What is Phonophoresis/Iontophoresis?



Phonophoresis is a physical agent, which utilizes ultrasound with a topical drug to facilitate transdermal drug delivery.  Iontophoresis is the transcutaneous delivery of ions into the body for therapeutic purposes using a DC electrical current.


Iontophoresis and Phonophoresis are alternatives to oral or parenteral methods of drug delivery. With iontophoresis patients must be able to tolerate both the medication and electric current. The most common medication utilized with these two procedures is dexamethasone. Dexamethasone is used for pain relief and inflammation.



Biceps and Rotator Cuff Tendonitis

Lateral Epicondylitis

Medial Epicondylitis

Patella Tendonitis

Trochanteric Bursitis

Plantar Fasciitis

Achilles Tendonitis

Subacromial Bursitis




Allergy to anti-inflammatories

Areas with poor sensation or skin damage




Laminectomy sites

Open wounds

Breast implants

Epiphyseal plates



What do you need to do to order Phonophoresis and Iontophoresis?

A prescription is needed for both iontophoresis and phonophoresis to comply with legal guidelines. A hand written prescription indicating phonophoresis or iontophoresis will be acceptable or you can simply check the appropriate box at the bottom of the Foothills Orthopedic and Sport Therapy Prescription.


Do insurance companies cover Phonophoresis and Iontophoresis?

Most insurance companies cover these procedures. Phonophoresis is a covered benefit by Medicare, however iontophoresis considered an experimental procedure and is therefore not covered by Medicare.