Reduced pain and analgesic use after acoustic binaural beats therapy in chronic pain. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Reduced pain and analgesic use after acoustic binaural beats therapy in chronic pain - a double blind randomized control cross-over trial.
Eur J Pain. 2020 Jun 21. Epub 2020 Jun 21. PMID: 32564499
BACKGROUND: Binaural Beats (BB) consist of two artificial acoustic stimuli with different frequency, presented simultaneously but independently to each ear. The human brain perceives and synchronizes to this frequency difference (entrainment).
METHODS: In a double blind, randomized, cross-over trial, BB at 5Hz (theta rhythm) were applied for 30 minutes, under simultaneous electroencephalogram recordings, followed by liberal, on demand use by chronic pain patients for a week, compared to sham stimulation (SS). Pain as the main outcome (numeric scale, NRS), stress (STAI) and medication usage (defined daily doses, DDD) were assessed at baseline, 30 minutes and week's end.
RESULTS: Perceived pain (NRS) was significantly reduced in BB intervention (5.6±2.3 to 3.4±2.6, p<0.001), compared to SS (5.2±2.1 to 4.8±2.3, p=0.78), during the first 30-minute phase, as well as at the week's end (to 3.9±2.5 compared to 5.5±2.6 respectively, p<0.001). The mean EEG theta power at 5Hz was significantly increased only during BB application. Stress was significantly reduced at 30 minutes in both interventions but remained reduced only in the BB group at the week's end. Analgesic medication consumption (DDD, g) during the week was significantly less in the BB intervention (3.9±3.7 vs. 4.6±4.1, p<0.05), while reporting equal to SS mean levels of pain.
CONCLUSIONS: Acoustic BB reduced pain intensity, stress and analgesic use, compared to SS, in chronic pain patients.