's Digest, 141. 174-178.
Call #: UWEC McIntyre Library - (Microfilm).

This article describes many examples of how music helps reduce pain. Marianne Strebely, who went through surgery after injury in a car accident, claims that "the music was better than medication." With music, Strebely did not need as much sedation during surgery and, when relaxing to music, was even able to go without her prescribed painkillers. Janet Lapp, a psychologist, studied 30 migraine sufferers. Those in the group who listened to music that they liked suffered less than those who were in the group that used biofeedback and relaxation techniques, and than those who were in the control group. Also, those who used music as therapy for migraines suffered only one sixth of the headaches noted in the other groups. They also reported that the headaches were easier to control and not as painful. Dr. Raymond Bahr, at Baltimore's St. Agnes Hospital says that listening to music created the same effect as 10 milligrams of Valium for those in the critical-care unit. Also, Susan Koletsky said that listening to a special program of music made the delivery of her second child much more pleasant; her first delivery had been a very painful experience. Dr. Berger of Ireland Cancer Center says that music is more than just enjoyable but can be a pain reliever used for something as common as going to the dentist.

Menegazzi, J. J. (1991, November). Music relieves pain, but not anxiety. RN, 54. 82.
Call #: UWEC McIntyre Library - (Bounded Journals).

A study in a clinic in Pittsburgh shows that listening to music while having a laceration repaired helps to reduce pain. Those who chose to listen to music that they preferred had scores (subjective ten-point system) much lower than those who went without music. Music, however, did not seem to reduce the anxiety that comes when a laceration is being stitched up.

Music as medicine. Parents, 62. 14.
Call #: UWEC McIntyre Library - (Microfilm).

According to this article, music has many benefits. Music can trigger the body's healing system, help mentally handicapped and autistic children, aid in the learning of communication skills, and help people to relax. Raymond Bohr, M.D., at St. Agnes Hospital in Baltimore plays sedative music to patients in the critical care unit to reduce pain. Because the body does not have to deal with pain, it can begin to heal itself. Leslie Hunter used music therapy instead of pain medication during childbirth.

Music hath charms. PsychologyToday. 19. 54. (1985, December).
Call #: UWEC McIntyre Library - (Microfilm).

This article reviews the origins of music therapy. It says that music therapy has been used since biblical times but states that it was not until World War II that people began to recognize the wide variety of benefits that come from music. The article references Helen Bonny who has developed a technique for pain-therapy called GIM- Guided Imagery and Music. GIM "involves listening in a relaxed state to selected music, programmed tape, or live music…."

Sammon, J. T. (1997, September). March music - healing and music. J.A.M.A. 278. 816.
Call #: UWEC McIntyre Library - (Microfilm).

This article discusses the many effects music has on those listening to it. It talks about how music can be used to make someone happy, reduce psychological and physical stress, anxiety, isolation, and pain.

Ellen M. C. (1987). The Chronic Pain Control Workbook. Oakland: New Harbinger.
Call #: RB127 .C38 1987 (UWEC McIntyre Library).

This resource is a step-by-step guide for coping with and overcoming pain. It is designed for the pain sufferer but also offers new insights for health professionals. The workbook walks the reader through the steps of coping with pain. The appendix describes how to make a personalized relaxation tape which could utilize words and music.

Sampson L. (1984). Conquering Pain. New York: Arco Publishers.
Call #: RB127 .L458 1984 (UWEC McIntyre Library).

This book explores the new discoveries associated with relieving pain. The chapters "Pain and the Mind" and "Self Help" in particular deal with ways in which one could use music to help alleviate pain.

Donald A. H. (1996). Handbook of music psychology. Texas: IMR Press, San Antonio.
Call #: ML3830 .H2 1996 (UWEC McIntyre Library).

This book explores various facets of music psychology. It includes articles by several different authors. The "Neuromusical Research" and "Responses to Music" chapters discuss the numerous scientific research projects that have taken place regarding the brain and how music can affect one’s state of mind.

Peters, J. S. (1987). Music Therapy. Charles C. Thomas Publisher, Springfield.
Call #: UWEC Textbook.

This book provides an overview of music therapy. It includes some of the theoretical concepts of music therapy and major areas and trends in music therapy. References to pain management are made throughout the book and include using music to reduce post-operative or chronic pain, to increase pain tolerance, to reduce pain perception and increase feelings of comfort, and to keep clients’ minds off of their pain.

Campbell, D. (1997). The Mozart effect: Tapping the power of music to heal the body, strengthen the mind, and unlock the creative spitit. New York: Avon Books.
Call #: ML3920 .C17 1997 (UWEC McIntyre Library).

This book deals with how people can use music to deal with everything from anxiety to cancer, high blood pressure, chronic pain, dyslexia, and mental illness. Examples of easing pain addressed in this book are: using music to visualize pain and push it off of one’s body; guided imagery; toning and chanting; and harp therapy. Compact discs or cassettes may be purchased separately (Volume II is music for rest and relaxation to heal the body).

Turk, D. C., & Feldman, C. S. (1992). Noninvasive approaches to pain management in the terminally ill. New York: Haworth Press.
Call #: RB127 .N66 1992 (UWEC McIntyre Library).

Various authors have contributed to this book. The chapter "The Cognitive Behavioral Perspective on Pain Management in Terminal Illness" by Baruch Fishman offers a common-sense model and techniques (including music therapy) which are easy for both patients and health care professionals to understand and implement. Two main ideas are emphasized: 1) pain and suffering are not the same, and 2) patients can exercise substantial personal control over their thoughts, feelings, and behavior. The book further explains that, "Music can have a direct mood altering effect, as well as an indirect relaxing effect through the diversion of attention from pain and stress provoking stimuli."

Wen-hsien W. (1987). Pain management. New York: Human Sciences Press.
Call #: RB127 .P33235 1987 (UWEC McIntyre Library).

This book contains chapters by various authors. Traditional methods of pain management are addressed with other types of therapy. Methods described in the chapters "Psychological Therapy for Chronic Pain" and "Meditation" describe methods which could be used in conjunction with music therapy.

Salerno, E., & Willens, J. S. (1996). Pain management handbook. Mosby-Year Book. St. Louis.
Call #: RB127 .S25 1996 (UWEC McIntyre Library).

This handbook is to help clinicians become knowledgeable about the many recent advances in pain management. The book stresses the importance of assessing pain, taking action, and then reassessing the pain. Pages 223-224 describe music therapy as an alternative approach to pain management.

Gardner, K. (1997). Sounding the inner landscape. Element 1990, Rockport.
Call #: ML3920 .G14 1997 (UWEC McIntyre Library).

This book was written with emphasis on the spiritual aspect of music and sound. It emphasizes the effects musicians can have on one’s good health and well-being. Examples in which pain is eased: through toning or making a groaning sound in order to break up the tension of pain; using melodies to help transcend physical pain; lowering the decibels of sound; blocking pain stimuli through activation of brain centers by use of drum sounds; and listening to oboe music in the keys of A-flat, A, or B-flat to ease sinus headaches.

Peter Michael Hamel, P. M. (1991). Through music to the self. Element 1991, Rockport.
Call #: ML3845 .H2513 1991 (UWEC McIntyre Library).

This book compares the effects of music of various world cultures. Various cultures use music in their own ways, including dealing with pain, mantra, medication, music therapy, breath and voice, and ‘one’s own sound.’ The "Social Practice and Exercise Methods" chapter shows practical applications of music.