Does Music Help Seniors with Arthritis?

By Anneliese Rosar, 9:00 am on

Many scientific studies revealed that listening to music is more than just a pleasant pastime. McKinney live-in caregivers believe that the activity can also enhance personal health. The latest research indicates that music can also serve as a means of pain management for seniors that have arthritis. 

Brain Response

Researcher Robert Zatorre from McGill University explains that listening to appealing music stimulates the pleasure center of the brain, which comes to life when we eat a rewarding meal or engage in an enjoyable activity. When that area of the brain becomes triggered, cells release the feel good hormone dopamine along with pain relieving endorphins. This is one way that music helps arthritis sufferers find relief. 

Diverts Thinking

Psychology scientists from University of Utah’s Pain Research Center suggest that while the brain is engaged in active music listening, thought processes are redirected and thus, do not think about discomfort. During his studies on pain relief, Dr. David Bradshaw found that the more immersed individuals are in the music they hear, the less pain they feel. 

Shocking Results

At the University of Colorado in Boulder, psychologist Mathieu Roy conducted his own study to find the correlation between music and pain management. The unusual research involved administering a mild electrical shock to the ankles of willing participants. As expected, subjects recoiled when receiving the jolt. Music was then started before the shock. While listening to music, the volunteers once again were exposed to a mild jolt. However, they did not react. Scientists speculate that the act of listening to music might actually prevent pain signals from reaching the brain..

Chronic Pain

Music therapy is also beneficial for anyone living with the chronic pain of arthritis. At the Arts & Medicine Institute in Cleveland, music therapist Lisa Gallagher regularly conducts sessions for elderly patients living with chronic pain. Clients choose the type of music that they prefer. During the sessions, Gallagher witnesses first hand how the more patients become engrossed in the music, the more relaxed and less discomfort they experience. 

When seniors live with arthritis or other chronic conditions, they often benefit from having reliable home care McKinney families can trust. Home Care Assistance provides flexible live-in and hourly home care that helps seniors age in place comfortably while managing their chronic conditions. Call (972) 548-0392 today to talk to a friendly Care Manager and schedule a free consultation.

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