Migraine is a condition characterized by severe and recurrent headaches. This type of headache can disturb day-to-day activities. Several therapies treat migraines, such as acupressure, aromatherapy, acupuncture, etc. One surprising practice that has been found to treat migraines is Daith piercing. This practice for treating migraine has recently been a trending debate on social media. However, scientific pieces of evidence have yet to be available. Get migraine prescriptions online through a telemedicine portal or at an in-office doctor's visit.
What Is Daith Piercing?
A Daith piercing is done in the cartilage ridge connecting the outer ear to the ear canal. It can be done in one or both ears. This piercing is believed to relieve migraine headaches, so people take daith piercings as an alternative to medicines.
Who Should Not Get a Daith Piercing?
Individuals with hemophilia.
Individuals with autoimmune conditions.
Any other medical conditions that result in impaired healing.
How Does Daith Piercing Help in Treating Migraine?
- Daith piercings are found to affect the branch of the vagus nerve, which runs from your brain to the rest of the body.
- The pressure produced at the pierced spot works like acupuncture which targets a point to block the pain receptors. However, it differs from the exact point where the piercing is done. The piercing is done one centimeter away from the acupuncture point.
- Some believe that Daith piercings provide a placebo effect. The placebo effect is the relief from a condition after treatment because you believe the treatment will work.
Since the theory behind the Daith piercings is not proven with scientific evidence, doctors do not recommend Daith piercing for relieving migraines.
Which Side Should Daith Piercing Be Done to Treat Migraine?
The side of piercing does matter in case it is done for treating migraine. Therefore, the piercing should be on the side of the migraine headache.
Is There Any Scientific Proof That Daith Piercing Treats Migraine?
No research supports the theory of using daith piercing for migraine treatment. No clinical trials have been conducted so far. It is just the people who already suffered from migraines who found relief after the Daith piercing. Even the migraine foundation believes these results are just temporary and are due to the placebo effect. So usually, physicians do not recommend daith piercing due to the risks of infection and pain experienced during the procedure.
Why is Daith Piercing Not Effective for Migraines?
People with migraine are found to be affected by certain types of triggers, such as bright light, fatigue, etc. In addition, and scientifically, it is believed that migraines are due to expanding and narrowing of the brain's blood vessels. This expansion of blood vessels is due to hyperactive nerve cells, which release inflammatory mediators that result in the painful pulsation of the blood vessels. Thus the mechanism of migraine shows that daith piercing has no significant role in treating migraine.
How to Prepare Yourself Before Piercing?
First, get to know if the patient can get a piercing.
Get to know the instructions to be followed after the piercing.
Check whether the procedure is affordable.
Talk to a professional about the benefits and risks before getting the piercing.
Select the jewelry and check whether the patient is allergic or not.
Tips to Take Care of Daith Piercing:
Before touching the piercing, always wash the hands.
Leave the earring undisturbed for at least 8 weeks for healing and to keep the hole open.
Wash the ear with soap and water regularly.
Twist the earring daily to keep the hole open.
Clean the ear with a cotton ball soaked in alcohol twice daily.
Change the pillowcase every few days to prevent any infection.
If extensive pain is felt or any signs of infection are noticed, reporting to the physician is a must.
Healing Time of Piercing:
It takes around 8 to 9 months to heal which is a long time when compared to an earlobe piercing where it takes only 2 or 3 months to heal. During healing, a slight tenderness, redness, and bruising are normal. Later it gets reduced. The individual should not disturb the daith piercing during its healing period to hasten the process.
Side Effects of Daith Piercing:
- Pain: Since the piercing is done in the cartilage where it is difficult to pass through, there is extensive pain experienced by the individual.
- Infection: Piercing at the ear cartilage shows an increased risk for infection and inflammation of the cartilage if not appropriately maintained. In some cases, bacterial infections can lead to sepsis.
- Blood Infection: Using contaminated needles would result in blood infections such as hepatitis C.
- Keloid: The area around the piercing would result in a thick pink scar. If there is a family history of keloid formation, consider the decision before piercing.
- Skin Reactions:Dermatitis and allergic reactions due to the jewelry can also occur.
- Nerve Damage: It can lead to loss of sensation.
- Gets Tugged in Hair: Since the ear cartilage is close to the hair, it may easily get tugged.
- Longer Healing Time: It takes a longer time to heal completely. It may take around eight months. However, healing varies from person to person.
Alternatives to Treat Migraine:
Eat healthy food.
Avoid exposure to the triggers.
Manage your stress levels.
Painkillers would help reduce the symptoms.
Transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation.
No scientifically proven theory shows migraine can be treated by Daith piercing. And also, if you want to try it, get an opinion from a physician, as it can also lead to serious side effects. Moreover, it is a painful procedure that nobody would like to experience, so it is better to choose an alternative treatment for treating migraine.