Two recent studies suggest that music can relieve migraine headaches in children and relieve pain.
In a study of 58 children with migraine headaches published in the European Journal of Pain music therapy was compared to a placebo pill and an herbal supplement, butterbur.
Both music therapy and butterbur provided significantly better relief than placebo.
In the second study published in the journal Pain, volunteers were divided into three groups: a silent control group, a group listening to pleasant music and another group listening to unpleasant music.
Those who listened to pleasant music felt less pain than the other two groups. These two studies provide scientific support to the use of music therapy for painful conditions, including migraine headaches.
More on Music and Pain
Some studies have suggested that happy music (typically music with faster tempo and major mode) is better at relieving pain than sad music.
A study by Chinese researchers published earlier this year in the journal Pain showed that both sad and happy melodies lower pain perception in healthy volunteers, as long as the melodies are pleasant.
This study adds to the growing evidence that music can indeed relieve pain and, not surprisingly, that the music has to be pleasant.
Alexander Mauskop MD, FAAN, Associate Professor of Neurology at SUNY – Downstate Medical Center, is the Director and founder of the New York Headache Center. Dr. Mauskop is board-certified in Neurology with subspecialty certification in Headache Medicine. He has delivered over 400 scientific presentations and lectures and is a reviewer for the New England Journal of Medicine, Neurology, Headache, and several other medical journals. For the past 21 years, has been the Director of an annual educational symposium for physicians. Over 200 doctors from around the world have visited the New York Headache Center to learn advanced treatment techniques.
Dr. Mauskop is the author of Migraine and Headache (Oxford American Pain Library) and What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Migraines: The Breakthrough Program That Can Help End Your Pain.
He has repeatedly been chosen as one of New York magazine’s Best Doctors in New York, as one of New York Times Magazine’s, “Super Doctors” and as Castle and Connolly’s “Best Doctors”. Dr. Mauskop has appeared on television shows including Tom Brokaw’s News Hour, Extra, and PBS specials, and he has been featured in Vogue, O Magazine, and many other publications. He has given lectures at the medical schools of Cornell, Harvard, Columbia, NYU and Dartmouth, and at the Mayo Clinic and Cleveland Clinic.
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