Study: Simon & Garfunkel Tune Eases Chronic Pain

by | October 24, 2013 at 1:51 PM | Health


“Bridge Over Troubled Water” is the new Tylenol?

By Ruth Brown, Newser Staff

Walk into select Lloyds Pharmacy locations in the UK complaining of a headache, and you may be more likely to walk out with a Simon & Garfunkel CD than a bottle of painkillers. The pharmacy chain commissioned a study that found 41% of all people suffering persistent pain (and 66% of people aged 16-24) felt better after listening to music, reports the Telegraph.

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Now the store is “trialing the use of music within our pain service in some of our pharmacies,” says a company pharmacist. “There are lots of different ways of managing pain, not only with medicines but also with lifestyle changes such as moderate exercise and relaxation,” he says.

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The study of 1,500 people found pop music was the most effective pain reliever, followed by classical, then rock or indie music. The songs with the highest pain-relieving powers reported were “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon & Garfunkel, “Angels” by Robbie Williams, “Albatross” by Fleetwood Mac, “Candle in the Wind” by Elton John, and “Easy” by The Commodores.

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This may be an eyebrow-raiser for some people—like the Guardian‘s music editor, who jokes: “This slightly contradicts my own survey, which found that 100% of all respondents (sample size: one) thought ‘Candle in the Wind’ induced chronic pain, but there you go.”

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.