Iontophoresis is a method of delivering medication with electrical current.
This treatment which is primarily used for inflamed joint and muscle problems, is regaining popularity as an alternative to injections and other treatments. The technique involves introduction of various medications (in the form of ions) through the skin by means of electricity. Using a low-volt direct electrical current, an ion, acting as an anti-inflammatory or pain-relieving medicine, penetrates the skin into the painful area.
This type of treatment has been used successfully to treat tendonitis, bursitis, and arthritis, heel spurs and gout to name a few. It has also been shown to help reduce calcium deposits in muscle (a condition called myositis ossificans) that sometimes occurs following injury to a muscle. It works best for inflamed tissues that are not too deep below the skin’s surface, since most anti-inflammatory ions can penetrate only about 1/2 inch.
Iontophoresis offers many advantages. There is often less risk and discomfort than an injection. Unlike pills, it eliminates the absorption and loss of medication into the digestive tract. Also, less medication will have to be handled by the liver, and there is a much lower chance of overdose.
There are several drugs to choice from that are used for Iontophoresis:
- Dexamethasone Sodium Phosphate is the most common. Primarily used for tendonitis, bursitis arthritis spinal stenosis, acute sprains and strains.
- Ketoprofen 10% is an alternative nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory that treats many of the conditions as Dexamethasone. Ketoprofen can be used when patients do not respond well to Dexamethasone or have plateaued in treatment.
- Potassium Iodide (KI) 10% is recommended most for the treatment of scars and tendon adhesions. The solution can soften and remove collagen which will allow the area to be molded and stretched. A patient can increase range of motion and strengthen the over used muscle.
- Acetic Acid 2% to 5% is primarily used for treating soft tissue mineralization such as heel spurs, calcific tendonitis and myositis ossificans. The negatively charged acetate ion combines with calcium carbonate to form the soluble compound calcium acetate.
The treatment often requires a series of applications, rather than just one appointment. You should expect positive results after 10 to 12 treatments, although the degree of calcification plays a significant role in recovery.
We use iontophoresis to help treat the symptoms of hyperhidrosis.
- Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition in which a person sweats excessively and unpredictably. People with hyperhidrosis may sweat even when the temperature is cool or when they are at rest.
- People sweat more in warm temperatures, when they exercise, or in response to situations that make them nervous, angry, embarrassed, or afraid.
- However, excessive sweating occurs without such triggers. Those with hyperhidrosis appear to have overactive sweat glands. The uncontrollable sweating can lead to significant discomfort, both physical and emotional.