How does shockwave therapy help to increase blood flow and wound healing?
Many patients undergo and often exhaust all conservative and proliferation-stimulating wound management treatments before they turn to adjunct therapies such as extracorporeal shockwave therapy. Therapies such as shockwave are excellent tools to speed up wound healing, saving time and limbs and therefore improves patient’s quality of life.
Shockwave treatment in wound care and revascularization has a wider focus where the energy level is reduced but the size of the target area can be increased. Shockwave penetrates the human tissue without causing damage. It has been found that shockwave increases and accelerates bone growth as the shockwave induces a biological and cellular reaction to heal; known as biomechanical transduction.
- ESWT is a cost-effective and proven adjunct to improve wound vascularity and speed up wound healing
- ESWT improves wound granulating and vascularization
- There are minimal side effects when ESWT is used in wound healing
Various studies show the positive effects of extracorporeal shockwave treatment in the management of acute and chronic wounds, specifically, it is found that there is around 75% success rate with non-healing ulcerations of 4cm to 16cm diameters with mixed aetiologies (underlying causes).
What exactly does ESWT do to revascularize a leg and heal a wound?
- Increases tissue perfusion
- Suppression of the local inflammatory response
- Up-regulation of cell proliferation (specifically growth factors fibroblasts and keratinocytes)
- Neoangiogenesis from increased expression of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) and Endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase (eNOS)
- Membrane hyperpolarisation
- Increased growth hormones
- Impressive induction of granulation tissue formation and vascularization
- Clinical improvement of vascular diseases and increase wound healing by stimulating the localised formation of lymphatic vessels from pre-existing lymphatic vessels (lymphangiogenesis)
- Localised blood vessel formation (vasculogenesis)
Therefore, there is a notable cellular and molecular mechanism underlying shockwave-induced lymphangiogenesis and vasculogenesis.