A high street pharmacy is advising customers seeking pain relief to listen to music after a study found it can ease their symptoms.
Four in ten people living with persistent pain (41 per cent) told researchers their favourite songs helped them relax and feel better.
Pop music was found to be the most effective for 21 per cent of patients, followed by classical (17 per cent) and rock or indie (16 per cent).
The most effective songs were “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon and Garfunkel, “Angels” by Robbie Williams, and “Albatross” by Fleetwood Mac.
These were followed by “Candle in the Wind” by Elton John, and “Easy” by “The Commodores”.
Now Lloyds Pharmacy – which commissioned the study of 1,500 people – is piloting the recommendations at selected stores across the UK.
This includes Selfridges, in Oxford Street, central London; Jubilee Crescent, Coventry; Barton Hill Road, Torquay; and Fallowfield, Manchester.
Around ten million people in the country suffer pain most days, including back and neck pain, arthritis, joint pain, and headaches or migraines.
Music has the biggest impact on younger people, with 66 per cent of those aged 16 to 24 claiming it helps with their pain management.
Pharmacist Andrew Mawhinney, from LloydsPharmacy, said: “There are lots of different ways of managing pain, not only with medicines but also with lifestyle changes such as moderate exercise and relaxation.
“After speaking to many people who are living with pain we were interested to learn just how many found music beneficial, which is why we’re now trialing the use of music within our pain service in some of our pharmacies.”
David Bradshaw, a Research Assistant Professor at The University of Utah Pain Management Centre, said: “People in pain should try to find some activity to get fully engaged in.
“Listening to favourite music is excellent for that because it can involve both thoughts and feelings.
“No matter how anxious you may feel, if you can get absorbed in the music this can help with your pain.
“Choose music you like and know well, humming or singing along can help you engage in listening and distract you from your pain.”
Of those who listen to music to help with their pain, one third (33 per cent) do so as “often as possible” and 40 per cent chose to listen in the evenings.