Electrical Stimulation for Wound Healing

Electrical stimulation may offer a unique treatment option to heal complicated and recalcitrant category, Stage II, III, and IV wounds, improve flap and graft survival, and even improve surgery results. When a wound occurs in the skin, an electrical leak is produced that short-circuits the skin battery at that point, allowing the current to flow out of the moist wound.12,13

Electrical stimulation is believed to restart or accelerate the wound-healing process by imitating the natural electrical current that occurs in the skin when it is injured.14,15

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) consists of a generic application of low frequency pulsed electrical currents transmitted by electrodes through the skin surface.

The theory that a moist wound environment is required for the bioelectric system to function is of clinical significance.

Electrical stimulation affects each phase of wound healing differently, beginning with the inflammatory phase that imitates the wound repair process. In this phase, increasing blood flow can help in the removal of debris by way of phagocytosis. In addition, electrical stimulation enhances tissue oxygenation.

Electrical stimulation also promotes the proliferation phase by stimulating the fibroblasts and epithelial cells needed for tissue repair. Membrane transport improves, which supports the body’s natural current and produces collagen, which helps in the stimulation of wound contraction.

Electrical stimulation can increase adenosine triphosphate (ATP) concentration in tissues. Increased DNA synthesis promotes the healing of soft tissue or ulcers, reduces edema, and inhibits the growth of various pathogens.

 
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