Spider veins aren’t usually a medical concern, but they may make you feel self-conscious. As experts in sports medicine, Kevin McElroy, DO, and Steven Ferrer, MD, and the team at Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine provide expert care for sports-related injuries with treatments that include physical therapy, acupuncture, osteopathic manipulation, stem cell injections, and beyond. Find out more by calling the Ramsey, New Jersey, office or scheduling a consultation online.
Spider veins are tiny blue, red, or purple lines on your skin. The veins are flat and typically appear in your legs but also can appear elsewhere.
Spider veins are a common sign of a problem with the normal functioning of your vein. In some cases, spider veins form when one of the valves inside your veins doesn’t close properly. This causes blood to leak and get stuck in the vein.
Left untreated, spider veins can build up enough pressure to weaken the vein walls, allowing the spider veins to spread and grow larger.
In some cases, spider veins turn into varicose veins, which are large, twisted, more bulbous-looking veins. Varicose veins may have a rope-like appearance under your skin and can feel painful at times. Spider veins, in contrast, typically don’t cause pain or discomfort.
Although the precise reason for spider veins is unknown, they’re generally thought to be caused by hormonal factors.
That may explain why spider veins most commonly occur in women, particularly during pregnancy. Aging and obesity also increase your likelihood of getting spider veins.
Your doctor at Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine often recommends a nonsurgical treatment called radiofrequency ablation, which uses heat to close your spider vein, minimizing its appearance.
The treatment is very effective, with one study finding radiofrequency ablation worked about 88% of the time.
Your treatment area is first numbed to minimize any discomfort. Then, your doctor makes a tiny incision and inserts a very narrow tube into your vein. Radiofrequency energy travels through the tube and into your vein, heating it.
The process makes your body form scar tissue, which closes the vein. The treatment isn’t painful. However, you may feel prickling or burning sensations on your skin.
You’ll wear compression stockings for about a week to make sure the vein has closed properly. As your vein closes, it becomes less and less noticeable.
The treatment is quick and doesn’t require surgery. Other advantages include:
The treatment is also covered by most insurance plans. If you’re looking for nonsurgical options to be free of spider veins, call Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine today or schedule a consultation online.