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  • Writer's pictureShruti GOCHHWAL

Piercings For Migraine: Do They Work

Migraine headaches can make it very difficult for you to cope up with your daily activities. It is a complex neurological condition that has shown to affect the health of the individual adversely. It is characterized by recurrent headaches, with pulsating pain on one side of the head followed by nausea, vomiting and increased sensitivity to light or sound.

Recent studies have speculated that tragus/Daith piercings can help you find relief from the chronic debilitating migraine pain. But, tragus/Daith piercings for migraine- do they really work? Well, let’s find out how tragus piercings can help in migraine pain.

What is Tragus Piercing?

Tragus and daith are cartilages of the ear canal. The daith cartilage can be found above the ear canal as folded. Whereas, the tragus cartilage is a triangular piece of cartilage found below daith, to the side of the ear canal opening. A tragus/daith piercing is the perforation of the tragus, commonly liked by people to wear or insert a piece of jewellery.

How Does Tragus/Daith Piercing Help in Migraine?

Tragus/Daith piercings have become wildly popular not only for aesthetic reasons but as an alternative treatment for migraine. People who have undertaken these piercings claim that their migraine has just vanished. The piercings work similarly to acupuncture, where it modifies pressure points in the body to help relieve from pain.

What Does Science Have To Say About it?

There are no scientific studies conducted to prove the efficacy behind tragus piercing alleviating migraine headaches. However, it’s believed that tragus piercing stimulates the auricular branch of the vagus nerve. Vagus nerve is a long nerve that extends into several parts of the outer ear, including the daith and the tragus. Vagus nerve is found to send pain signals throughout your head during a migraine attack. So, stimulating this nerve can help prevent or minimize the pain signals which are sent from the brain. This is the so far speculated theory on how tragus/daith piercing would mitigate chronic or non-chronic migraines. There is still a need to conduct large data trials to convert these speculations into scientific evidence. However, there are clinically proven studies that have suggested vagal stimulation can help aid in treating disorders like depression and anxiety.

Some experts say that piercings work similarly to acupuncture technique and help release the pressure and congestion near the nerves. It also stimulates the nerves to release hormones like endorphins which in turn, promote blood circulation, towards the head and help relieve the pain during migraine headaches.

Risks Associated with Daith/Tragus Piercings

Tragus/Daith piercings may not have any serious risk factors associated with them. Because the piercing is done on cartilage where there are very few nerve endings. However, the area due to the limited blood supply is prone to infections, bleeding, swelling, pain, scarring, damage to the nerve, and may sometimes worsen your migraine symptoms as well.

Which Side is Tragus Piercing Recommended?

Tragus piercings are usually recommended on the side where you experience the migraine attacks quite often. This is because migraine pain tends to cluster or focus usually on one side of the head. You may probably know which side of your head hurts more when migraine triggers. So, to be sure to pierce on that side to give the piercing the best chance to work.

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