Migraines, quite frankly, suck. For some people, myself included, dealing with a migraine can feel a little bit hopeless because they're so hard to get rid of. I've tried a variety of remedies for migraines, even including CBD oil, which seemed to help some people, but never worked for me. Migraine treatment can be so subjective, which is why when I heard that tragus piercings possibly having an effect on migraines, I was intrigued and highly skeptical. I spoke with two neurologists to get their opinion on the topic, and this is what they had to say.
What Is a Tragus Piercing?
First of all, let's clarify what a tragus piercing even is. It's a piercing on the inner part of the ear, closest to your cheek. The jewelry goes through the tragus, which is a pretty tough place on your body to get pierced. I've had my ears pierced all up and down the lobes and cartilage but never the tragus, though I've had a professional piercer warn me it's probably the most painful spot on your ears to get pierced. But if it can alleviate migraines, it could be worth it, yes?
Can a Tragus Piercing Actually Help Migraines?
Billy Yung, MD, neurologist at Westmed Medical Group in Purchase, NY, told POPSUGAR that there's currently no evidence to support the theory that any piercing can help prevent or treat migraines. "It appears the evidence for piercings improving migraines is purely anecdotal at this point — meaning it is from individuals self-reporting that they noticed an improvement in migraines with the piercing. This is a very weak form of evidence," he said.
Chicago-based neurologist Lenny Cohen, MD, agreed, explaining that a tragus piercing is not a legitimate treatment for migraine relief. He added: "The jury is out, but without any studies (which would be difficult to design), this is not something I recommend." He also noted that some reports of piercings helping migraines come from acupuncture claims, but have no basis in studies.
What Will Alleviate a Migraine?
Dr. Yung pointed out that "just because we currently do not have enough evidence for piercings helping migraines, this doesn't mean it doesn't work." Migraine relief is a personal journey, and it's up to you to figure out how to manage them. This could mean working with your doctor to identify lifestyle changes or prescription medications that could help treat your symptoms.
An important piece of managing your migraines is understanding what triggers them. I know every month I'm going to get a migraine on the first day of my period, so I can prepare for that and put myself in the best environment to ride it out.
While a tragus piercing — or any piercing — doesn't have any study to back its effectiveness in helping migraines, it also shouldn't make anything any worse. And hey, if you get your tragus pierced and feel like your migraines are a little better, that's great for you. Maybe more research will be done in the future to help validate your experience.