How Much Does A Rook Piercing Hurt? (Pain Guide)

  • Written By Dan Hunter on November 5, 2019
    Last Updated: January 10, 2021

Let’s get it out of the way: cartilage piercings always hurt at least a little bit, and rook piercings are no exception.

With a rook piercing, the piercing itself is done in a vertical orientation, allowing both sides of the barbell to be displayed. This gives you the chance to really get creative with your choice of jewelry once your piercing has healed properly.

Rook Piercing Pain

Compared to other types of body piercings, rook piercings are quite low on the pain scale. However, this type of piercing does go through a fairly thick section of cartilage, so there will be some moderate discomfort.

During the procedure, you can expect to feel sharp pain and pressure. Luckily, your piercer will be using a very fine needle to pierce the rook, which means the piercing should be over very quickly.

After a couple of hours, the sharp pain will dull down into a more general throbbing. This throbbing pain will last for 2-4 days before eventually disappearing.

This may sound terrible, but keep in mind that you’re likely to get used to it and it will be more of a “background pain” before long.

You also are sure to experience some tenderness in the area after the piercing. If you do things such as sleep on that side of your head, you may make the pain a little bit worse than it otherwise would be. Using a good piercing aftercare product can help to soothe the pain and speed up overall healing.​

The best aftercare product I’ve personally used is the After Inked Piercing Aftercare Spray. Not only is it vegan, but it’s also completely alcohol and additive-free. The solution works well on all skin types including sensitive skin, and it comes in a generously-sized mist-spraying bottle for easy application. When using it from the very start of the healing process, the spray helps to decrease healing times and aims to eliminate any lingering pain or soreness.​

The Procedure

Your experience at the shop will likely be similar to other piercing experiences. You’ll get to pick out your starter jewelry and ask your piercer any questions that you may have.

After this, you’ll go to the piercing room and have the area cleaned while you observe your piercer opening a fresh needle for the piercing and putting on a pair of surgical gloves.

Your piercer will probably talk you through the experience before proceeding to mark the correct spot and checking with you that you’re happy with where the piercing is about to be placed. They’ll then prepare the piercing site by cleaning it with soap or surgical solution.

The procedure itself will be over extremely quickly, and before you know it your piercer will be putting in your starter jewelry (which might also be slightly painful) and giving you your aftercare instructions.

What Factors Can Affect Rook Piercing Pain?

You’ll have a lot of chances to influence the level of pain you feel after a rook piercing. For example, just by ensuring that your ear is in good condition and you’ve had plenty of rest before the piercing is done, you can lower your pain levels.

Some of the factors that change the pain level may seem out of your hands, but you have the chance to choose between some options beforehand. An example is the use of a piercing gun versus a needle.

It’s definitely better to go with a needle for this type of piercing (and all piercings), as there’s less chance of doing real damage to your cartilage that way.

Your piercing professional’s experience level will come into play, as top-notch piercers know how to do the job quickly and properly without making it more painful than it needs to be.

Of course, your mindset will matter, too. If you go into an experience incredibly nervous about the pain, you’ll probably find the whole experience to be pretty bad. Have a positive attitude and you’ll likely breeze through.

Dealing with the Pain

Fortunately, there are a lot of great ways to deal with the pain of rook piercings. A lot of them involve preparing for the piercing itself in a way that will make you feel at ease and take your focus off of the pain itself.

Depending on how you like to relax, listening to music can often be a great choice. Secondly, it’s usually very smart to take a friend or family member that can comfort you, while you are having the procedure done. Make sure to ask your piercing specialist first, of course.

Your mind is a huge contributor to any painful experience and can also help you deal with pain in a much more effective way. Try to think positively and make sure that you’ve learned about the piercing process ahead of time. There’s nothing more unnerving than the unknown, after all!

Before you get your piercing done, make sure that you’ve at least had a snack to eat and tell yourself that many others have gone through exactly what you’re about to go through.

Control your breathing before and during the piercing procedure.

Don’t try to show up to the studio under the influence of drugs or alcohol in order to dull the pain you’ll feel. You may not even be allowed in if you do.

You may be able to use a numbing cream. These products can help to take some of the pain away, although you’ll still likely feel a slight pinch.

One of the most effective piercing numbing products currently on the market is Zensa Numbing Cream, which contains the highest level of Lidocaine allowed by the FDA for over-the-counter use. The feedback left by thousands of customers for this product is nothing short of exceptional.

Just follow the instructions on the packaging, apply shortly before your piercing procedure is due to begin, and look forward to a less painful and more comfortable piercing experience.


You should now have a much better grasp on what level of pain you might expect with a rook piercing and the factors that contribute to the pain level, as well.

If you’ve had other cartilage piercings before, you probably shouldn’t be too worried about what you’ll experience with a rook piercing. If this is your first piercing, there really isn’t too much to get anxious about, and it’s always worth remembering that the worst of the pain will be over in a flash.

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