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Clinical Services: Adult through Geriatric

Spinal Cord Conditions

Image: Louis Armstrong

About Spinal Cord Conditions
Spinal cord conditions include back pain from strains and sprains, herniated discs and other disc problems, scoliosis, kyphosis, traumatic injuries, spinal stenosis, osteoarthritis, spinal deformities, and spinal tumors. Patients admitted with spinal cord conditions may undergo procedures such as discectomies, laminectomy, spinal fusion, scoliosis surgery, tumor removal, or disc replacement.

Emotional and psychosocial issues that may occur in association with a spinal cord condition include fear of pain, fear of movement/walking, fear of medical procedures, isolation, depression, vulnerability, helplessness associated with lack of autonomy and lack of sense of accomplishment, need of support during transition and adjustment to the physical changes. (Source: http://www.wehealny.org/services/BI_orthosportsmed/spine.html July 25, 2006).

Music Therapy and Spinal Cord Conditions
Music therapy sessions are offered to ease pain, promote healing and recuperation, and reduce physical and emotional tension and stress. Music therapists work together with occupational and physical therapists to provide meaningful musical experiences that enhance motivation for patients to exercise and stimulate physical movement that may increase range of motion, provide rhythmic flow while moving, and offer extra comfort and support that may accelerate the healing and recuperation process. Sessions may include live improvisation, drumming, toning, guided visualization, song writing, song sensitation, music meditation, and sedation.

Music therapy may address spinal cord conditions for adults and children throughout the hospital. In addition, music therapists work in conjunction with the Spine Institute of New York, Division of Orthopedic Surgery at Mount Sinai Beth Israel. Clinical Services include:

  • Music therapists provide daily sessions at bedside for patients undergoing spine surgical procedures.
  • Pre- and post-operative sessions are offered to alleviate pain and anxiety that may occur.
  • The monthly community sessions for caregivers of patients, including families and friends as well as staff on the unit, aim to create community, reduce stress and prevent burn-out through a creative music-making approach.
  • Environmental Music Therapy (EMT) is offered to create a relaxed, less stressful environment.

Related Research and Articles
For articles from peer-reviewed journals, research studies and authoritative literature, please see the bibliographies in the Suggested Reading section. Additional information is available through Websites listed on the Related Links page.

For Questions and Further Information
For questions and further information about music therapy or referrals for yourself, your loved ones or your patients, please call (212) 420-2704 or email info@musicandmedicine.org.

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