Music therapy, combined with standard medical treatment has been found to reduce the perception of pain in individuals recovering from spinal surgeries, according to a study published in the American Journal of Orthopedics. Spine surgery recovery can take a long time and take a tremendous toll on the individual and family. Research has found that music therapy can help reduce pain post-surgery.
The study has shown solid findings that this therapy, when combined with standard treatment, positively impacts pain. Individuals report an increase in comfort during the recovery time. Utilizing music in a therapeutic setting can benefit a patient’s treatment plan, as it addresses the whole individual, including mind, body, and spirit. This is the same approach that chiropractic uses.
Combining Standard Treatment with Music Therapy
The study took place at the Spine Institute of New York with the music therapy set-up through the hospital’s Louis Armstrong Center for Music and Medicine. There were 60 patients thirty-five females and twenty-five males ranging in age from 40 to 55. They underwent anterior, posterior, or anterior-posterior spinal fusion surgery. The groups were equally split up. The experimental group had music therapy included with their standard medical care, and the control group only received standard medical treatment.
The experimental group would undergo a 30-minute music therapy session over an 8-hour period within 72 hours after the procedure. The music options included:
- Patient-preferred music
- Rhythmic drumming that encourages relaxation
The sessions focused on personal treatment, where the individuals were encouraged to express emotions. A pain scale was used before and after the interventions to measure the results. What was found, was that pain levels would go up slightly in the control group, and in the experimental group, the pain dropped.
Spine Surgery Recovery
With standard care medications are typically the first-line treatment post-spine surgery pain. With all of the negative side effects that come with pain meds/opioids, music therapy is worth considering when looking for non-drug therapies. If anything music is an excellent distraction tool. So long as the music is enjoyable to the individual.
For the most part, many individuals that underwent spine surgery already listen to their music pre and post-operation. It helped them to relax before the surgery and allowed them to focus on something else after. Much like athletes that have their headphones/earbuds when they get to the venue to focus and block out everything going on around them. This therapy works the same way. But now we want to encourage anyone undergoing some spinal procedure to go ahead and jam out.