Iontopheresis: What Is It Exactly?
Iontophoresis is a physical process in which ions flow diffusively in a medium driven by an applied electric field. In the realm of physical therapy, this is conducted by electrical stimulation applied through a patch directly on the skin. The patch contains a drug, typically an anti-inflammatory to help decrease pain and inflammation. Iontophoresis helps with areas injections are tough to administer. Plantar fasciitis, bursitis or tendonitis, and tennis elbows are all conditions that can be effectively treated with iontophoresis. A battery pack can be used to produce a negative charge, which in turn repels the current and pushes the drug into the skin. This method can be done in time increments during patient's in-office visits. Another method is leaving the patch on without the battery pack, and keeping the patch on for 2-4 hours, as prescribed. Most insurance plans cover iontophoresis in physical therapy, and there's a cash option for those who don't receive the insurance coverage which enables everyone who needs the treatment to be eligible.