Listening to music boosts the effects of pain medication, according to new research

We already know music does some pretty cool stuff to your brain, but recent research suggests this may be more extensive than you’d think.

Exciting new advances have been made in exploring novel approaches to music in medicine. Recent research from the University of Utah is proving the power of music to be even more than we could ever have imagined.

listening to music reduces pain
Image: Collective Evolution

Research shows that listening to music increases the effects of pain medication, and alone can reduce pain by up to 77%.

The combination of listening to music (specifically Mozart) with ibuprofen in mice has shown to reduce pain by 93% in comparison to the drug alone. It also reduced pain by a further 21% in combination with cannabinoids. Listening to music alone also showed a 77% reduction in pain in a surgical pain model and a swelling reduction in the inflammatory pain model.

This research is incredibly exciting as it opens the door to combinatory drug and music pain treatment in the future. As current treatments for inflammatory pain are still developing, this is a welcome lead researchers have been looking for.

Before we get too excited, there are some limitations of the study. Firstly, nerve pain was not tested so there may not be any effect on this form. Secondly, mice hear in different frequencies to humans, meaning the results in mice may not translate directly to humans.

The study also only examined the impact of a very specifically curated Mozart playlist, so the results may not be as applicable to different genres of music. Not that this is the end of the world; Mozart will never go out of fashion.

Despite these limitations, the possibility of using music to reduce pain is pretty darn exciting.

Via Neuroscience News.