Before we can discuss whether or not a daith piercing is good for migraines, we need to know what a daith piercing is. Shown in the picture above is a daith piercing. It is a piercing that is done on the cartilaginous part of the ear known as the crus of the helix.
Because of its location on the ear, only professional piercers should place the earring. Typically a piercing needle is used for this type of piercing rather than a piercing gun. As it is a cartilage piercing, healing time is significantly longer than the usual ear lobe piercing.
Proper cleaning and aftercare should be done to reduce swelling and risk of infection.
How Does it Work?
While the exact mechanism is not yet known, the concept of the daith piercing for treating migraines is similar to acupuncture and acupressure. The particular point of the daith is said to be linked to the digestive system.
Additionally, the location of the daith piercing is in line with the auricular branch of the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve is the longest nerve in the body and is responsible for many important parasympathetic functions. It controls and influences mood, immune response, and involuntary bodily functions.
By stimulating the vagus nerve, daith piercings may be modulating pain and inflammatory responses that can both contribute to migraine attacks and their severity.
Is a Daith Piercing Good for Migraines?
Whether or not a daith piercing is good for migraines is still debated. While many people have gotten the piercing done, both for aesthetic reasons and its potential health benefits, experts are wary.
At this time, doctors will not prescribe piercing as a first-line treatment for any condition. Before rushing to get a daith piercing, it is important to seek consultation from your doctor regarding symptoms of headaches or migraines. There may be other underlying causes that can be treated to relieve the pain. Severe head pain may even be a symptom of an aneurysm.
However, while more research is being done, many migraine sufferers have already attested to the effectiveness of the daith piercing. An anonymous survey on a migraine blog received nearly 400 responses from patients with daith piercings. Almost 50% of these respondents experienced less severe attacks.
Potential Side Effects of Daith Piercings
Even with surgery, unwanted side effects can occur. The most notable and expected effects after getting a piercing is redness, swelling, and pain. These symptoms are only temporary and should subside within a few hours to a day. The pain may persist for several days, but it is manageable.
The daith piercing is on the ear cartilage. Because of this, it is generally more painful and takes longer to heal. This type of piercing takes several months to heal. If you have already had your ear pierced on another area of cartilage, you can expect a similar healing time with the daith piercing.
Like other piercings, there is a risk of infection. Unlike doctors, piercers cannot prescribe prophylactic antibiotics. Proper aftercare is essential to prevent infection of the piercing site.
Aftercare of Piercings
If you decide to get any piercing done, know the proper aftercare. Good aftercare prevents infections and ensures that the site heals nicely. Without good aftercare, the wound may not heal properly and the earring may need to be removed.
Use OTC painkillers if you experience pain. Examples of these are paracetamol, ibuprofen, or mefenamic acid. Ice application is also useful for reducing pain and swelling. You may already be using these to manage your migraines.
Do not remove the piercing until the wound has completely healed. Avoid touching the piercing and the surrounding area as much as possible. Your fingers may carry dirt and germs that can later cause infection. Some people recommend doing saltwater washes to clean the skin around the piercing.
In addition, avoid using certain types of jewelry. Do not use jewelry that contains nickel as it can be irritating to the skin. Opt for medical-grade materials, such as stainless steel, titanium, and plastic. Alloys of gold or silver are generally safe for sensitive skin, as long as it is nickel-free.
Migraine pain is troublesome and affects many people worldwide. While conventional treatment is available to treat the pain, patients are still looking for ways to reduce the symptoms and frequency of their migraines. One alternative is a daith piercing, which is good for migraines according to many testimonials.
However, the health benefits for the daith piercing have not been studied enough by experts. Before getting a piercing for migraine pain, consult your doctor to determine if your migraines are due to other underlying causes.
Learn more about headaches and migraines here.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.