Iontophoresis For Physical Therapy

Iontophoresis is a treatment for inflamed joint and muscle troubles, is regaining recognition as a substitute to injections and other treatments. The practice, was first developed in the mid 1700's, and involved introduction to 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 and cures the troubled area. Iontophoresis has many rewards. It is a cost-effective and portable method, though the machinist must be a licensed health professional. There is often less danger and uneasiness than an injection. In contrast to pills, it removes the incorporation and loss of medication into the digestive tract. Also, less medication needs to be handled by the liver, and there is a much lower chance of overdose.

Although iontophoresis has many advantages, it may not be favorable for everyone. It should not be used on people who have very susceptible skin or are sensitive to any ion that is projected for treatment. Sporadically, skin irritation, even small blisters can occur on the area where the treatment is applied. In addition, the treatment often requires a series of applications, rather than just one appointment. Even very elderly people who cannot take in the ion treatment should not opt for such treatment.

This kind of treatment has been used productively to treat tendonitis, bursitis, and arthritis, even gout. It has also been revealed to help reduce calcium deposits in muscle that sometimes occurs after an injury to a muscle. It works best for inflamed tissues that is not too deep below the skin's surface, since most anti-inflammatory ions can penetrate only about ½ inch. The process is most often performed by licensed physical therapists, following referral from the physician. The therapist and physician determine which ion would be most beneficial for each condition. Some physicians also perform intophoresis treatments. If we suffer from one of these problems which have not responded adequately to injections or medication, we can ask our doctor about iontophoresis.

It is known that as iontophoresis progresses in conservative iontophoresis systems, the electrolysis of water occurs to produce hydrogen or hydroxyl ions at the interface of the electrode and medicament medium. Since these ions are highly mobile, they are elated directly into the skin of a patient in preference to the larger medicament ions. Thus, extreme changes in pH are experienced which result in burns due to the acidification or alkalinization of the medicament medium and passage of electric current through the skin. In addition, the efficiency of iontophoresis decreases over time. The present invention avoids extremes in pH by removing the hydrogen or hydroxyl ions which are created during iontophoresis and create conditions for constant delivery over prolonged periods of time. In the present discovery, the medicament ions are attached to an ion exchange matrix, such as an ion exchange resin. When the medicament leaves the ion exchange matrix, the vacated active site is filled by the produced electrolysis products, thereby allowing iontophoresis to progress at a relatively constant pH.