Few topics or questions about Migraine stay around online as long as that of the daith piercing for Migraine has. This topic and questions related to it have been popping up all over the Internet for well over two years now.
You’ll see the daith piercing for Migraine discussed in many ways online – in Facebook support groups, in “news” articles, and more. There’s something very important to keep in mind when you come across “information” on this topic – the source of that information. In many cases, pieces that appear to be news articles are really advertisements, even if they’re not clearly marked as such.
Clearly, whether to pierce or not is a personal decision. As with any personal decision, however, please make it from a well-informed position. Below are two questions we received about the daith piercing for Migraine, along with the answers.
Question #1 on daith piercing for Migraine:
There’s been so much posted online recently about daith piercing for Migraine. Is it all hype, or could it really work. Thanks for your time, Jeri.
You are correct, daith piercing for Migraine has really become a popular topic recently. It isn’t actually new, but for reasons unclear to us it has flooded social media over the past couple of years. At present, there isn’t any actual evidence that it works. No studies have been done, and we aren’t aware of any studies being planned. It is popularizing based purely on anecdotes, aggressive advertising on social media, and desperation. This isn’t to say it doesn’t work – we have no evidence to the contrary either. Every new treatment had to start somewhere. But this one doesn’t even have a basis in science. Reportedly there is an acupuncture point in this general area. That’s great, except there is no evidence that acupuncture helps with Migraine either. Plus, when asked, a couple of acupuncturists have said that piercing the daith “ruins” it as an acupuncture point.
One might argue that it’s just a piercing, so why not try it? Well, it isn’t really “just a piercing” as it is into the cartilage of the ear. Risk of infection may be higher.
Basically, if someone wants to get a daith piercing because they like the look of it, have at it. None of our business. But if you are looking for effective treatments for Migraine, unless you have been through the 100+ preventive treatments listed in this article (which would take more than 25 years) – A Plethora of Migraine Preventive Treatment Options, giving each of them a fair trial, you might want to think again.
Thanks for your question,
David Watson, MD, and Teri Robert
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Question #2 on daith piercing for Migraine:
Several weeks ago, I got the daith piercing for Migraine done. It was an immediate success. I’d been getting 4 or 5 Migraines a week, and the piercing stopped them immediately. I hadn’t had a single Migraine until three days ago, and now I’ve had one every day. Why did the piercing stop working? Meadow.
Last month, Dr. Watson and I answered a question that you might want to read along with the answer, Does the Daith Piercing Work for Migraine? As you can see above, neither Dr. Watson nor I are convinced that it works for Migraine. There’s certainly no clinical evidence.
As to why it worked for you, then stopped working, neither of us knows. As a Migraine patient myself, one who has been desperate at times to find something that helped, one possibility that occurs to me is that the success of it could have been placebo effect. I say that absolutely NOT to suggest that it’s “all in your head” or any such thing. It seems that I experienced the placebo effect with a new treatment myself a couple of years ago. I was trying a new treatment that I really wanted to work because it would have been such a great thing for me. It worked twice, then never worked again, even though I continued trying it for six months.
The placebo effect is quite common in clinical trials of new treatments. In many trials, one group gets the actual treatment, while the other gets a placebo that has no power to do anything. Yet, it’s “normal” in a trial for up to 30 percent of the group receiving placebo to experience the effects that have been described for the treatment. So, one possibility is that you wanted it to work, believed it would work, so it did work for a time.
You can find more information about how Migraine specialists view the daith piercing for Migraine in the article Daith Piercings 101 from the American Migraine Foundation.
Thanks for your question,
Ask the Clinician is available to answer questions about Migraine and other headache disorders, including behavioral interventions and other non-pharmacological treatment options. If you have a question, there’s a good chance someone else is wondering the same thing. The answer to your question will benefit everyone.
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