According to one Northwestern Medicine study, published in Pediatric Surgery, listening to music was an effective alternative to post-surgical pain medication (opioid analgesics), which can cause breathing problems in children. In what is believed to be the first study of its kind, pediatric patients, aged nine to 14, who listened to 30 minutes of songs of their choosing, following major surgery, had a significant reduction in pain. The study’s senior author, Dr. Santhanam Suresh, believes audio-therapy helps thwart a secondary pathway in the prefrontal cortex involved in the memory of pain. He explains that the audio therapy worked regardless of the patient’s initial pain score. One of the added benefits of this type of treatment is that patients can continue treatment at home and there are zero negative side effects.