FAQIf this is so good, why haven't I heard of it before?What are the side effects if any?How long do I need to use the System?Do I have to keep using the System to see results?Can the IoniCare System be used conjunction with other treatments for lameness?How is this different from Microcurrent Electrical Therapy (MET)?How is this different from Pulsed ElectroMagnetic Field (PEMF) Therapy devices?How is this different from Pulsed Signal Therapy (PST)?How is this different from TENS or other nerve stimulators?How is this different from Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES), Neuro Muscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES), Galvanic or other muscle stimulators?How Does the IoniCare System 3 differ from H-Wave TherapyHow is this different from a bone stimulator?How does the IoniCare System compare to Laser Therapy?Can the IoniCare System be used in conjuction with other electronic devices?
If this is so good, why haven't I heard of it before?
The IoniCare technology was briefly brought to the equine market in the 1980s, after Dr. Flynn began working with it and experienced success. He even presented a paper on his early research and results to the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) at an annual meeting (Enhancement of Osteogenesis by Electrostimulation—Non-Invasive Technique).
However, when the owners of the technology realized the potential for treating human osteoarthritis, they abandoned the equine market after only about a year of effort, and focused entirely on developing the technology for the human market (the BioniCare device).
Following the sale of the technology in 2009, Equine OrthoCare secured the rights to the equine market and spent the next two years refining and redesigning the product, while continuing research and validation of the multiple applications for various causes of lameness. After extensive field testing of all the new components, the IoniCare System 3 was reintroduced at the AAEP annual meeting in late November, 2011.
What are the side effects if any?
There are no known adverse side effects from proper use of the IoniCare® System.
How long do I need to use the System?
That depends on the type and severity of the condition. It can take several weeks to several months. Usually you will notice significant improvement in lameness within two to four weeks, however don't be tempted to stop treatment too soon. We recommend continued treatment under observation and evaluation by your veterinarian until complete recovery is achieved.
Do I have to keep using the System to see results?
No. In most cases, once healing is achieved, the benefit may persist even though the System is no longer used. In the case of a chronic condition, regular continued use of the unit can help prevent reoccurrence. And regular use can treat small unnoticed problems before they become big problems.
Can the IoniCare System be used conjunction with other treatments for lameness?
There is no indication that other (non-electro or non-magnetic) therapies inhibit the effectiveness of IoniCare treatment. Therapies that provide nourishment to the joint, inhibit destructive enzymes or supply chemical building blocks for the restoration activity stimulated by the IoniCare System may enhance its effectiveness. And when used in conjunction, the System can enhance the effectiveness of these other therapeutic modalities.
How is this different from Microcurrent Electrical Therapy (MET)?
Microcurrent Electrical Therapy (MET) can be broadly applied to any device delivering a current in the microampere range. As a result, any device that uses a microampere range current or signal could be included in this category, including the IoniCare System 3. But not all microcurrents are the same.
MET devices include those used for Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES), Microcurrent Electrical Neuromuscular Stimulation (MENS), and others. Microcurrent can also be a component of PEMF therapy. Within this category are devices using a variety of frequencies, voltage and amperage levels, intensity, duration, polarity, direct or alternating current, and so on.
The most common use of microcurrent modalities is for pain relief. However, claims about treating a variety of conditions, including lameness, with microcurrent are also made, some which are incredible.
There have been various studies indicating treatment with certain forms of microcurrent improves wound or fracture healing, or an increase (in Rats) in Adensine triphosphate (ATP), and important energy molecule required for cellular regeneration. Such studies have been used by some promoters of microcurrent devices as if they support the efficacy of their particular device, without any evidence that the form of microcurrent used in any particular study was the same as the one used in the promoted device.
In contrast, the specific technology used in the IoniCare System, which is also used in the BioniCare Knee Device for human use, has been the specific subject of multiple clinical and published studies (including at least one cited by others as evidence for the efficacy of their different technology).
Unlike other microcurrent devices, the IoniCare signal is designed to create a specific electrical field to bathe the treatment site and replace or enhance the natural electrical field that has been diminished by injury or disease. It is this electrical field that instigates the physiological response at the cellular level which results in the healing process observed with IoniCare treatment.
The unique signal used to generate this electrical field has a highly optimized amplitude, polarity, field strength, frequency and duty cycle, as a result of extensive research and testing.
The pulsed monophasic, negative character of the electric fields produced in the treatment site promotes a specifically timed, averaged negative electrical potential in the tissues. The combination of this negative potential plus the highly specific variability in the electrical signal over time is what constitutes the unique feature of the System—so unique it was awarded a U.S. Patent.
How is this different from Pulsed ElectroMagnetic Field (PEMF) Therapy devices?
Pulsed ElectoMagnetic Field (PEMF) devices use inductive coupling, usually via a modulated radio frequency to apply a magnetic field to the target site. However, that methodology does not generate electrical fields throughout the joint. PEMF has been shown to reduce inflammation, which can result in pain reduction, and may aid in superficial wound healing. Other claims sometimes made about PEMF are not supported by clinical studies. The IoniCare System uses capacitive coupling to generate the electrical field throughout the joint in much greater volume than mere pulsed electromagnetic stimulation. Its effectiveness has been validated in multiple clinical studies and extensive veterinary experience.
How is this different from Pulsed Signal Therapy (PST)?
Pulsed Signal Therapy (PST) is a variant of Pulsed ElectroMagnetic Field (PEMF) Therapy. Proponents claim the electromagnetic field serves as carrier for a pulsed electrical signal. See the answer to the question on Pulsed ElectroMagnetic Field (PEMF) Therapy devices.
How is this different from TENS or other nerve stimulators?
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) devices temporarily relieve pain by over-stimulating nerve response, which stimulates the release of pain relieving agents (enkephalins and endorphins). It does not last long after the signal is stopped, and over time tolerance can develop, reducing its effectiveness. Inferential stimulators also target nerves but with high-frequency more penetrating waves. There is some indication that TENS can actually be damaging to cartilage. It is important to remember that pain relief is not the same as healing. The persistent pain relief provided by the IoniCare System is indicative of actual healing taking place.
How is this different from Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES), Neuro Muscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES), Galvanic or other muscle stimulators?
Muscle stimulators target the motor nerves to cause a muscle contraction. While such contractions may help loosen tight muscle and improve circulation, the mechanism and results are unlike the IoniCare System. It is essentially electrically induced exercise. Some stimulators, such as galvanic stimulators can cause skin irritation or tissue damage. The IoniCare electrical field is designed to mimic and enhance natural electrical fields which stimulate natural healing and restorative response at the cellular level. Its subliminal signal does not cause irritation or damage.
How Does the IoniCare System 3 differ from H-Wave Therapy
H-Wave Therapy (HWT) is used to treat sports injuries in humans. It has two forms. The first uses low frequency to stimulate muscle contractions, to increase the fluid shifts due to the muscle contraction. It claims that such fluid movement results in improved circulation and reduction of inflammation. The IoniCare System 3's electrical field does not rely on muscle contraction to achieve improvement in circulation and inflammation (see discussion of muscle stimulators). In its second form, H-Wave uses high frequency stimulation to provide an anesthetic effect by stimulating certain sensory nerve fibers to close down pain receptors in the brain. This is essentially what TENS does (see TENS discussion above), but uses a different waveform, which is claims attains greater and deeper penetration of its current while using less power. A study showed that the analgesic effects of HWT were short-lasting, and identical to those provided by TENS therapy. The IoniCare System 3 does not provide an analgesic effect. Persistent pain relief comes as a result of a healing process, not shutting down pain receptors.
How is this different from a bone stimulator?
Bone stimulators use one of four different modalities that have been proven to stimulate cell activity and induce bone growth: magnetic fields, ultrasound, direct electric current and capacitively coupled electric induction similar to the IoniCare System technology. The patented technology used in the IoniCare System has been shown to promote excellent bone healing as well as effective treatment of arthritis and other joint and soft tissue injuries.
How does the IoniCare System compare to Laser Therapy?
Laser or photon therapy uses certain light wavelengths in the infrared range. Not all photon therapy devices are actually lasers. Essentially, photon therapy delivers a beam of infrared light to the targeted tissue. It has been shown to be effective in reducing inflammation and the attendant pain. It has also demonstrated usefulness in treating superficial wounds. However, in the case of lameness, pain relief should not be mistaken for a cure of the problem. Although IoniCare System also reduces inflammation, its key difference is that it accelerates the healing process, and the pain relief that results is due to the healing.
Can the IoniCare System be used in conjuction with other electronic devices?
No, not at the same time. The effectiveness of the IoniCare System is dependent on the precise proprietary electrical signal. Using any other device that adds to or alters that signal, such as TENS, PEMF, PST, or other electrical or magnetic field devices, or anything creating a different magnetic field, such as a magnetic blanket, can neutralize or negatively affect the performance of the System. It can be used in conjunction with other treatment modalities that are not electro- or magnetic- field therapies.