What does fact checked mean?
At Healthfully, we strive to deliver objective content that is accurate and up-to-date. Our team periodically reviews articles in order to ensure content quality. The sources cited below consist of evidence from peer-reviewed journals, prominent medical organizations, academic associations, and government data.
The information contained on this site is for informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for the advice of a professional health care provider. Please check with the appropriate physician regarding health questions and concerns. Although we strive to deliver accurate and up-to-date information, no guarantee to that effect is made.
Physical Therapy: Battery Powered Cortisone Patch for Tennis Elbow
Tennis elbow, the medical term for which is lateral epicondylitis, is an overuse injury that causes pain and inflammation on the outside of the elbow 12. The usual treatment recommended by doctors is rest, avoidance of the injury-causing activity, ice packs and medications. Tennis elbow injuries that do not improve in two to three weeks often require additional treatment, such as physical therapy 12. Treatment might include cortisone, which is an anti-inflammation steroid 3. A treatment called iontophoresis uses a battery-powered medication delivery system that uses cortisone patches or other medications 3.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
The repeated contractions can cause inflammation or small tears in the tendons that connect the muscles to the bones of the elbow. The symptoms include worsening pain and weakened grasp. Grasping or twisting motions cause the pain to radiate from the outside of the elbow and down the forearm to the back of the hand.
Kenalog Injection Vs. Cortisone Injection
While nonsteroid anti-inflammation medications such as aspirin and ibuprofen reduce pain and inflammation caused by tennis elbow, doctors sometimes prescribe cortisone injections or patches for more severe cases 123. Cortisone blocks your body from releasing inflammation-causing substances 3. The cortisone patch, which is actually an adhesive membrane use in Iontophoresis, is used to deliver the medication through the skin at the injury site 3.
Iontophoresis uses an adhesive membrane, or cortisone patch, to which the cortisone dose is applied 3. Electrodes made of silver chloride and zinc are embedded in the membrane. The patch is affixed securely and uniformly to the skin and a small current generator machine is attached to the electrodes. The current generator unit is not required for the portable self-contained patch electrodes, which use a dual-chamber electrode system. The portable systems, which are activated when contact occurs between the saline and treatment solutions bathing the electrodes, are available in 12-hour and 24-hour systems.
- Iontophoresis uses an adhesive membrane, or cortisone patch, to which the cortisone dose is applied 3.
- The patch is affixed securely and uniformly to the skin and a small current generator machine is attached to the electrodes.
How to Remove Capsaicin From Skin
During iontophoresis treatment, electrical currents travel through the patch and into the skin. Electrical currents force charged molecules into the skin and through the subcutaneous tissues. The amount of electrical current used is based on the size of the semi-permeable membrane’s surface area. The treatment also increases blood flow in the treatment area for up to one hour and can cause mild rash and redness of the skin following treatment. Although two to three iontophoresis treatments might be required before pain relief occurs, most patients report same-day relief, according to the online journal, “Rehab Management.”
- During iontophoresis treatment, electrical currents travel through the patch and into the skin.
The effectiveness of iontophoresis depends on proper preparation of the treatment site and correct application of the membrane patch. Skin burns and irritation are the most commonly reported problems. The amperage used in treatment should be reduced if the patient experiences feelings that exceed mild tingling at the treatment site. Iontophoresis is effective as an early treatment to control pain from overuse injuries, avoids the side-effects experienced with oral medications and helps patients engage in more aggressive physical therapy. Patients who use the systems report few side effects.
- The effectiveness of iontophoresis depends on proper preparation of the treatment site and correct application of the membrane patch.
- The amperage used in treatment should be reduced if the patient experiences feelings that exceed mild tingling at the treatment site.
Kenalog Injection Vs. Cortisone Injection
How to Remove Capsaicin From Skin
The Benefits of Habanero Pepper & Cayenne
Inflamed Trigger Points in the Forearm
What Is Ammonium Lactate Lotion?
Icy Hot Uses
How to Use Retin-A 0.05
What Are the Treatments for Non-Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy?
Side Effects of Overusing a TENS Machine
How to Draw Salve for Ingrown Hair
- MayoClinic.com: Tennis Elbow
- PubMed Health: Tennis Elbow
- Drugs.com: Cortisone
- Masala S, Fiori R, Bartolucci DA, et al. Diagnostic and therapeutic joint injections. Semin Intervent Radiol. 2010;27(2):160-71. doi:10.1055/s-0030-1253514
- Mak IYF, Au yeung BYT, Ng YW, et al. Salivary Cortisol and Cortisone After Low-Dose Corticotropin Stimulation in the Diagnosis of Adrenal Insufficiency. J Endocr Soc. 2017;1(2):96-108. doi:10.1210/js.2016-1056
- Nuelle CW, Cook CR, Stoker AM, Cook JL, Sherman SL. In Vivo Toxicity of Local Anesthetics and Corticosteroids on Supraspinatus Tenocyte Cell Viability and Metabolism. Iowa Orthop J. 2018;38:107-112.
- Waterbrook AL, Balcik BJ, Goshinska AJ. Blood Glucose Levels After Local Musculoskeletal Steroid Injections in Patients With Diabetes Mellitus: A Clinical Review. Sports Health. 2017;9(4):372-374. doi:10.1177/1941738117702585
- Gross C, Dhawan A, Harwood D, Gochanour E, Romeo A. Glenohumeral joint injections: a review. Sports Health. 2013;5(2):153-9. doi:10.1177/1941738112459706
- Alsop RJ, Khondker A, Hub JS, Rheinstädter MC. The Lipid Bilayer Provides a Site for Cortisone Crystallization at High Cortisone Concentrations. Sci Rep. 2016;6:22425. doi:10.1038/srep22425
- Holland C, Jaeger L, Smentkowski U, Weber B, Otto C. Septic and aseptic complications of corticosteroid injections: an assessment of 278 cases reviewed by expert commissions and mediation boards from 2005 to 2009. Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2012;109(24):425-30. doi:10.3238/arztebl.2012.0425
- Park SK, Choi YS, Kim HJ. Hypopigmentation and subcutaneous fat, muscle atrophy after local corticosteroid injection. Korean J Anesthesiol. 2013;65(6 Suppl):S59-61. doi:10.4097/kjae.2013.65.6S.S59
- Cheng J, Abdi S. Complications of joint, tendon, and muscle injections. Tech Reg Anesth Pain Manag. 2007;11(3):141-147. doi:10.1053/j.trap.2007.05.006
- Nepple JJ, Matava MJ. Soft tissue injections in the athlete. Sports Health. 2009;1(5):396-404. doi:10.1177/1941738109343159
- Hepper CT, at al. The Efficacy and Duration of Intra-articular Corticosteroid Injection for Knee Osteoarthritis: A Systematic Review of Level I Studies. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2009 Oct;17(10):638-46.
- Koester MC, Dunn WR, Kuhn JE, Spindler KP. The Efficacy of Subacromial Corticosteroid Injection in the Treatment of Rotator Cuff Disease: A Systematic Review. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2007 Jan;15(1):3-11.
Gail Sessoms, a grant writer and nonprofit consultant, writes about nonprofit, small business and personal finance issues. She volunteers as a court-appointed child advocate, has a background in social services and writes about issues important to families. Sessoms holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in liberal studies.