What Causes A Migraine
The American Migraine Foundation notes that the exact causes of migraines are still unknown. What doctors can help pinpoint, however, are migraine triggers .
combination of genetics with environmental triggers, explains Dr. Zubair Ahmed, MD, a neurologist at Cleveland Clinic. Think of it like other chronic medical conditions like hypertension or diabetes. The pathophysiology includes the release of calcitonin gene-related peptide , a neuropeptide involved much of the signaling that results in migraine pain and other associated symptoms.
There are both medical and lifestyle factors that can trigger a migraine, such as sleep, diet and hydration, which may need to be identified by a specialist. Dr. Ahmed adds that headache specialists can help develop non-pharmacological approachesbut can recommend medication, if necessaryto help prevent and ease migraine symptoms.
Related: Can Migraines Cause Vision Changes?
Does Acupuncture Stop Migraines
Acupuncture is a holistic health approach originating from traditional Chinese medicine. In its practice, acupuncturists insert needles in the skin on specific points on the body at varying depths to help relieve pain, tension and discomfort.
In acupuncture, although needles are inserted on the body, the practice is pain-free. The connection between acupuncture and tragus piercings and daith piercings in healing headaches, anxiety and migraines is that a pressure point that is a possible cause of migraines and headaches are relieved.
In the modern practice and use of acupuncture, it is possible to treat the following ailments:
- headaches, including reducing the frequency and intensity of migraines
- muscle spasms and pain
- chronic back problems and pain
- mood, depression
Acupuncture points are located on the meridians through which viral energy runs according to traditional Chinese medicine theory. Clinical trials have shown effectiveness in the use of this technique to stop migraines or at least reduce the frequency of severe headaches and anxiety in a good ratio of patients.
Acupuncture is believed to stimulate the bodys natural painkillers, increase blood flow, stimulate nerves, muscles and tissues. The traditional Asian practice of acupuncture has the goal of balancing the bodys energy, called the bodys life force or qi or chi.
Pain And Healing Time
As with any piercing , daith piercing pain is a common worry. When compared to a helix piercing, which feels like a sharp nip, Monckton laments that the pain associated with a daith piercing feels more like dull pressure. Of course, everyone has a different pain tolerance, and what’s painful for some may not be for others. Still, it’s widely agreed upon that a daith piercing is slightly more painful than earlobe piercings, as it’s placed on a firmer area where you’ll always experience more resistance. “For the piercer, it can take skillit’s maybe a little more fiddly while actually installing the jewelrybut it’s not especially painful,” says Monckton.
The healing time varies from person to person. “On average, it takes around six to nine months to heal,” notes Monckton. “We don’t encourage sleeping on new piercings until they’ve fully healed, but unlike some of the outer-ear piercings, most people can sleep on a daith piercing within a couple of months.” You likely won’t feel sore throughout the entire healing time, but it’s still important to take care of it and maintain cleanliness.
Daith And Its Association With Acupuncture
Acupuncture is a centuries-old healing practice and a component of traditional Chinese alternative medicine in which thin needles are placed at specific points in the body. It is primarily used for relieving pain but also helps to treat various other conditions. Practitioners claim daith piercing activates a pressure point that can affect pain receptors positively and reduce the impact of migraines.
There is no proof how daith piercings affect the pain receptions or reduce the frequency of migraine attacks. Piercing is a serious matter, and this is a sensitive spot. A little mistake may damage the spot where acupuncture would be performed to stimulate this pressure point for relief. Also, there is no way to be sure that the piercing is made on the exact spot.
Most people who have gone for daith piercing believe it resembles acupuncture and works like it. For them, getting it done on the same side where migraine occurs can reduce the incidence of painful episodes in that area. This piercing is popular among people who did not benefit from medications or those who want to avoid drug tolerance by taking too many of them.
Which Side Is Best
Which side to get daith piercing for migraines? Migraines can affect one side of the head, or come at random on both sides of your head. Some people are able to relieve migraines by massaging the particular side of the head that suffers the migraines.
So, should it be the left or right ear daith piercing for migraines? You can pierce the left ear cartilage if you get the migraines more often on the left side of the head. However, if the pain and pressure occurs most on the right side, do a daith piercing on the right side and see if it will stop the headaches.
- The best way to determine which side of daith piercings will help migraines is by massaging the ear or head on one side first.
- If the results are encouraging, get a daith piercing on that side.
- However, you can also opt to relieve headaches with daith piercings on both sides of the ear.
If you are trying to determine which side to get a cartilage ear piercing to stop a migraine or headache, you may also want to see an acupuncturist. The practitioner will help determine whether one piercing on either the left ear or right ear is all you need, or both. This way, your piercing may be a long term solution for your migraines.
Recommended Reading: Can Being Overheated Cause Migraines
Miss Demeanour Client Feedback After Having A Daith Piercing Done By Us To Treat Migraines
I got my daith done about two-three months ago now as I had 1-2 migraines a week that would sometimes last over a day. I refused to go on medication for it and gave this piercing a go. Ive only had 3 migraines since having this piercing, which has completely changed my life. Its definitely worth a shot from people who suffer from migraines.
I got mine done over 6 months ago and have had no migraine.. Had a couple of headaches .. So glad have had this done
I have no migraines at all only a couple of groggy headaches
Living With A Daith Piercing
If you decide to go ahead and get a daith piercing, there are a few things you should know about living with it. While the wound is fresh, cleaning it daily with lathered baby soap and rinsed with water is good. If the piercing becomes irritated, soak it in warm salt water for relief and healing. A daith piercing thats allowed to accumulate dirt and bacteria can cause infection in the ear cartilage, which isnt a pretty sight.
If you struggle with migraines on a regular basis and enjoy body art and jewelry, these daith piercings are a great opportunity to test a new trend and find out whether it has any merit.
DISCLAIMER: This post is strictly informational.
Recommended Reading: What Triggers Migraines With Aura
This Alternative Treatment Has Not Been Scientifically Proven
Daith piercing is an alternative treatment purported to be effective for managing chronic migraine headaches. Although anecdotes about the effectiveness of daith piercing abound on social media and elsewhere, the practice hasn’t been studied by scientists for either prevention of migraines, relief from pain, or other symptoms.
This is important to know if you’ve heard about daith piercing and are thinking of trying it in order to deal with chronic or episodic migraine headaches. Despite the anecdotal “evidence” that’s built up around this, with no scientific evidence to support it as an effective migraine therapy, experts do not recommend it.
Verywell / Laura Porter
Daith Piercing For Migraines
Can a daith piercing help with migraines and relieving headaches? Which side should you get it to stop headaches; the left ear or the right ear? Here is fact-based information and reviews on the effectiveness of daith ear cartilage piercing for migraine relief.
What is a daith piercing? It is a specific type of ear piercing that passes through the middle ears innermost cartilage. . It is therefore a type of ear cartilage piercing. While some people will get this piercing from a studio near them for beauty reasons, others are doing it as a treatment for persistent headaches.
There are claims that this kind of ear cartilage piercing can help relieve migraines. Not much of scientific studies show the direct use of piercings to treat migraines effectively. However, anecdotal evidence and reviews show it is possible to cure migraines with daith piercings. But how does it work?
Also Check: How To Treat Severe Migraine At Home
No Magic Pill Erpiercing
Daith piercing is a piercing in the place where the cartilage ridge inside your outer ear, called the helix, ends above the opening to the ear canal. Acupuncture targets this area to relieve migraine headache pain. So the theory is, piercing this trigger point permanently relieves migraines.
But Dr. Estemalik says theres no medical research that supports this theory. While some people swear that a daith piercing actually gets rid of their migraines, whats probably at work is a temporary placebo effect, says Dr. Estemalik.
A placebo is an inactive treatment, such as a sugar pill, that mimics an active medication or therapy. The placebo effect happens when you believe the placebo whether a pill or, in this case, a piercing is effective. In turn, the placebo has an effect on the medical condition and can positively affect the perception of pain.
Placebos aside, there is no scientific evidence or clinical trial results that support ear piercing as a solution to migraines, Dr. Estemalik says. Theres nothing in literature Ive heard of, nothing Ive read about, nothing I have studied out there that supports such a procedure to treat migraine headaches, he says. Receiving a piercing in that area will not alter the pain pathway of migraine.
It’s Easy To Get The Care You Need
See a Premier Physician Network provider near you.
If youve ever experienced a migraine headache, you know that the pain can be excruciating and last for hours. A recent social media explosion about daith piercing has some migraine sufferers singing its benefits, despite a lack of scientific evidence to support that claim.
Daith piercing is a piercing of the inner ear cartilage that some people believe can relieve migraine headaches.
The practice is similar to acupuncture in that there is a pressure point in the same spot where the piercing is done, says Richard Kim, MD, Clinical Neuroscience Institute physician. But we dont know if it does the same thing as acupuncture.
Migraines involve nerve cells, hormones and blood vessels in the brain. Hyperactive nerve cells signal blood vessels to expand. This also releases inflammatory hormones that cause painful pulsing in those blood vessels.
Acupuncture is a holistic Chinese practice that uses thin needles placed into the skin to stimulate specific points on the body. Its used to relieve pain and treat various health conditions.
A daith piercing punctures the cartilage of the outer ear, at the spot where the cartilage ridge called the helix meets the opening to the inner ear. The practice of piercing this location on the ear has existed for thousands of years, says Dr. Kim.
I would recommend a proven treatment and on top of that, if you really want to, then you can do a daith piercing.”
Recommended Reading: How To Treat Ocular Migraine
Ear Piercing For Migraines: Truth Or Myth
If you suffer from migraines, you are likely willing to try anything that may help stop them. You may also have pierced another part of your body and are wondering what the big deal is about getting one more piercing. But is piercing for migraines the answer? While it has gained popularity in recent years, there is little scientific evidence that piercing offers real, long-term relief from migraines.
What Are Some Migraine Treatment Options
While daith piercing may not be a proven treatment option for migraines, there are treatment options that are recommended. Dr. Ahmed says at home, you can take migraine medication and avoid triggers such as light, sound and even certain foods. Additionally, having a consistent routine is helpful.
Patients should not lose hope, adds Dr. Ahmed. The most effective approach towards treating headaches involves a multidisciplinary approach; for patients with severe or frequent headaches this might include combining non-pharmacological interventions, lifestyle changes and medications.
For patients who would also like to try functional medicine, it is supported by the medical literature. In fact, one study found evidence of acupuncture being at least as effective as prophylactic drug treatment for treatment of acute migraines.
Don’t Miss: Are Migraines A Symptom Of Pregnancy
Downsides Of Daith Piercing
Without solid evidence that daith piercing is an effective treatment for migraine headaches, experts cannot recommend it. What’s more, the practice has a number of negative aspects, including but not limited to:
- Pain at the time of the piercing: It’s typically more difficult to pierce through cartilage than the less-resistant flesh of the ear lobe.
- Recovery: It takes longer for cartilage to fully heal.
- High risk of infection: There’s less blood flow to cartilage, which makes it harder for white blood cells to arrive at the site of an infection to ward it off.
- Allergic reaction: Certain metals can cause an allergic reaction in people predisposed to them.
Does A Daith Piercing Help With Migraine Relief
If migraines are making your life a misery, you would probably try almost anything to relieve your symptoms.But have you ever thought that an ear piercing could help reduce your pain?
A daith piercing is a piece of jewelry placed through a small fold of cartilage just above the entrance to your ear canal this fold of cartilage is called the daith. If you lift your finger to this part of your ear now, youll appreciate that its a tricky area to pierce. Its also fiddly to take care of afterwards, so people who have it done dont tend to change their jewelry often.
So why get the piercing in the first place?
Many people simply like the way it looks. But recently, daith piercing has also been suggested as an alternative treatment for chronic headaches.
Just how much truth is there in that statement though? Is it really possible that something as simple as a body piercing could be the answer to long-term migraine relief?
Lets take a closer look
Recommended Reading: What Piercing Is For Migraines
What Does A Daith Piercing Have To Do With Migraine
Acupuncture is a common treatment for migraine, and some claim there is an acupuncture pressure point on the same spot in the ear that corresponds to the digestive system. This theory first spread on social media and was popularized on Facebook and Pinterest. Dr. Will Foster, an acupuncturist in Knoxville, Tennessee, confirms that this is a pressure point associated with digestive organs in that part of the ear. The belief is that wearing an earring in your daith provides constant compression to that pressure point, which many believe can relieve pain, especially if acupuncture in the same spot has been effective for you in the past. But Foster noted that this theory hinges on a piercer puncturing a very precise pressure point, which is unlikely to be achieved without an acupuncturists guidance, and even then, could not guarantee relief.
Does Daith Piercing Work
As with any decision regarding your health, the final verdict on whether the daith piercing is right for you ultimately lies with you. It would be wonderful if there was more data-driven information available on the Migraine piercing, but that requires funding for double-blind placebo studies that isn’t planned at this time.
Until then, these daith piercing reviews for migraines can help you make an informed decision with your doctor. An ear piercing that helps with migraines is an unlikely silver-bullet treatment, but stranger things have happened.
Is There Any Scientific Proof Or Research Supporting Daith Piercing As Pain Treatment
No. While some people with migraine say they have experienced relief from their symptoms after getting a daith piercing, the only evidence that supports this is purely anecdotal, and there is no research that supports that theory. The American Migraine Foundation believes that many results are temporary and may be a product of the placebo effect, so it does not recommend daith piercings as a treatment strategy in light of potential risks like infection and pain. For more discussion about daith piercings and what others who have tried them say, visit the .
Should You Have A Daith Piercing
The bottom line is that we dont know for certain whether daith piercing really helps with migraine. Of course, no migraine treatment is 100% effective, but there are other treatments which have more robust scientific evidence supporting their use. These include other non-drug treatments like relaxation techniques, acupuncture or physiotherapy.
If you like the look of the piercing anyway, and think that any effect on your migraine symptoms could just be an extra benefit, then it could be worth trying. Just make sure to go to a licensed technician, to minimize the risk of complications.
But if you arent keen on the idea of caring for a piercing in such a fiddly area, you are likely to be better off looking into other options. Since the benefits of daith piercing are unclear, its hard to say whether its risks are worth taking.
Recommended Reading: How To Stop A Migraine From Getting Worse
One Year After The Daith Piercing
Results 1 year or more after the piercing:
In the final group it is interesting to note what happens to the results.
- 28% experience no change to their migraine frequency
- 24% experience no change to their migraine severity
- 7-9% get worse with either more frequent or severe attacks .
- Still over half the respondents maintained their improvement with 64% reducing frequency and 67% reducing severity of attacks.
- Perhaps most surprising is that 18-20% have completely eliminated migraine i.e. are in full remission.
Use Of Acupuncture For Migraines
The use of acupuncture for migraines has a much longer history of reliability. As a primary headache migraines usually occur on one side of the head. It requires the acupuncturist to insert fine needles into particular points on the body, and then stimulate them manually or electrically. This causes the blood vessels around the needle to dilate and increase the blood flow to the tissues. Acupuncture is performed with the patient lying down to avoid making the migraine symptoms worse.
Read Also: How Is Botox Used For Migraines
What Is Daith Piercing
A daith piercing is a piercing through the smallest fold of cartilage in your ear, right at the point where the outer ridge that runs along the top of your ear connects to your inner ear, just above the ear canal. Because its a small, curvy piece of cartilage, it can sometimes be hard to pierce, and once its done, most people dont change the jewelry often. It can take months to heal and can easily become infected if not pierced or cared for correctly. Still, some people with migraine have reported that their daith piercing resulted in reduced pain during migraine attacks, leading others to seek out the piercings exclusively for their potential to reduce migraine pain. Its important to note, however, that any reported results are widely believed to be placebo.
Out Of Complete Frustration And Exhaustion Coming Up On Day 3 Of A Full
After signing all of the proper paperwork and explaining why I was there, it was go time. The all-female parlor was really clean and all of the ladies were very knowledgeable. When I asked the piercer about the process and the success rate of the Daith piercing helping with migraines from her professional standpoint.
Don’t Miss: How Long Can A Migraine Headache Last
How Did The Daith Piercing Affect Migraine Frequency
Just over half of all those who had a daith piercing experienced a reduction in migraine frequency. The remainder stayed the same or got worse. Below is a the breakdown of those who reduced their attacks:
- 15% reduced their attacks by approximately 10-50%.
- 7% of people reduced their attacks by half.
- 24% reduced their attacks by more than half.
- 18% of people experienced a full remission in migraine. i.e. it eliminated their migraine attacks.
The most common response was a reduction by over half in migraine frequency. This group represented 24% of all respondents.
Some people also worsened.
5% of people experienced an increase in migraine frequency since their daith piercing.
Whether this is due to the piercing itself, other factors or a combination was not explored in this survey. See the limitations section below.
Do Daith Piercings Help With Migraines
The use of daith piercings to help relieve migraines comes from acupuncture. Studies have shown that acupuncture can heal migraines. According to WebMD1 reported study, After completing the study, all of the participants including those in the sham group reported fewer days with migraines than before the study began.
- A daith piercing works in the same way acupuncture works to relieve migraines.
- Both hormonal and stress-related migraines are related to the pressure the patient feels in the ear, temples etc. resulting in headaches.
- Piercing the ear relieves tension points, thus stopping the migraines.
How does the daith piercing for migraine relief work? The pressure point is located in the cartilage found in the innermost fold of the ear. By piercing this cartilage, the pressure and tension are relieved, this stopping the migraines.
FACT CHECK: According to the Migrane.com statistics:
In the U.S., more than 37 million people suffer from migraines. Some migraine studies estimate that 13 percent of adults in the U.S. population have migraines, and 2-3 million migraine sufferers are chronic.
Acupuncture techniques work by stimulating nerves in muscle tissues and under the skin. It makes the body produce endomorphs pain relieving substances. As a result, the body is relieved of any pressure and pain that is causing the discomfort.
Recommended Reading: Can Melatonin Cause Migraine Headaches
How Its Said To Work
Your ear is home to several of the pressure points that acupuncturists and other holistic health practitioners stimulate to alleviate headaches.
These pressure points target the vagus nerve. This is the longest of the 10 nerves extending from the bottom of your brain into the rest of your body.
In theory, getting a daith piercing will place constant pressure on your vagus nerve.
Some health conditions, like depression and epilepsy, have been proven to respond to vagus nerve stimulation. Research to see if stimulating this nerve can treat other conditions is ongoing.
Is Daith Piercing Safe
Although they are common practice and generally always completed in safe and sterile environments, all piercings carry some risk. And piercings through cartilage like the daith are riskier than piercings through soft tissues like the ear lobe.
First of all, having a daith piercing done can be pretty painful. There can be bleeding when the piercing is carried out, and there is a risk of swelling afterwards. This means daith piercings can take months to heal, and may result in some permanent scarring.
Whats more, infection might set in at the site of the piercing. Some people can develop an abscess or may need to have a piece of infected cartilage removed from their ear. Infections which spread from the ear into other parts of the body can have even more serious consequences.
If you get your piercing done by a licensed technician which you absolutely should they will take steps to reduce any pain involved. They will also use a sterile technique which lessens the chances of infection.
Worryingly though, there have been occasional reports of migraine patients experiencing worsening migraine symptoms after a daith piercing. This is obviously not what we want, so now well look into the effects of daith piercing on migraines.
You May Like: What Is An Abdominal Migraine