Transcranial direct current stimulation: A place in the future of physiotherapy?

Schabrun, S. M. (2010) Transcranial direct current stimulation: A place in the future of physiotherapy?. Physical Therapy Reviews, 15 4: 320-326. doi:10.1179/174328810X12786297204837

Author Schabrun, S. M.
Title Transcranial direct current stimulation: A place in the future of physiotherapy?
Journal name Physical Therapy Reviews   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1083-3196
Publication date 2010-08
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1179/174328810X12786297204837
Volume 15
Issue 4
Start page 320
End page 326
Total pages 7
Editor David Baxter
Place of publication Hanover Walk, Leeds, West Yorkshire, U.K.
Publisher Maney Publishing
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background: Cortical plasticity underlies the brain's ability to compensate and adapt after neurological and musculoskeletal injury. However, increasing evidence demonstrates that plasticity can also be maladaptive, contributing to functional impairment in a variety of conditions. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is an emerging brain stimulation technique with the potential to alter cortical plasticity and prime the brain to enhance learning. If the potential of this technique can be harnessed, tDCS may provide a novel therapeutic approach in physiotherapy practice.

Objectives: This review aims to provide an overview of the mechanisms, stimulation parameters and clinical applications of tDCS.

Major findings: tDCS is an emerging and novel technique. Evidence at this early stage is promising with reductions in pain scores and improvements in motor function noted across a range of conditions. However, further research is needed before clinical efficacy and safety can be determined.

: tDCS is a powerful, non-invasive brain stimulation technique with the potential to improve outcomes in neurological and musculoskeletal conditions. Further research is needed using large sample sizes, long-term follow-up and a range of patient populations before the technique is available for clinical use. However, tDCS may be useful as a standalone therapy or as an adjunct to other physiotherapy treatments in the future.
© W. S. Maney & Son Ltd 2010
Keyword Chronic pain
Parkinson’s disease,
Transcranial direct current stimulation
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Special issue: "Electrophysical Agents".

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Tue, 08 Mar 2011, 09:06:49 EST by Dr Siobhan Schabrun on behalf of School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences