What is it?
Induced Hyperthermia is documented as an effective method to both 1) reduce pain and 2) permanently cure painful conditions. Although several delivery methods exist such as the cold laser, ultrasound and radiofrequency, the I-therm takes the concept of hyperthermia to a new and significantly more effective level by using a novel delivery method which induces a 15- to 20- fold increase in blood and oxygen flow to localized areas. I-Therm is the first Non-Ionizing Radiotherapy, using low-level microwave diathermy to raise internal temperatures to 44 degrees Celsius in a few minutes, while interventional temperature sensors safely monitor and control temperatures. Although, this device and technology are routinely used in Europe, in the U.S., this device is presently undergoing the FDA approval process for sport injuries and pain control.
How does it work?
Both nutrient and oxygen are critical for any of the repair processes that are necessary to effect tissue repair. Hyperthermia produces an increase in nutrients and oxygen in the local region penetrating up to 15cm from the skin surface. Pain relief and repair occur as the increase in blood flow “washes away” inflammatory mediators and free radicals. Efficient drainage of the area removes necrotic debris and excess fluids, increases production & secretion of cytokines that induce tissue repair, improves contractile performance of muscle, increases ATPase activity and HSP (Heat Shock Protiens) at temperatures above 41.8 C. Hyperthermia stimulates repair processes, increases drug activity, helps in the removal of toxic wastes, increases tendon extensibility and reduces muscle and joint stiffness.
What does the treatment consist of?
The treatment is non-invasive and very comfortable. A small pad applied to the painful areas directs the microwave technology through the skin and deeply into the targeted tissues. The pad is readjusted as needed during the session to assure optimal coverage of the inflamed area. Treatment sessions last 20-60 minutes and are prescribed Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for the first week. At the onset of the following week the pain levels are reassessed to evaluate the need for further sessions. You may schedule a consult and treatment on the same date if you are committed to getting treated.
- Reduction of pain often within the first treatment
- Possible permanent repair and correction of painful area
- Possible need for monthly maintenance treatment for 3-6 months
The expected adverse effects from I-therm therapy include temporary flush/increased skin sensitivity/mild, temporary pain in the treated area.
Reference: “Hyperthermia induced by microwave diathermy in the management of muscle and tendon injuries, A. Giombini†, et al, †Institute of Sport Medicine and Science, Rome, Italy, ‡Department of Biological Science ‘