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The Impact of Varied Music Applications on Pain Perception and Situational Pain Catastrophizing

Published:January 13, 2023DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpain.2023.01.006

      Highlights

      • Impact of music on pain processing was assessed using quantitative sensory testing (QST).
      • Participants had lower pain sensitivity and less catastrophizing during their favorite music.
      • Patient-selected favorite music may be an effective and low-risk adjuvant analgesic.

      ABSTRACT

      We evaluated how pain processing and situational pain catastrophizing differed between two music interventions (Unwind and favorite music) and a control condition (white noise). Healthy adults (n=70) completed quantitative sensory testing (QST) measuring pressure pain threshold (PPTh) and tolerance (PPTol), heat pain threshold (HPTh), offset analgesia (OA), temporal summation of pain (TSP), and conditioned pain modulation (CPM). Participants completed three QST rounds with the presence of white noise (control condition), a relaxing music app (Unwind), and their favorite music, which were presented in a randomized order. The Situational Pain Catastrophizing Scale was completed after each round. Friedman tests and post-hoc Wilcoxon signed-rank tests were used to compare pain processing and catastrophizing across the three conditions. Participants’ PPTh, PPTol, and HPTh were significantly higher during the favorite music condition compared to the other two conditions, indicating lower pain sensitivity when listening to favorite music. In contrast, OA was lower in the favorite music condition. Although TSP and CPM were induced by the QST paradigm, these did not differ across the three conditions. Situational pain catastrophizing was also significantly lower during the favorite music condition. Several measures of pain sensitivity and situational pain catastrophizing were lower when listening to favorite music compared to relaxing music or white noise. More research is necessary to determine the mechanism(s) by which music modulates pain processing.

      Keywords

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