An Update On The Daith Survey Study

daith surveyLast week, we announced that a colleague of ours was hoping to gather more information about the daith piercing and its role in migraine relief. We’re still hoping to collect more information, so if you have a daith piercing and you haven’t taken the quick five-minute survey yet, please do us a favor and find a few minutes to complete it.

So far more than 100 individuals have filled out the surveys, and the results have yielded some interesting findings. Although it’s still too early to really dig in and analyze the findings, the majority of individuals said the daith piercing helped to reduce their headache pain. The findings were also consistent for individuals with the worst types of headaches – migraines.

Daith Piercing Findings

So again, if you still haven’t taken the survey, you can click here and fill out the survey. Here are some more responses from the survey so far. The majority of people who underwent the daith piercing:

  • Were pleased they had the procedure.
  • Reported a consistent reduction in intensity and frequency of both mild and migraine headaches.
  • Reported a reduction in painkiller intake.
  • Reported an increased number of “better days.”

Additionally, some people experienced headache relief after the piercing was removed, which suggests that continued pressure on the vagus nerve may not be necessary for full relief.

So if you have a few minutes and want to help us gather more information on the subject, please consider clicking the above link to take the survey. If you’re still not sure about the daith piercing, feel free to check out some of our old blog posts on the topic, and if you have any questions or comments, leave them in the comments section below. Thanks again for helping us learn more about the daith piercing and pain pathways!

Dr. Cohn

Help Us Learn More About Daith Piercings

daith piercingThe internet is a wonderful thing. Not only has it made it easier for patients to find information, but it has also allowed doctors who would never otherwise meet to connect with one another. The latter recently happened with us.

As we’ve mentioned on the blog before, our posts on daith piercings have far and away been our most popular, which is interesting because the science behind why the piercing may help alleviate headache pain isn’t perfectly clear. However, we are working on changing that. Recently, we were contacted by Dr. Chris Blatchley from across the pond at the London Migraine Clinic. Dr. Blatchley has been helping patients find relief from migraine pain for years, and he has worked closely with a colleague who has performed more than 3,000 daith piercings. He stumbled upon our fascination with the piercing, and combined with his own experience, Dr. Blatchley has decided to try to compile some concrete evidence about why the piercing is effective for some patients.

Daith Piercing Study

To best do this, Dr. Blatchley put together a survey questionnaire on his website London-Migraine-Clinic.co.uk. On his website, he has a link to the survey which he hopes to use to gather responses from individuals who have undergone a daith piercing for pain relief. You can access the survey by clicking the link that will take you to his site, or you can go directly to the survey by clicking the link below.

Daith Piercing Questionnaire

The survey will only take a couple of minutes to complete, but we believe it will be a valuable tool for getting a collection of responses from individuals who have firsthand experience with the piercing and its effects. So please, if you’ve undergone the procedure, take a few minutes to complete the survey and share it with others who have received the piercing. The more we learn about pain pathways, the more pain we can take out of this world!

Thanks,

Dr. Thomas Cohn

Do Daith Piercings Work? Let’s Hear What Patients Have To Say

Daith Piercing MinnesotaThe daith piercing is without a doubt the most talked about subject on my site, which is ironic because I do not perform the procedure myself. My goal as a pain management specialist is to analyze a person’s pain and come up with a variety of solutions to help manage and treat that pain.

I referenced how some people have experienced headache relief by having their daith pierced and, although I’ve mentioned that there is no hard science behind the piercing, I’ve explained how some of the pain pathways may be affected by stimulation.

We’ve been referenced, praised and lambasted on other sites for talking up the piercing, but people continue to ask us questions about the daith piercing. So instead of giving some general answers about why it may or may not work, we though we’d let people who have already undergone the piercing speak about their experience. We’ve collected a bunch of comments from people who have shared their story on our site, and we want to put them in one easy to read place. So below, you can read what people who have undergone the piercing are saying about their experience. We hope you find it enlightening.

People Who Have Had The Daith Piercing

Here is a sample of some of the most recent comments we’ve received about the daith piercing.

I had a daith piercing done (left side) on 9/30/2016. I have not had a migraine since getting this done. I used to have one every day, with several trips to the ER a month. I had tried every medication possible they could prescribe me for them and the only thing that ever really worked for me was going to the ER and doing the IV cocktail thing, which unfortunately there is no script that can be given that works like it. When I got my piercing done I was experiencing a migraine almost to the point of debilitation, the second he preformed the piercing the pressure was relieved, similar effect to pushing the pin in the stem of a tire to let the air out and my vision was no where near as blurry. the next day it was gone with no meds at all. I do still get small headaches but OTC meds knock them right out. My only caution for it is please strictly follow the after care instructions and do your research on the shops that are doing them. Be 100% comfortable with the person doing it for you. Many shops say “oh yes I can do that for you, I have done tons of them” but just because they have done them does not mean they have done them correctly. – D.A.

I just recently had this piercing. I had researched this for several months before deciding and talked to several people that had it done and have had great success. It was really not as painful as everyone makes it sound and took less than 60 seconds. I am very hopeful about this helping with my migraines. – C.S.

I’ve had headaches all day everyday for a long time, so I heard about this piercing and I went and got it done right away, went in with a headache and left pain free, literally! It’s been 3 days now still no pain or headache The piercing site bled a little because I slept on it. Cleaned it up and it’s healing, so very thankful I had it done, I love being pain free. – S. W.

I’ve had headaches for over 20 yrs. Its hurt pretty much every day for years now. Most days its a dull ache but other days they can become quite unbearable. Meds don’t help. I just got my daith piercing today. Before doing it I spent a few weeks massaging the general area so I know that pressure seemed to help, but only while pressure was being applied. I can say this much, I had a pretty bad headache before getting it done, my headache went away, but my ear is quite sore right now. It was quite painful for me, but everyone is different. – R.T.

I had the piercing in both ears it’s been a week now. I’ve not had the headaches but the pain I’m experiencing in my jaw is really bad what did you suggest that I do for the pain. I’m think of taking them out. – B. P.

I suffered chronic migraines and was in my 11th headache day when going in to get this piercing. Immediately upon the needle going through there was a HUGE release. I was getting migraines regularly during my menstral cycle my last cycle passed with NO migraine for the FIRST time in YEARS! I have only had one migraine since the piercing and it could hardly be called a migraine compared to what I was used to. I get them if I eat eggs or chocolate on an empty stomach.. if I skip meals or stay up too late. The last migraine I had was triggered by eggs and the pain was 50% less to 70% less than what i was used to and it only lasted a day and a half compared to the usual 3 days. This piercing helps tremendously and perhaps the acupuncture community could learn something. Also acupuncture does not pierce all the way through the skin.. there are a bundle of nerves penetrated that are deeper into the skin than acupuncture goes. Acupuncture may help some for me it stimulated my headaches and made them worse. The Daith was so helpful and so healing. There are SO many people being helped by this and Thank GOD for whoever noticed the correlation. Hope this helped! Bless! – K.E.

So as you can see, the piercing has worked for some, and not for others. There’s no guarantee that it will work for you, but for individuals who have failed to experience relief from other treatments, it may be an option worth exploring.

An Update On Daith Piercings

daith migraineI wrote my first article on Daith piercings about a year and a half ago. As many know, this has been advocated for the treatment of headaches. The questions I have been asked since that time have been numerous but the most common question is, “Will it work for me?” I obviously cannot tell if it work for anyone in particular. I have heard from many that it has helped them manage their migraine headaches. Most interesting to me was some of my regular patients have tried it successfully.

Daith Piercing Information

Daith piercings are a specific type of ear piercing. The ear cartilage midline toward the front of the ear is pierced. This type of ear piercing has been around for 3,000 years, but the name “Daith piercing” was probably started in the 1990’s. The placement of the piercing is at the entrance to the ear canal and has symbolic meaning as the “Guardian to the Gate.” This piercing can be quite painful, and since it is through bony cartilage, care must be given to keep the site clean and to prevent infection.

There are many types of headaches, and only certain types of headaches will respond to Daith piercings. Those most likely to improve are migraines that are sensitive to ear stimulation, and likely to be one sided in nature. Daily headaches may be caused be a variety of factors – most common are muscle tension and stress headaches. Muscle tension headaches are caused by neck muscles tightening up, often associated with the position one has while working on a computer. Stress type headaches are caused by psychological factors that make a person anxious.  The most common headache in my practice are those associated with neck problems; either from nerve and disc problems or from the joints in the neck causing pain. These types of headaches are best treated successfully by managing the underlying causes.

Managing Headaches

The headaches that have been managed by Daith piercings are those that are migraine headaches. If you have been diagnosed by a neurologist with definite migraine headache (not self diagnosed), Daith piercings may be a treatment option. Over the last 18 months of studying this subject, an interesting correlation occurred to me that this treatment was similar to acupuncture and vagal nerve stimulation. All these treatments seem to affect the vagal nerve via a branch near the ear, which sends signals back to the brain that may affect various neurotransmitters and hormones that lead to vascular headaches.

Unfortunately, the true scientific proof and medical evidence with regards to Daith piercings is not present. All the results when one researches the topic seem to be stories that it worked for them. There is some basis as noted above why it may work. For those who are interested, a few cautions should be remembered. First, this is specifically going to work best for migraine headaches. If you have frequent and sometimes severe headaches, and they are not easily managed, first see a medical doctor and possibly a neurologist and get a good diagnosis made, and try conventional treatment. The cause should be treated first and may be straight forward to manage. If the headaches are migraines, and they are not responding to management, Daith piercing may be reasonable. Physicians normally do not perform this procedure, so do not ask them to do it. Only get this done by someone who does body piercings and is familiar with this particular one. It is extremely important that meticulous care is performed before and afterwards to keep the area clean and free from infection. Since this is through ear cartilage, near the brain, an infection in the area can be very dangerous and should be treated aggressively by a doctor.

If you want to run a test before piercing, first try massaging the area of the ear when you have a headache and see if that makes a difference. Another possibility is to try acupuncture to see if that works. Most acupuncturists will report what they do is different than the piercing and this is not going to be equal to the piercing, but it may be safer and easier for a test. If you go ahead with a piercing, make sure you try to prevent an infection in the area of the piercing.

What Patients Are Saying About Daith Piercings

Daith piercing work minnesotaOur post on Daith piercings has been by far our most popular blog post, and it’s clear many people are fed up with their chronic migraines. We’ve never touted the Daith piercing as a surefire fix to migraine pain, we’ve only stated that it’s a relatively cheap alternative option for individuals who are fed up with failed treatments. Some people took issue with the fact that the piercing isn’t backed by clinical science, and while it draws on some of the same pain pathways as acupuncture, we made it clear that there was no hard science behind the pain management technique.

Well, our readers have taken to the comment section of the original post, and many have shared their first-hand experience with the piercing. Again, it may not be for everybody, but here’s what patients who have had the piercing are saying about it.

I’ll provide more anecdotal, non-scientific “evidence.” Mine cost $25 each. BEST money ever spent. Ever. Chronic migraine sufferer for over 20 years. This has been the only thing that has consistently worked. Now I can deal with the sinus/hormone headaches and not have them compounding and piggybacking each other. Given a choice between a piercing I could remove or narcotics, it would be a piercing every single time. My piercer is great, though. I don’t know that I would have trusted any one else to do it- unless she gave the ok.

I just had my daith piercing done a week ago in hopes of helping with my chronic migraines. So far I’ve had two migraines since, so I don’t think it is helping, but I believe mine are largely hormone related so I don’t know that a piercing would be able to help. Just wanted to say that I still think it’s a cute piercing and will keep it regardless AND the pain really wasn’t that bad. I went to a local tattoo shop with a great reputation and the pain was no worse than my other cartilage piercing that I had had done before. It hurt worse putting the actual earring in, but overall really not a bad pain level. Good luck!

I have suffered from migraines for the past several years. I would get one and it would last for several days, then 1 day off, then back to migraines. I was desperate and had heard of the daith piercing. I did not put much stock into it. Again, I was desperate, so I got it done. I was a little painful (pain is subjective). My piercer said that he was not a doctor and could not cure migraines, but just about everyone that he had done, had good results. I wasn’t expecting a miracle. Even if it just cut down on the frequency, that would have been fine. It has been 2 months and I have not had a single migraine. I stopped taking my preventative when I got the piercing to see if it would work. This doesn’t work for everyone, but it worked for me. Even if my migraines come back, I had a few months pain free and that is so worth it.

I suffered from migraines and headaches. I gotten the daith piercing and it helped a lot I don’t get them any more. My tattoo artist is also a piercer and done it for me. The only thing that really hurt was the clamp cause where it’s in the ear it’s a hard place to get too and you’ll feel some pressure for a couple days but it’s worth it in the end.

I’ve had migraines for 44 years. Mostly left sided. Many times in cycles of 2-3 weeks of either waking up with one, or going to bed with one. Nausea, noise, light sensitivity… the whole bit. I can’t take most migraine meds because of a heart issue. Not much to help with them, pretty much most meds might as well be candy. Went in for the piercing during the third day of a migraine. Yes, it hurt for a brief moment, but compared to weeks of headaches, it was NOTHING!!! As soon as the piercing went in, the intense pain behind my eye and the nausea were gone! And the next morning, absolutely no headache and no ‘headache hangover’ as after most migraines. So far, so good. If it doesn’t work, I have not lost much, and will take it out. If it continues to work….GREAT! Many people seem to want many scientific studies done on this, but, I believe for the most part, most studies are funded by pharmaceutical companies, and what company that makes lots of money on migraine meds, would want to study something that could cut down on their business?!?! Just my opinion, but drugs aren’t always the answer to fix things, like some doctors believe. If you truly suffer with debilitating migraines, then you are always looking for a way to make the pain stop. What do you have to lose?

Hi, I had suffered with migraines for 35 years. I used to get around 3 a week but my tablets did work if I took them in time or didn’t wake up with the migraine. I was told to get the piercing on the side I have the most frequent migraines which is my left side. I had the piercing 3 months ago and have had no left sided migraines since, just 2 on my right side buy I can cope with only 2 migraines in 3 months. The piercing does hurt when you have it done but for me, well worth it.

I have been a migraine sufferer since I was a young girl and now I am 57 yrs. old, I have tried it all, Botox worked the best but still had many Migraines and insurance eventually stopped paying, I recently had the daith or rook piercing done, the next day I had the worst migraine but since then I am in shock how, (So Far) it is working for me, I sure hope it continues, its been about 8 weeks, I NEVER go that long without a migraine, so hoping it continues!

I had nearly daily migraines. Imitrex made me too groggy but Excedrine Migraine deadened the pain enough to “function”. Avoiding triggers wasn’t always an option since I had barometric migraines (trigger: weather changes). It was only a week ago I got a Daith Piercing….I have not had any headache all week…a record for the last several years. I feel better so I’ve gotten better sleep than I remember for ages.

So as you can see, it’s certainly helped some patients. For more information, or to read more comments from readers, check out the original post!