Can Piercings Be a Resolution for Migraine?
Written by: Deena Kuruvilla, MD
Revealed on: February 9, 2023
Deena E. Kuruvilla, MD, a board-certified neurologist and the director of the Westport Headache Institute, focuses on treating folks with headache problems utilizing a holistic biopsychosocial method to prognosis and therapy.
For those who’ve ever had a migraine, you know the way debilitating its signs may be: intense throbbing, ache, excessive sensitivity to gentle and sound, and nausea—all with out warning. However the usual drugs aren’t all the time efficient (or they trigger unwanted effects), which may lead sufferers to seek for alternative routes to seek out aid from their power ache.
One unconventional treatment that has gained reputation over the previous 10 years is daith piercing, which is an ear piercing via the cartilage of the internal fold of the ear (above the earhole). The concept comes from the scientific observe of treating migraine with acupuncture—the placement of the daith piercing is at a web site of a meridian level utilized in an acupuncture protocol to alleviate migraine signs. After seeing efficient outcomes from acupuncture (and in some instances acupressure), folks started to ask: Can we completely create migraine aid by piercing the identical location?
In brief, the reply might be not. We don’t have the scientific proof to point out that the piercing is useful. And from my expertise of seeing headache sufferers for a few decade, most individuals who get a daith piercing both don’t profit in any respect or have some non permanent aid for a few days or even weeks, after which the signs return. The daith piercing method is commonly ineffective due to three key issues.
It’s not a complete protocol. The situation of the daith piercing represents just one acupuncture web site—a single a part of a better acupuncture protocol that educated professionals use for migraine aid. Activating this one web site is not going to have the results of a full acupuncture process.
The piercing web site will not be exact. Daith piercings will not be carried out by acupuncturists, which suggests it’s unlikely that the placement of the piercing can be on the exact meridian level the place an acupuncture needle is positioned for migraine aid. (This variability within the piercing web site contributes to the irregular outcomes of the piercing.)
There’s a excessive danger of an infection and nerve harm. Even should you had been to get non permanent aid with a daith piercing, the dangers outweigh the advantages. Getting a piercing in that individual location is more likely to result in an an infection, particularly should you’re not in a position to sustain with the day by day disinfection course of (cleansing two or thrice a day). Any such piercing may also result in excruciating nerve ache. This occurred to one in every of my sufferers final yr who received a daith piercing and, sadly, developed an intractable ear ache—even after eradicating the piercing, she had a capturing ache that lasted for a number of weeks.
Acupuncture, nutritional vitamins and minerals (particularly magnesium and riboflavin), mindful meditation, yoga, and train are all research-backed methods to handle migraine signs. For those who’re trying to discover different secure alternate options, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) is a good supply that can assist you resolve your greatest method.
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This text is for informational functions solely, even when and no matter whether or not it options the recommendation of physicians and medical practitioners. This text will not be, neither is it meant to be, an alternative to skilled medical recommendation, prognosis, or therapy and may by no means be relied upon for particular medical recommendation. The views expressed on this article are the views of the skilled and don’t essentially symbolize the views of goop.