Did you know that listening to music could impact your pain levels? According to a new study, people who were given the impression that they had control over their music choice experienced more pain relief than people who were not given any control.
The study published in PLOS ONE included 286 adults experiencing chronic pain who were asked to rate their pain before and after listening to a music track. Two different versions of the track were composed. Participants were randomly assigned to hear either the low- or high-complexity version. They were also randomly selected to be given the impression they had some control over the musical qualities of the track. However, these participants heard the same track regardless of their choice.
It was found that participants who felt they had control over the music reported more significant relief in the intensity of their pain compared to those who were not given the impression. All participants reported enjoying both versions of the track, but no links were found between the music complexity and the amount of pain relief. However, it was noted that participants who engaged actively with music in their everyday life had even greater pain-relief benefits.
These findings suggest that engagement and choice of music are important for pain relief. Further research is needed to explore the relationship between music choice and engagement. Strategies for boosting engagement are also needed to improve pain relief.
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