Patients who have surgery can expect to have less pain if they use relaxation and music with their pain medication. Marion Good, Assistant Professor of Nursing, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, found that relaxation and music, separately and together, significantly reduce patients' pain following major abdominal surgery. Tested in addition to the usual pain medication, these self-care methods reduced pain more than medication alone.
Music and relaxation are useful for patients who experience incomplete relief from pain medication, who wish to avoid side effects, who are anxious, or who find these methods appealing. Relaxation and music are known to reduce muscle tension and distract patients' attention from pain.
These methods have no side effects, and the results of Good's study promise reduced pain and possibly less need for opíod medications. Good and her research team recommend that physicians and nurses encourage patients to use relaxation and music with medication to control postoperative pain at ambulation and rest after surgery.