Chronic or Recurring Pain a Problem for Half of Americans

Here’s the bad news:

Accord­ing to a recent nation­wide sur­vey, fifty per­cent of the U.S. pop­u­la­tion is strug­gling to cope with the aggra­va­tion of inter­mit­tent pain or with the mis­ery of chron­ic pain.

Back pain was by far the most com­mon issue men­tioned in the sur­vey.  Knees and shoul­ders were also a prob­lem. Near­ly one-tenth suf­fered from headaches.

Pain isn’t just a sen­sa­tion you have — it inter­feres with your life.  Most peo­ple in the sur­vey said that their pain was inter­fer­ing with with one or more of these:

  • work or oth­er duties,
  • emo­tion and mood,
  • day-to-day activ­i­ties,
  • sleep, or
  • gen­er­al enjoy­ment of life.

Workplace stress

Pain is more than just an unpleas­ant sen­sa­tion. Ray­mond Gae­ta, MD, asso­ciate pro­fes­sor of anaes­the­sia at the Stan­ford School of Med­i­cine and direc­tor of pain man­age­ment ser­vices at Stan­ford Hos­pi­tal & Clin­ics, says pain is a hid­den dis­ease, receiv­ing far less atten­tion than oth­er dis­eases.

Here’s good news:  music can alleviate chronic pain and depression

Lis­ten­ing to music can reduce chron­ic pain by up to 21 per­cent and depres­sion by up to 25 per­cent, accord­ing to a paper in the Jour­nal of Advanced Nurs­ing.

Music can also make peo­ple feel more in con­trol of their pain and less dis­abled by their con­di­tion.

The research estab­lished a strong link between music and depres­sion.  Researchers car­ried out a con­trolled clin­i­cal tri­al with six­ty peo­ple, divid­ing them into music groups and a con­trol group.  Peo­ple who lis­tened to music for an hour every day for a week report­ed improved phys­i­cal and psy­cho­log­i­cal symp­toms com­pared to the con­trol group.


Deepen Your Body of Knowledge

Dr. Lavine’s Dai­ly Log helps chron­ic pain and fibromyal­gia suf­fer­ers track their symp­toms sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly.   That’s the only way you’ll know when the inter­ven­tions you’re try­ing are help­ing on a con­sis­tent basis.

More research on music and chron­ic pain


About Ronald Lavine, D.C.

Dr. Lavine has more than thirty five years' experience helping patients alleviate pain and restore health using diverse, scientifically-based manual therapy and therapeutic exercise and alignment methods. His website,, provides more information about his approach. Please contact him at or at 212-400-9663.
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