[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 27 November, 2003, 10:31 GMT
Music 'can ease arthritis pain'
Osteoarthritis is relatively common
Listening to music could help substantially ease the pain of osteoarthritis, say researchers.

Scientists in Florida found just a 20-minute session once a day was enough for patients to report a two-thirds reduction in pain levels.

The researchers believe music could also help people with other chronic conditions.

The research, published in the Journal for Advanced Nursing, was based on tests on 68 elderly patients.

As a coping strategy music may have its place, along with the likes of relaxation and aromatherapy.
Arthritis Research Campaign
Half spent two weeks listening to music for 20 minutes a day and the others spent 20 minutes sitting quietly.

A scientific analysis of pain levels found that pain levels in the music group were cut by 50%.

Lead researcher Professor Ruth McCaffrey, from the Florida Atlantic University College of Nursing, said: "The group who listened to music experienced a significant decrease in pain, with the amount of natural pain relief increasing over the 14-day listening period.

"This is because music is thought to release endorphins, which reduce pain, decrease blood pressure, the heart rate, respiratory rate and oxygen consumption."

Useful at home

She said music was an ideal therapy as it could easily be used in community settings, including the patient's own home.

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis.

It is caused by the breakdown of protective tissue called cartilage in the joints.

A spokeswoman for the Arthritis Research Campaign told BBC News Online: "Music can be very soothing and relaxing, and may take your mind off your pain for a little while.

"As a coping strategy music may have its place, along with the likes of relaxation and aromatherapy.

"However, to suggest that it can reduce the pain of osteoarthritis by 50% stretches credulity a little and should not be taken terribly seriously."

Vitamin could prevent arthritis
22 Jun 03  |  Health
Gene hope for osteoarthritis
22 Mar 03  |  Health

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific