HeadWise HeadWise: Volume 6, Issue 2 - Page 16

reader mail You ask. Our headache experts answer. DAITH PIERCING AND MIGRAINE RELIEF My wife has suffered from migraines for as long as she can re- member. She deals with them almost daily. The only thing that has seemed to help is birth control. It seems to slow down the frequency. However, recently it hasn’t been helping as much. so she is considering getting the daith piercing. I have done a little bit of research and don’t feel there are many negative side effects (aside from the initial pain). What are your thoughts on this and do you have any other alternatives for relief? If the piercing is a good idea, how important is the placement and is there a certain place you would go for this? –Joey P. Daith piercing involves piercing a cartilage within the ear and placing a ring or another metal item into the hole. There are no studies of this treatment, so we usually do not recommend it. While it is not very dangerous, rare complications can occur. These include scarring or an infection with the potential loss of an ear. If this procedure does provide some relief, it could be due to an effect similar to acupuncture. We do have dozens of studies which suggest that acupuncture helps migraine and tension-type headaches. Inserting acupuncture needles can also rarely cause an infection, but it is much more likely with piercing a cartilage and leaving a foreign body in place. Migraines often subside on their own, so despite higher cost, it is better to do acupuncture rather than have a permanent hole in the ear. In addition to acupuncture, other alternatives with some scientific support include biofeedback or meditation, regular aerobic exercise, and supplements such as magnesium, CoQ10, riboflavin, feverfew, and boswellia. Alexander Mauskop, MD New York Headache Center New York, NY BOTOX USE IN PREGNANCY Is it safe to have medical migraine Botox during pregnancy? There are no studies of the safety of Botox during pregnancy and therefore it cannot be recommended for our patients at this time. Vincent Martin, MD University of Cincinnati Cincinnati, OH Join us on social media and send in your questions for our team of experts. Search for: National Headache Foundation https://twitter.com/nhf Search for: nhf1970 16 HeadW ise ® | Volume 6, Issue 2 • 2016