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How Music Helps Seniors with Arthritis

By Marius Butas, 9:00 am on

Listening to music is generally accepted by Mesa, AZ, home care providers as a pleasant experience that can provide motivation, trigger memories or bring people together. However, studies performed in recent years also indicate that music has a variety of health benefits that include pain reduction. Studies suggest that listening to music daily offers pain relief benefits to arthritis sufferers. 

Promotes Relaxation

A group of researchers from Montreal gathered more than 200 volunteers in an attempt to better understand the effects of music on the brain. Participants underwent MRI and PET scans while listening to music so that the scientists might get a real-time glimpse of brain activity. They found that music listening engaged the pleasure center of the brain. When involved in an activity that brings us joy, this area releases the mood elevating neurotransmitter dopamine. When relaxation occurs, muscles relax and pain decreases. 

Natural Pain Relief

Scientists from Denmark’s Aarhus University and the Center for Functionally Integrative Neuroscience found that many different areas of the brain become active when people listen to their favorite tunes. The group noted that areas of the brain commonly associated with releasing natural morphine-like chemicals known as endorphins were also active. The scientists witnessed that the effects of these chemicals continued for hours after music therapy sessions. 

Inhibits Pain

Denmark’s Dr. Peter Vuust explained that the brain becomes enmeshed in anticipating the next notes or lyrics, which may serve as a distraction of other stimuli, which includes pain signals. Research performed by a group from the University of Colorado in Boulder took their studies one step further and theorized that music might prevent pain signals from reaching the brain. They subjected volunteers to mild electric shocks in silence while music was played. The scientists found that while actively listening to music, study participants did not respond to and denied feeling the negative external stimulation. 

Help your loved one manage arthritis pain or other chronic conditions in the comfort of home with Home Care Assistance of Mesa, AZ. We provide flexible live-in and hourly home care Mesa seniors depend on to help with all aspects of daily life including mobility assistance, medication reminders and housekeeping. Call (480) 699-4899 today to speak to a reliable Care Manager and schedule a free consultation.