Priming the brain to learn: the future of therapy?

Siobhan M Schabrun, Lucinda S Chipchase

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


Neuromodulatory techniques with the ability to alter cortical excitability are gaining interest for their potential to enhance the brain's sensitivity to traditional therapies. Neuromodulatory techniques that prime the brain prior to manual or exercise therapy hold therapeutic promise for enhancing clinical outcomes in musculoskeletal and neurological conditions. The integration of these techniques into physiotherapy practice represents an exciting opportunity for the therapists of the future. Here, an overview is provided of three neuromodulatory techniques (peripheral electrical stimulation, transcranial direct current stimulation and repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation) and the potential implications of these techniques for therapists discussed. Understanding these techniques and their therapeutic implications will ensure that therapists are well positioned to contribute to their clinical translation and adoption into clinical practice in an appropriate time frame. A therapeutic landscape defined by neuromodulatory techniques and improved clinical outcomes across a range of conditions is no longer far-fetched.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-6
Number of pages3
JournalManual Therapy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes


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