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Can Music Benefit Seniors with Arthritis?

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Providers of North Broward, FL, home care know that music affects us emotionally and psychologically. However, recent studies show that listening to popular tunes can also provide soothing, pain-relieving results for those with arthritis.

Stress Relief

Whether pain occurs periodically during the day or becomes more chronic, the body views the sensation as a type of stress. Muscles tense, the body releases cortisol, and heart rate, breathing and blood pressure rise. These physical responses are also thought to elevate pain levels. Listening to music stimulates many areas of the brain, which includes the pleasure center. When triggered, the brain releases dopamine. This neurotransmitter elevates mood while stimulating mental and physical relaxation. As a result, mental and physical tension ceases and pain levels drop.

Pain Relief

Actively listening to music also encourages the brain to release natural morphine-like chemicals called endorphins. A study performed in Denmark found this effect when chronic pain sufferers listened to music. Additionally, after the music subsided, the action of these pain-relieving compounds continued for up to a few hours.

Pain Inhibitor

Researchers in the United States and other countries also learned that listening to music keeps the brain busy to the point that either the organ ignores pain signals or the signals never reach the brain. Whether hearing familiar or unfamiliar tunes, the brain consciously or subconsciously becomes enmeshed in predicting the notes or lyrics, which distracts from responding to neurological messages that indicate pain.

Consistent Therapy

Psychologists from the University of Utah recommend that seniors with arthritis make a point of listening to music daily. Pain relief seems to be a progressive benefit. Studies suggest that each day people enjoy the activity, pain relief increased. Professional music therapists explain that the type of music is also important. Selections must induce relaxation and not be overly physically stimulating. The genre of music enjoyed is not a factor. Classical pieces provide the same benefits as more modern options.

Seniors who live with arthritis can further their wellbeing with help from Home Care Assistance of North Broward, FL. In addition to offering mobility assistance and medication reminders, our live-in and hourly caregivers in North Broward help seniors with all activities of daily living. Contact a friendly Care Manager at 954-906-5161 to schedule a free consultation today.