Daith Piercing: Could It Cure Migraines?

If you’ve ever had a headache, you know they can be excruciating. Individuals who experience the ill effects of constant migraines are currently attempting another treatment accessible in the metro.

It’s a different type of ear piercing that goes back over a hundred years, however, hasn’t been used to treat headaches until recently.

If you’re not a fond of needles, you wouldn’t want to to be like Lori Kinnison. Month after month, this Kansas City woman receives 35 shots of botulism toxins to dull the pain from her severe migraines.

“If I stayed home every time I felt bad, I would be home all the time,” she said.

Lori says she commonly gets up to 30 severe migraines every month.

“It is disheartening, and it wears a person out,” she said.

The migraines began in Kinnison’s teen years. She has taken so many different types of medicines for her migraines, that she can’t even recall them all. At this moment, she’s on four medications to try and combat her migraines.

“It just doesn’t ever go away,” she said.

Kinnison was so desperate to the point that after her visit to the neurologist she drove straight to Clay Wanstrath’s tattoo shop to try something new: daith piercing. The daith is your ear’s deepest cartilage fold.

Dr. Dana Winegarner, Kinnison’s neurologist, is with the Rowe Neurology Institute.

Winegarner said no clinical studies are demonstrating daith piercings help with migraines.

“People who were buried hundreds, or even a thousand years ago, have the same ear piercing… The vagus nerve is not a major sensory nerve. So why does cutting it within the ear help with headaches? I don’t know,” Winegarner said.

There are many individuals online who say getting their daith penetrated has assisted with their headaches. Winegarner has even met some of them.

“A significant minority of the patients have come back and said that it was beneficial for their headaches,” Winegarner said.

Kinnison prays she’s one of the significant minority.

The dangers of infection are severe with daith piercings. Specialists say you should never do it at home. An infection in this area likely results in a trip to the hospital.

The puncturing itself just takes seconds. On Kinnison, she says the entire procedure was not extremely excruciating.

“I just got 35 shots in my head this morning. So comparatively?” she said. “Now let’s just hope it fixes the migraines.”

If her headaches leave, it will change her life, yet she is also trying to be practical, so she doesn’t  get heart broken on the off chance that it doesn’t work.

After The Piercing

A month after Kinnison got her daith piercing, she says she still has migraines. However, some are less extreme than the ones she ordinarily gets.

Lori will know if the piercing has made a difference in eight more weeks when the shots she gets wears off. On the off chance that the migraines lessen and get better, then the specialist will postpone another round of the shots, and monitor her relief. After that, her doctor will begin to wean her off certain medications, in hopes that the migraines go away.

In case you’re asking why there are no clinical studies, Winegarner says it’s a matter of financing. Getting the piercing is cheap in comparison with all the costs it would take do a clinical study.

Complicating matters, Winegarner also says there’s no way to do a blind test with a placebo, as one would do with prescriptions because everybody knows whether they have a piercing in their ear.