Arthritis

Updated 18 December 2015

Music therapy relieves fibromyalgia symptoms

Researchers have proven that music therapy reduces significantly pain, depression and anxiety, and improves sleep among patients suffering from fibromyalgia.

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University of Granada researchers have proven that music therapy combined with other relax techniques based on guided imagery reduces significantly pain, depression and anxiety and improves sleep among patients suffering from fibromyalgia.  Thus, this therapy enhances patients' quality of life.

This pioneer experimental study in Europe has shown that these two techniques enhance the well-being and personal power of patients with fibromyalgia, who are allowed to take part in their treatment.

This research study was conducted with patients suffering from fibromyalgia from the provinces of Granada, Almería and Córdoba, Spain. They undertook a basal test at the beginning of the treatment, a post-basal test four weeks after the intervention, and another post-basal test eight weeks after the intervention, at the end of the study.

Treatment at home

The researchers applied a relaxation technique based on guided imagery and music therapy to patients, in a series of sessions conducted by a researcher. Patients were given a CD to listen at home. Then, researchers measured a number of variables associated to the main symptoms of fibromyalgia –as pain intensity, quality of life, impact of the condition on patient's daily life, sleep disorders, anxiety, depression, self-efficiency, well-being. Then, patients were given the chance to participate in their own treatment through an understanding of their condition.

Fibromyalgy is a chronic condition that affects and conditions patients' social, personal and working life and requires a multidisciplinary approach developed by a team of physicians, physiotherapists, experts in physical activity and sport, psychologists and nurses.

According to University of Granada researchers, their study confirms that nursery has the tools –as the art of relaxation with guided imagery and receptive music therapy– that have proven effective in the alternative symptomatic treatment of this condition. The low cost, easy implementation, numerous advantages, and the fact that patients can get involved in their treatment at home are some of the many advantages of this technique.

Anyway, researchers state that "further empirical research studies are needed to address other physiological variables associated with the well-being generated by these two techniques, and that analyse patients' self-efficiency and personal power to get involved in their own treatment.

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Professor Asgar Ali Kalla completed his MBChB (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) degree in 1975 at the University of Cape Town and his FRCP in 2003 in London. Professor Ali Kalla is the Isaac Albow Chair of Rheumatology at the University of Cape Town and also the Head of Division of Rheumatology at Groote Schuur Hospital. He has participated in a number of clinical trials for rheumatology and is active in community outreach. Prof Ali Kalla is an expert in Arthritis for Health24.

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