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Recent study proves that Music therapy reduces pain in patients recuperating from Spine Surgery

Apr 11, 2017

Recent study proves that Music therapy reduces pain in patients recuperating from Spine Surgery

A recent study published in the American Journal of Orthopedics stated that music therapy has been observed to reduce the amount of pain and distress in patients recuperating from spine surgery, equating a controlled patients group who got traditional standard postoperative care alone.

The study was conducted by a team of researchers from the Mount Sinai Department of Orthopedics and The Louis Armstrong Center for Music and Medicine. In the United States, nearly 70% of the population go through at least one incidence of back pain in their entire life span, and over 5 million suffer from spinal disorders are either permanently or temporarily disabled.

Clinical Director of The Louis Armstrong Department of Music Therapy and Leading author of the study, John Mondanaro says that the study conducted is one of a kind to seek incorporating music therapy in medicinal field for treating post-surgical pain. According to him, spine patients in their postoperative stage are at a higher risk for pain management challenges.

Prior to starting- and post music therapy, Visual Analog Scale (VAS) pain ratings were taken from the experimental group and within the similar time frame in the controlled group. The VAS pain levels in the controlled group marginally escalated from 5.20 to 5.87 and the VAS levels in the experimental group, reduced from 6.20 to 5.09, although just by one point but it did make a significance difference.

As stated by Joanne Loewy who is the DA, co-author of the study and Director of The Louis Armstrong Center for Music and Medicine, "The degree of change in the music group is notable for having been achieved by non-pharmacologic means with little chance of adverse effects."

She says that the every individual’s pain is personal and subjective, and justifies a personalized approach to care. Licensed and certified music therapists can customize the treatment to every patient’s musical preference and keep up their level of pain.

In the study, the music therapists rendered treatments to every patient who comprised of patient-preferred live music that assists in relieving stress and provides relaxation and combined singing or drumming rhythmically. Besides, visualization techniques and breathwork were also provided.

The medical researchers catered to 30 spine surgery patients with half an hour of music therapy session within 72 hours post surgery apart from standard postoperative care. Treatment pertaining to post surgery, which is essentially pharmacologic, is a crucial segment of recuperation, especially amidst the immediate postoperative time period, when anxiety and pain noticeably escalated.

The study included another set of 30 patients who underwent spine surgery and got standard postoperative care without music therapy. All the 60 patients were of the age group from 40 to 55 years and had undergone anterior-posterior spinal fusion, or just posterior or anterior spinal fusion.

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