Iontophoresis is a non-invasive, transdermal method of delivering medication across the skin using electrical stimulation. The most common drug administered is 4% cortisone solution.
This treatment is very appropriate for injuries to the hand and wrist and offered by Peninsula Hand Therapy in consultation with referring practitioners as a pain free, side effect free alternative to a Cortisone injection. It is most suitable for those people who have a large treatment area, multiple treatment sites, are needle phobic, hesitant about Cortisone injection due to side effects, or who have already received a maximum number of Cortisone injections previously. Unlike Cortisone injection there are no side effects of repeated treatments. The effect is on the local tissues only.
Iontophoresis is recommended for treatment of superficial inflammatory conditions such as tendon and ligament injuries, Lateral elbow pain, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, De Quervain’s tenosynovitis, trigger finger and Osteoarthritis. It is also indicated in the treatment of hypertrophic scar following burns, surgery, or trauma.
Iontophoresis has few contraindications other than if you have a pace maker, epilepsy, exposed metal implants, and for those with a known allergy to the drug being administered.
Typically, 6 treatments are required for one course of iontophoresis and are delivered over a two-week period. Treatment is administered every second day in order to maintain an adequate level of the drug in the area being treated and to avoid skin irritation.