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Vibration may help heal chronic wounds


Wounds may heal more quickly if exposed to low-intensity vibration, report researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

The finding, in mice, may hold promise for the 18 million Americans who have type 2 diabetes, and especially the quarter of them who will eventually suffer from foot ulcers. Their wounds tend to heal slowly and can become chronic or worsen rapidly.

Timothy Koh, UIC professor of kinesiology and nutrition in the UIC College of Applied Health Sciences, was intrigued by studies at Stony Brook University in New York that used very low-intensity signals to accelerate bone regeneration.

"This technique is already in clinical trials to see if vibration can improve bone health and prevent osteoporosis," Koh said.

Koh and his coworkers at UIC collaborated with Stefan Judex of Stony Brook to investigate whether the same technique might improve wound healing in diabetes. The new study, using an experimental mouse model of diabetes, is published online in the journal PLOS One.

The low-amplitude vibrations are barely perceptible to touch.

"It's more like a buzz than an earthquake," said Eileen Weinheimer-Haus, UIC postdoctoral fellow in kinesiology and nutrition, the first author of the study.

The researchers found that wounds exposed to vibration five times a week for 30 minutes healed more quickly than wounds in mice of a control group.

Wounds exposed to vibration formed more granulation tissue, a type of tissue important early in the wound-healing process. Vibration helped tissue to form new blood vessels — a process called angiogenesis — and also led to increased expression of pro-healing growth factors and signaling molecules called chemokines, Weinheimer-Haus said.

"We know that chronic wounds in people with diabetes fail to form granulation tissue and have poor angiogenesis, and we believe these factors contribute to their wounds' failure to heal," said Koh. He and his colleagues want to determine whether the changes they see in cell populations and gene expression at wound sites underlie the observed improvement in healing.

"The exciting thing about this intervention is how easily it could be translated to people," Koh said. "It's a procedure that's non-invasive, doesn't require any drugs, and is already being tested in human trials to see if it's protective of bone loss." A clinical study, in collaboration with Dr. William Ennis, director of the Wound Healing Clinic at UIC, is planned, Koh said.

Source: University of Illinois at Chicago 

Featured image: This is a photo of Eileen Weinheimer-Haus, first author, and Timothy Koh, principal investigator. Image credit: Roberta Dupuis-Devlin/University of Illinois at Chicago Photo Services

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  1. duhhhh…sounds like scientists are finally waking up…yahooo….as I have been healing with massage and Reiki for years this is great news to finally get some validation…dont need no electrical gadgets….just sound and hands with healing intentions …from purity and love.

  2. bio resonance therapy devices = deta elis technology from Russia, they been developing this science for 20 years , they are now producing 6th generation devices that heal the whole body 🙂
    I have been using didgeridoo for the same purpose for past 10 years very effectively on my friends and family.
    sound healing is the way forwards into the future of health and well being for all humans and animals alike 🙂

  3. Healing wounds with low intensity vibrations, if this is a valid research discovery, is encouraging news indeed! Particularly where diabetic ulcers are problematic, such treatment could provide a better and more positive outlook in terms of effective treatment! Osteoporosis is another area of research to ascertain effectiveness of vibration therapy to expedite healing treatment! Kudos!

  4. As with applied ultrasound to a location of the body, low tone vibration, similar to a subtle massage (though different in that low tone vibration is like a tiny focused electrical 'beat') encourages the stimulation of various bodily fluid types, and messages to be sent to the brain to respond to the area being treated.
    Persons who do not or whose affected body part does not have a good fluid 'flow' or is not (the affected part) receiving 'instructions' from the brain to 'attend' to healing the affected part, may have slow healing properties or poor healing experiences.
    Low tone vibration stimulates the messaging to the brain to increase fluid flow (containing injury healing properties) and sometimes removal of infected/damaged cells to/for the affected area.

    With all due respect to the scientists here, the use of low tone vibration and other similar applications is not new. There are cultures who have understood this 'wound/other' bodily stimulating technique and have used such for a very long time. Maybe not always with modern electrical gadgets, but applied using other techniques, with the same outcome in mind and occurrence.

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