Piercing away painful migraines

1 in 4 households have someone with a migraine.

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – People will try just about anything to get rid of excruciating migraine pain. Megan said she has tried BOTOX and prescription medication but nothing really worked. Keeping up with new trends Megan got daith piercing. She went to Cowpok on Elmwood avenue in Buffalo, to get the piercing, which is on the innermost part of the cartilage of her ear.

As she made her way back to the room at the end of January, she hoped this was the last time she would have to deal with the pain. She gets migraines three or four times a week. Megan never told her doctor she was getting the piercing, instead she did her own research online and on social media.

“They’re so desperate to find relief,” said UB neurologist doctor Melissa Rayhill. She is skeptical about the new trend because there isn’t any science to back it up.

She hopes more research will be done because she knows there isn’t just one cure to stop a migraine.

More than 80% of people will get some type of headache in their lifetime, and one in five women will get a migraine. Dr. Rayhill also says one in 4 households have someone with a migraine. Migraine symptoms include sensitivity to light and sound, feeling nauseous, seeing spots or even throwing up. A lot of people jump on board will these new trends but Dr. Rayhill is concerned it could lead to more infection or even make the pain worse.

Credit: WIVB
Credit: WIVB

Still more and more people are trying the daith piercing. Cowpok says in 2012 they did 23 daith piercings all year and in the first month of this year they’ve already done more daith  piercings than that.

We checked back with Megan almost a month after her daith piercing and she told us it’s working. News 4 also got a call from Stylin’ Tattoo on Harlem road in Cheektowagaabout our story. They’ve been doing their own study with 20 women and all of them said the piercing got rid of the pain. They hope to submit their findings to UB or the Dent Neurological Institute.

But even with these positive results, Dr. Rayhill says until more research is done, she wouldn’t recommend a daith piercing to her patients.

Dr. Rayhill even said it is possible people are have a placebo reaction when they get the piercing. This means the brain is tricking someone into thinking it’s working when it really isn’t. News 4 asked her if this is really possible with painful migraines and Dr. Rayhill said it was.

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