More Findings On The Daith Piercing

daith piercing survey resultsAs you’re probably aware if you read this blog, we’ve been helping push patients who have undergone the Daith Piercing for headaches to Dr. Chris Blatchley’s website. Dr. Blatchley has been attempting to conduct one of the foremost studies on the Daith Piercing, and he recently completed his findings. You can see the full results from Version 1 of the study by clicking here. If that link is no longer working, head to his website and look for a link to the survey results.

Before we get into some of the findings in Version 1, Dr. Blatchley reached out to us to see if we could help direct people to take a second version of the Daith Piercing survey. This will again help us learn more about pain pathways and how the piercing may help some individuals with certain types of headaches and migraines. So if you haven’t yet taken the second version of the Daith Piecing Survey, please click here and consider taking a couple minutes to help advance our medical knowledge.

Daith Piercing Survey Results

As we mentioned above, you can take a closer look at the full report by clicking the above link, but here are some of the takeaways in bullet point form:

  • More than 1,250 individuals completed the survey.
  • 98.5 percent of survey respondents were women.
  • 90% had seen a family doctor and 40% a medical specialist. 44% had underwent a brain/MRI scan.
  • Roughly 80 percent of patients said they were either “Delighted” or “Very Happy” with the results from the Daith Piercing in terms of headache relief at measured intervals after receiving the piercing (first 30 days, 1-3 months, 4-6 months, etc.).
  • Only 2.6% of respondents said they were “Very Unhappy” with the piercing, with the most common reason why being that it did not provide them with headache relief.
  • Interestingly, the side the piercing was on was split almost right down the middle. 51 percent got the piercing in their right ear, while 49 percent got it in their left ear.
  • About 20 percent of respondents had both ears pierced with the Daith technique.
  • The majority of respondents reported a decrease in symptoms of headache frequency after undergoing the piercing, and many of these decreases occurred quickly after the piercing was administered.

For more information about the study, or to check out the results, I urge you to head over to Dr. Blatchley’s site. Hopefully Version 2 of the study will be as enlightening as the first version.

The Daith Piercing Survey Is Complete!

daith survey completeIf you’ve been following this blog, you probably remember that we’ve been helping Dr. Chris Blatchley collect responses for a study he was conducting on the Daith piercing and vagal nerve stimulation. We’re happy to report that the first report of the findings has been published.

You can find the first report on the role of Daith piercings and vagal nerve stimulation by clicking here. That link will take you to the report, but updated versions of the report can be found on Dr. Blatchley’s main site, which you can get to by clicking here, so be sure to visit the site in the future to see the updated reports.

You Can Still Take The Study

Although the first version of the findings are in, you can still participate in the study if you haven’t taken the survey yet. Remember, this is an updated version of the survey, so even if you completed the survey in the past, you may still be eligible to complete the second version. To take the second version of the daith survey, click here.

Thank you to everyone who helped Dr. Blatchley with his research. He’s informed me that’s he has shared the findings with the British Medical Journal, and he hopes that they will publish the findings. If they are published, it would be the first of its kind research published in a medical journal! He’s also planning to release a full research article in the future based on the second version of the survey.

So please check out the findings, and keep your fingers crossed that they’ll make their way to the BMJ. The more migraines and vagal nerve stimulation are talked about in major medical journals, the more eyeballs we’ll have on the problem, and the more people we’ll have working towards a solution. Thanks to everyone who took part in the survey, and congrats to Dr. Blatchley for finishing the first version of the findings.

Updating The Daith Piercing Survey

migraine surveyWe wanted to give you another quick update on the Daith piercing survey that a colleague of mine is running in order to help us better understand how the Daith piercing may help individuals with chronic headaches. This update won’t have a lot of information, but that’s a good thing. Medical journals are pretty picky when it comes to publishing studies that have already been published in another source, so in order to ensure the findings get shared in a major medical journal, this update can only speak in generalities.

Daith Piercing Update

That being said, this update is also encouraging. Over 1,000 people have taken part in the survey so far, and you still have time to do so if you haven’t taken it yet. You can participate in the survey by following this link and answering the questions on that page.

The results show very promising results when it comes to successful management of certain headaches with the Daith piercing. To be safe, that’s all we can really say right now, but we still need your help. My colleague Dr. Chris Blatchley, who is running the study, has created a second version of the Daith piercing survey to address some areas that he felt the first version did not adequately cover. If you are willing, please click here to take the second version of the survey. Regardless of whether you completed version one or not, it would be wonderful if you could take a couple of minutes to fill out the new version of the survey. The first version of the survey is no longer available, to the two links we’ve posted in this blog will take you to the same place.

Thank you so much for taking the time to help us get a better understanding of the Daith piercing and how it may be able to help certain patients. We promise to keep you updated about future studies, this study’s results, as well as when and where the full data analysis will be published. Thank you for your continued support, and please reach out to Dr. Blatchley if you have any questions. You can visit his website by clicking here.

Thanks!

Dr. Cohn

Pain Catastrophizing and Chronic Pain Care

Pain CatastrophizingWhen it comes to managing chronic pain, it’s imperative to take as much care of your mental health as it is your physical health. Ignoring your mental health can lead to more negative attitudes towards your pain, which can lead to even more problems according to a new study.

A new report out of the Stanford University School of Medicine suggests that individuals who negatively fixate on their symptoms have been found to report greater pain intensity and are more likely to be prescribed opioids. Interestingly, the association was much higher in females than it was in men.

“When it comes to opioid prescriptions, pain catastrophizing has a greater effect on the likelihood for having a prescription in women than it does in men,” said medical student and lead researcher Yasamin Sharifzadeh.

Pain Catastrophizing

According to researchers, “pain catastrophizing” is defined as the cascade of negative thoughts and emotions in response to actual or anticipated pain. When you begin to let these negative thoughts continue to build and take hold over your pain, it can actually amplify the pain process and lead to greater pain and increased disability. Previous studies have shown that pain catastrophizing has been linked to increased pain sensations, but this is the first study to find a correlation between it and an increased likelihood of being prescribed opioids.

For their research, Sharifzadeh and her team analyzed clinical data from more than 1,800 patients with chronic pain. After analyzing the data and parsing out the results between genders, researchers came to an interesting conclusion.

“In men, it is pain intensity that dictates whether or not they are prescribed opioids,” Sharifzadeh said. “However, in women, there is a more nuanced issue where relatively low levels of both pain catastrophizing and pain intensity are associated with opioid prescription. Pain catastrophizing and pain intensity are working together in determining if a woman has an opioid prescription.”

This is especially problematic when you consider that women are more likely to suffer from chronic pain, be prescribed pain relievers and given higher doses for longer periods than men, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, by recognizing this correlation, doctors can help to mitigate this risk.

“If physicians are aware of these gender-specific differences, they can tailor their treatment,” Sharifzadeh said. “When treating chronic pain patients — especially women — they should analyze pain in its psychological aspect as well as its physical aspect.”

If you feel like your mental health is fighting a losing battle with chronic pain, reach out to your doctor. Contact Dr. Cohn today.

Early Findings From The Daith Piercing Study

daith piercingAs we mentioned a couple of weeks ago, a colleague of mine decided that he wanted to conduct some research on the daith piercing among individuals who have sought out the piercing for migraine relief.

As someone who has written numerous blogs on the subject, I wanted to help spread the word about the study, and of course I am interested in the results. So if you have a daith piercing and you haven’t take the survey yet, please click here to take it!

Daith Piercing Survey

Although the study is still in the collection phase, Dr. Chris Blatchley of the London Migraine Clinic was kind enough to share some of the early findings from the survey. We thought it would be interesting to share some of those findings with you before the results are really broken down and trends are discovered. So below, you’ll see some findings from the early batch of responses to the daith study.

  • The vast majority of respondents have had the piercing for 18 months or fewer. This is likely due to the fact that the daith piercing has only recently gained popularity in the pain care/migraine community.
  • Of the 50 or so respondents who have had migraines for over 10 years and had the daith piercing for over one year, 38 percent reported having migraines most days and only two percent said they had gone a month with one or fewer migraines. Since getting the piercing, only six percent report migraines on most days, and a whopping 69% say their migraines have been reduced to one or fewer a month.
  • The general consensus is that the majority of individuals who underwent the daith piercing procedure for migraine relief showed marked improvement in all modalities, although it is worth nothing that for a small percentage of individuals, their migraines got worse after the piercing.

These early results are interesting, and although this is only a surface level interpretation, we’re intrigued by the results. There are some obvious limitations in that the survey relies not only on self-reporting, but also self-reporting pain levels from years ago. However, the survey is certainly a huge step in the right direction for understanding pain pathways and harnessing the power of the daith piercing for the right patient.

One final thing we hope to glean from the study is a better understanding of the placebo effect on patients who undergo the procedure. Is their pain truly being resolved because it is helping stop the transmission of pain signals, or are people experiencing better results simply because they expect to? It’s a fascinating angle, but when you consider that the placebo effect has not been shown to be as effective in other medical interventions, it certainly seems like there is a credible link between the piercing and migraine relief in some individuals!

We’ll keep tabs on the survey as it continues, and be sure to take the survey if you haven’t yet!