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Iontophoresis is a method of local transfer of ionized medicated and nonmedicated substances through the skin and into the target tissues using magnetic polarization. The anti-inflammatory properties exhibited by dexamethasone sodium phosphate (DEX) combined with iontophoresis make it a potentially desirable treatment for clinicians wishing to administer a noninvasive localized drug concentration without having a large systemic concentration of that drug. Since concurrent treatments are commonly used in clinical practice, many of the published studies that included the use of DEX also used concurrent treatments. However, this may make it difficult for clinicians to determine the individual effectiveness of DEX iontophoresis in treating musculoskeletal conditions.
Focused Clinical Question:
Does DEX iontophoresis, alone, decrease pain and improve function in patients with musculoskeletal conditions when compared with placebo or control?
Brown is with the Athletic Training Program, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS. Lauber is with Athletic Training, University of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN. Cappaert is with Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions, Provo, UT.