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How well does acupuncture treat spider veins?

I have fairly large varicose veins on my legs. My friends have gone to acupuncture and swear that it helps with muscle aches, etc. They also said it can be used to make varicose veins smaller. Can acupuncture really help treat varicose veins? Are there any chances that it will make my veins worse?


Doctors Answers (4)

Acupuncture can be very effective with different conditions including pain management, smoking cessation, and many other things. However, it is not useful for veins of any size. Varicose veins are essentially a mechanical problem with distortion of the vein anatomy and function. There are a number of effective and proven treatments for varicose veins, including thermal ablation (either laser or RF) for the primary venous trunks including the greater saphenous and small saphenous veins, and some perforating veins. For smaller branch varicose veins, a phlebectomy and foam sclerotherapy are some of the treatment options. Consider a consultation that includes an ultrasound examination at a local vein clinic.

Acupuncture has uses in many fields, but as far as correcting varicose veins, there is no evidence to support it. Varicose veins typically do not originate on the surface of the skin, but from "back flow" of larger deeper veins, such as the saphenous veins. Hence the varicose veins are like a pressure release valve. I would advise an evaluation by a board certified vascular surgeon who specializes in varicose veins. This would involve an ultrasound examination to determine the source of your varicose veins. These are now treated in the office under local anesthetic with little or no downtime. If considered medically necessary (associated symptoms and/or skin changes) insurance will cover them.

Acupuncture is worthless for treating varicose veins and will not make the varicose veins smaller. Acupuncture will only delay getting a proper evaluation and treatment of your varicose veins while they get worse.

We have no experience with acupuncture and varicose veins. There are no examples of vein regression with acupuncture.

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