Chronic wounds are a puzzle for some providers as there are several factors that help define best parameters for healing, and many of the factors are difficult to measure with tangible results.
However much research has shown that the tissues in chronic wounds tend to be alkaline, that is to have a higher pH (7.15-8.9); this factor is then linked to decreased healing potential because an alkaline environment has more resistance to the electrical changes needing to happen within the damaged tissues in order for them to heal.
You might be interested to know that the four phases of wound healing are:
Hemostasis: clotting of blood
Inflammation: antibody response that naturally debrides damaged tissue
Proliferation: rapid multiplication of parts, such as blood vessels and skin cells
Remodeling: collagen and proteins organize the scar tissue for wound closure
These phases normally progress in an overlapping, quick and orderly process. In a chronic wound, these phases do not overlap or complete in the normal rapid succession for healing. The most common reasons for impaired wound healing are infection (acclerated presence of microbes) and ischemia (lack of oxygen to the tissues), but what does your body need in order to avoid infection and ischemia?
pH: Potential Hydrogen
Potential Hydrogen is the concentration of hydrogen ions in a given aqueous solution, and an appropriate level of hydrogen ions critically influences all body functions.
pH influences all of your body's biochemical reactions by controlling both the rate of enzyme activity and the level of electrical resistance.
Even a small change in pH, bringing it closer to neutral, allows better oxygen delivery to damaged and surrounding tissues. Oxygen is essential to phases two and three of healing, specifically counteracting bacteria and growing new tissue cells.
To illustrate the delicate balance between the two major risks for impaired wound healing, pH that is too high does not allow enough oxygen flow for the wound to heal, but a pH that is too low can also allow other types of bacteria to grow, increasing chance of infection.
pH varies throughout the body --arterial and venous pH is different, skin and deep tissue pH is different, and restoring the body's natural electrical balance is the only way to balance pH as needed in all areas.
Presence of necrotic (dead) tissue increases the metabolic load on the wound, limiting oxygen delivery
Infection -- as bacterial contamination rises, pH continues to decrease.
Radiation and/or drugs which disrupt cell division
Smoking increases incidence of infection and decreases availability of oxygen
Disease processes, like diabetes
Benefits of Microcurrent
Microcurrent can benefit your plan of care for wound healing in these ways:
Facilitate proper oxygenation of tissues
Stimulate protease activity to speed the breakdown of proteins
Hyperstimulate release of metabolic waste material to aid wound healing
Reestablish your body's electrical balance at a cellular level (i.e. lowering electrical resistance = lowering pH)
Wound healing is most compromised by infection and ischemia, and pH directly affects both of them. To support your body's ability to maintain proper pH, try microcurrent therapy to stimulate oxygenation and to balance your cellular electrical communication.