- Pain specialist Dr Thomas Cohn says piercing the inner cartilage of the ear- known as a daith piercing – can help reduce the symptoms of a migraine
- Said the piercing works like Chinese acupuncture to ease headaches
- Massaging the inner ear releases endorphins which may help the ailment
- Migraine charities say there is no evidence the piercing helps symptoms
Living with migraines can make daily life a nightmare for some.
Now, sufferers claim they have found relief through a simple treatment that doctors have likened to acupuncture.
A £50 piercing of the inner ear – known as a daith piercing – helped reduce the symptoms of migraines or cured their headaches altogether, some people claim.
They have taken to social media to share stories of how the piercing helped ease their headaches.
A piercing of the inner cartilage of the ear – called a daith piercing – can help ease the symptoms of a migraine or cure the headaches altogether, sufferers have claimed (file photo)
Found out that daith piercings possibly reduce headaches and migraines. Might have to make an exception for one more piercing…
— Alexis Modero (@alexisplague) November 5, 2015
Apparently a ‘daith piercing’ stops migraines. I am doing this ASAP. Plus they’re super cyooot
— Amy Edgley (@amyedgley) November 12, 2015
So apparently a Daith piercing is a acupuncture spot and people are reporting that it’s stopping their migraines.
— Benny (@bennybetteridge) November 12, 2015
How can a daith piercing cure migraines? It just seems more painful ����
— Whitney (@whitneyjohnson_) November 4, 2015
Dr Thomas Cohn, a US doctor who specialises in pain relief, said a daith piercing may cure migraines in the same way as acupuncture can help the headaches.
Acupuncture is the ancient Chinese medicine in which fine needles are inserted into specific points on the body to ease pain.
It works by stimulating nerves under the skin and in muscle tissue, according to the NHS.
This results in the body producing pain-relieving substances, such as endorphins.
Writing on his blog Dr Cohn said: ‘Visit an acupuncturist and see if needles in certain parts of your cartilage provide some relief.
‘If you find that it works, maybe it’s worth considering a permanent piercing.
‘For those of you who are needle-adverse, locating the daith piercing location may still help provide relief.
‘If you begin to have a migraine, take your thumb and middle finger and gently massage that location on your ear. Switch ears after a few minutes, or massage both at the same time.
‘If you notice significant relief, and you deal with regular headaches, a daith piercing could be a worthwhile solution.’
A pain specialist said daith piercings (pictured) work in the same way as acupuncture to ease migraine symptoms. Massaging or piercing this part of the ear produces pain-relieving endorphins
While most piercings cost under $100 (£66) – it could be a cheap way of treating the illness, he added.
However, Dr Fayyaz Ahmed, a neurologist and trustee of the charity The Migraine Trust, said there is no evidence that daith piercing work to help migraines.
The benefits of acupuncture for the affliction are based on small studies, he added.
He said: ‘There is no evidence for such treatment. ‘The evidence for acupuncture remains with single studies.
Simon Evans, CEO of Migraine Action added that while daith piercings may help some people with migraines, they could make others’ headaches worse.
‘We are always pleased when people gain some measure of relief from their migraine.
‘Migraine is a term covering a range of similar conditions in which headache can be a symptom.
‘Unfortunately what works for one person can make the condition worse in others, so we have to treat the daith piercing with a degree of caution, especially in these very early days after the procedure has been done.’
He added that the charity would welcome a clinical trial being carried out, so the treatment could be properly tested.
He added: ‘We would highly recommend that all migraine patients continue with the treatment that has been prescribed by their medical professional.
‘There is no cure for migraine, but there are options in taking control of this neurological condition, that affects 1 in 7 people in the UK.
‘Migraine Action’s helpline, open weekdays 10 – 4 am (08456 011 033) can help guide all affected through acute and preventative medication options, as well as other treatments such as acupuncture, and lifestyle habits, such as sleep patterns and making changes to your diet (including supplements such as magnesium and vitamin B2 and Co-enzyme Q10).’
MIGRAINES: A DEBILITAING CONDITION
A migraine is usually a severe headache felt as a throbbing pain at the front or side of the head.
Some people also have other symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting and increased sensitivity to light or sound.
Migraine is a common health condition, affecting around one in every five women and around one in every 15 men. They usually begin in early adulthood.
They can severely affect quality of life and stop you carrying out your normal daily activities. Some people find they need to stay in bed for days at a time.
The exact cause of migraines is unknown, although they are thought to be the result of temporary changes in the chemicals and blood vessels in the brain.
Around half of all people who experience migraines also have a close relative with the condition, suggesting that genes may play a role.
Some people find migraine attacks are associated with certain triggers, which can include starting their period, stress, tiredness and certain foods or drinks.
Source: NHS Choices
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