What is Iontophoresis in Physical Therapy?
Iontophoresis i a form of eectrotherapy that delivers medications to a patient’s skin via a mild electrical current. The most common drug used with iontophoresis is dexamethasone, an anti-inflammatory medication. A physical therapist will place a self-contained iontophoresis patch called an IontoPatch(r) on the patient’s skin. The device works by pushing dexamethasone into the inflamed medial periarticular tissue. The drug is absorbed by the tissues and reduces pain.
The physical therapist will determine which medication to use during iontophoresis. You will likely need a prescription for this. Once the physical therapist has determined what type of medication is appropriate for your condition, they will apply it to the patch. This patch contains a built-in battery and two electrodes. One electrode has a positive current and the other has a negative current. The physical therapist will apply the medication to the patch’s positive electrode and the negative electrode, which pushes the medication into the injured tissue. The application may cause a slight tingling sensation.
Iontophoresis can be used in many ways, but its primary use is in the treatment of inflammation and pain. It is often used in combination with other methods, such as stretching and strengthening. It is often recommended for patients with osteoarthritis or arthritis. The patient should be aware that Iontophoresis can have some side effects and should be used in conjunction with other treatment modalities to maximize its potential.