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Iontophoresis procedure for heel pain?

Posted by JenL on 1/30/03 at 16:18 (107385)

Hi,
I went to a Physical Therapy clinic and the doctor is going to do the procedure Iontophoresis. According to their description it's a mixture of medicine containing acid to be applied to surface of the skin, and penetration is achieved by electrical currency, of low energy I think.
It's supposed to get rid of inflammation related to PF and heel spurs.
Does any one have any experience with it? If you know about it, is there any hidden/potential side effect?
I have not had a chance to ask that doc in detail, I want to hear from the board first.
Thank you in advance for any response.

Re: Iontophoresis procedure for heel pain?

Dr. Z on 1/30/03 at 16:31 (107391)

This is a very old and common procedure. They are given you a local steriod medication without painful needles. It can work. There are no serious side effects. You could get skin discoloration. Not a bad choice for treatment. If the fascia is torn it won't work. Good luck

Re: Iontophoresis procedure for heel pain?

JenL on 1/30/03 at 16:49 (107397)

Dr.Z, could you explain how the local steriod medication is given to the patient? I remember they said there is no needles involved. Is 'steriod' roughly similar to what we usually got as heel injections? What's the non-serious side effect?

Re: Iontophoresis procedure for heel pain?

nancy s. on 1/30/03 at 16:57 (107399)

jen, while waiting for dr z to answer you on this one, i thought i'd tell you i had six months of pt for pf & tendonitises which included the use of iontophoresis. the therapist would open packets and apply the little pads soaked in steroid to my worst points of pain. the pad would be hooked up to an electrical-type machine (i'm so scientific!) with wires, and the heat from the machine would drive the steroid in through the skin. as i recall, it took about 10 minutes each session.

the only side effect i ever experienced, and this was only a couple of times, was a slight burn. the machine can be turned up or down, so once we found the right setting for my skin i never had any problem with it at all. in fact, i believe it helped.

nancy
.

Re: Iontophoresis procedure for heel pain?

Dr. Z on 1/30/03 at 20:36 (107420)

It is the same drug. There are no needles involved with Ionophoresis. It is pushed into the skin thru an electric current. The depth of pentration is less with the iontophoresis method of administration Like I stated no serious side effects. You can get skin pigamentation.changes I am also assuming that there is proper dosage of the drug and that it isn't used on a thin area of skin I believe that there may be a section in Scott heel
pain book on this type of treatment. I would check his book out

Re: Iontophoresis procedure for heel pain?

JenL on 1/31/03 at 16:12 (107504)

Nancy and Dr.Z, thanks very much. I'll look for more inf., but right now I am not as ethusiastic about the procedure. Since I had injections before and they did not help, why shoud I recieve basiclly the same drug in different method? As far as I know steriod is no good to health.

Re: Iontophoresis procedure for heel pain?

nancy s. on 1/31/03 at 16:39 (107506)

jen, dr z can probably answer this much better than i. but my understanding is that the amount and strength of the steroid used in ionto bears almost no resemblance to those of a cortisone shot. also, the shot is much, much more invasive, going deeper into the tissue. ionto just drives a little bit through the skin -- i believe it stays much closer to the surface than a cortisone shot does. i don't feel i was subjected to an amount of steroid even remotely considered dangerous, in any way.

the shot, on the other hand, is powerful and can be dangerous. i had one cortisone shot in my heel, and it did absolutely nothing for me (except send me through the ceiling). but the ionto did seem to help my inflammation and help me on the road to great improvement. not that this would necessarily be true for you, but i see no reason for you not to give it a try.

dr z?

nancy
.

Re: Iontophoresis procedure for heel pain?

Dr. Z on 1/30/03 at 16:31 (107391)

This is a very old and common procedure. They are given you a local steriod medication without painful needles. It can work. There are no serious side effects. You could get skin discoloration. Not a bad choice for treatment. If the fascia is torn it won't work. Good luck

Re: Iontophoresis procedure for heel pain?

JenL on 1/30/03 at 16:49 (107397)

Dr.Z, could you explain how the local steriod medication is given to the patient? I remember they said there is no needles involved. Is 'steriod' roughly similar to what we usually got as heel injections? What's the non-serious side effect?

Re: Iontophoresis procedure for heel pain?

nancy s. on 1/30/03 at 16:57 (107399)

jen, while waiting for dr z to answer you on this one, i thought i'd tell you i had six months of pt for pf & tendonitises which included the use of iontophoresis. the therapist would open packets and apply the little pads soaked in steroid to my worst points of pain. the pad would be hooked up to an electrical-type machine (i'm so scientific!) with wires, and the heat from the machine would drive the steroid in through the skin. as i recall, it took about 10 minutes each session.

the only side effect i ever experienced, and this was only a couple of times, was a slight burn. the machine can be turned up or down, so once we found the right setting for my skin i never had any problem with it at all. in fact, i believe it helped.

nancy
.

Re: Iontophoresis procedure for heel pain?

Dr. Z on 1/30/03 at 20:36 (107420)

It is the same drug. There are no needles involved with Ionophoresis. It is pushed into the skin thru an electric current. The depth of pentration is less with the iontophoresis method of administration Like I stated no serious side effects. You can get skin pigamentation.changes I am also assuming that there is proper dosage of the drug and that it isn't used on a thin area of skin I believe that there may be a section in Scott heel
pain book on this type of treatment. I would check his book out

Re: Iontophoresis procedure for heel pain?

JenL on 1/31/03 at 16:12 (107504)

Nancy and Dr.Z, thanks very much. I'll look for more inf., but right now I am not as ethusiastic about the procedure. Since I had injections before and they did not help, why shoud I recieve basiclly the same drug in different method? As far as I know steriod is no good to health.

Re: Iontophoresis procedure for heel pain?

nancy s. on 1/31/03 at 16:39 (107506)

jen, dr z can probably answer this much better than i. but my understanding is that the amount and strength of the steroid used in ionto bears almost no resemblance to those of a cortisone shot. also, the shot is much, much more invasive, going deeper into the tissue. ionto just drives a little bit through the skin -- i believe it stays much closer to the surface than a cortisone shot does. i don't feel i was subjected to an amount of steroid even remotely considered dangerous, in any way.

the shot, on the other hand, is powerful and can be dangerous. i had one cortisone shot in my heel, and it did absolutely nothing for me (except send me through the ceiling). but the ionto did seem to help my inflammation and help me on the road to great improvement. not that this would necessarily be true for you, but i see no reason for you not to give it a try.

dr z?

nancy
.