Iontophoresis is an innovative method of introducing concentrated levels of particular pharmaceutical chemicals into the body without injections or surgery.
Many care practitioners describe this as a virtual injection, without the complications and contraindications of using an actual needle.
The treatment works through a complicated scientific process whereby electricity is used to charge molecules in the medication and introduce them into the body through forced diffusion.
Some doctors call this therapy transdermal pain management.
To simplify the concept, medical substances can be injected into the body through the skin, without actually piercing it with a needle.
Although this method of therapy can theoretically be used to introduce virtually any substance into the body, it is mostly currently used by physical therapists and back pain rehabilitation specialists for injecting large quantities of anti-inflammatory drugs into patients with acute back pain.
The most common substances utilized are the various corticosteroids which are widely used (and sometimes abused) for back pain treatment. Some providers have also used this system to treat pain regionally using other drugs.
The therapy works in much the same way as transdermal patches, only far faster and the quantity of the substance induced can be much greater in a shorter time span.
Many doctors are using this technique to treat postoperative patients who are recovering from invasive back surgery. Transdermal medicines can speed healing and increase the effectiveness of pain management exponentially for some patients.
This is a novel idea in the back care sector which may prove effective in some instances. Unlike transdermal patches, patients receiving this treatment must remain in one place during the session and can not “take the treatment home with them” as with other through-the-skin modalities.
My biggest complaint with the treatment is that anti-inflammatory substances are already overly used in most instances of back pain, especially since there is rarely any actual inflammation involved.
Of course, another concern here is the preoccupation with drug therapies which are known to have undesired health effects and may be very dangerous when used in concentration.
Remember, drugs will only provide temporary pain relief and may do so at extreme cost. Addiction, organ failure, blood poisoning or even death are possible in rare cases.
If you are interested in learning more about using transdermal pain management, talk to your doctor or physical therapist today.