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Daith Ear Piercings for Migraine Relief: Does it Work?

Is it true? Can an earring really put an end to migraines?

The subject of daith piercings is a hot topic in online discussions as a form of migraine treatment. Rooted in the same principles of acupuncture, daith piercings are an unconventional approach to migraine relief. However, some migraine patients swear by it!

But the real question is, does this treatment hold any water?

Here’s everything you need to know about daith piercings — and whether or not they really work.

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 it’s a small, curvy piece of cartilage, it can sometimes be hard to pierce, and once it’s done, most people don’t change the jewelry often.

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 with pain as well as the digestive system.

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 acupuncturist’s guidance, and even then, could not guarantee relief.

What are the risks?

Unfortunately, the risks of a daith piercing far outweigh the reward. Any “results” from the treatment are believed to be attributable to the placebo effect, meaning they are temporary and psychological rather than physical. In addition, the piercing itself is often painful and carries a high risk of infection. It may even make migraine symptoms worse in the long run.

The Cleveland Clinic says there is no evidence to support the claim that daith piercings help relieve migraine. In addition, the American Migraine Foundation firmly believes that seeking piercing from a non-medical third party is not a solution to migraine pain.

Is there any scientific proof supporting daith piercing as pain treatment?

No. While some people with migraines 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.

About Pasadena Pain Management

Pasadena Pain Management offers pain management treatment for TMJ/TMD, migraine, headaches and neck pain in Pasadena, CA. Our office is conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Pasadena Pain Management, we offer the exclusive TruDenta® treatment therapy — a highly specialized form of care that involves cutting-edge dental technology, without needles or injections. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable pain management care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping our patients happy and pain free.