How Music May Aid Your Spine Surgery Recovery

Category: Spine Surgery, Surgery Recovery | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: April 10, 2017

Music Spine Surgery

Music can help put us in a better mood or help pass the time on a road trip, but new research suggests that it may also aid in our recovery after spine surgery. Music isn’t going to magically heal the soft tissues or the disc in your pain, but a new study says it can play a role in decreasing pain levels after surgery. Researchers claim that music therapy is better able to ease post-operative surgical pain in patients with spinal disorders than standard therapy.

Music’s Role In Spine Surgery Recovery

To get a better understanding of how music may be helpful after spine surgery, researchers conducted a study involving patients between the ages of 40 and 55 who were undergoing anterior, posterior or anterior-posterior spinal fusion. 30 patients were grouped into the music therapy group, while 30 patients were placed in the standard care group.

Both groups received the same rehab protocol for their specific surgery, but individuals in the music group also received a 30-minute music therapy session administered by a music therapist from the Louis Armstrong Center within 72 hours of the completion of their operation. Individuals in the music group received patient-preferred live music that supported tension release and relaxation as well as joint singing and/or rhythmic drumming. They were also asked to partake in breath work and visualization exercises. Patients were asked about their pain levels before and after their rehab therapy.

Music Study Results

After looking at the data, researchers found that pain levels increased from a 5.20 to a 5.87 on a pain scale after therapy for patients in the traditional rehab group, but pain scales fell from a 6.20 to 5.09 for patients in the music therapy group.

“The degree of change in the music group is notable for having been achieved by non-pharmacologic means with little chance of adverse effects,” said study co-author Joanne Loewy. “Pain is subjective and personal, and warrants an individualized approach to care.”

Study lead author Dr. John Mondanaro agreed, saying controlling postoperative spine pain is challenging and that the findings may help control some of this discomfort.

“This study is unique in its quest to integrate music therapy in medicine to treat post-surgical pain,” said Dr. Mondanaro. “Postoperative spine patients are at major risk for pain management challenges.”

Minnesota Spine Surgery

So if you are recovering from a recent surgery, have your iPod or phone with you during your rehab sessions. Listening to music can help take your mind off your pain, which is always beneficial in the first couple days after a spine surgery. To learn more about how music may be able to help in your post-surgical rehab, contact Dr. Sinicropi today.

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