Motor Imagery in Physical Therapist Practice 2007

Journal of the American Physical Therapy Association

  1 May 2007 doi: 10.2522/​ptj.20060331    Physical Therapy July 2007 vol. 87 no. 7 942-953                                    

Motor Imagery in Physical Therapist Practice

Ruth Dickstein and  Judith E Deutsch

Author Affiliations

  1. R Dickstein, PT, DSc, is Associate Professor, Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Sciences, University of Haifa, Mount Carmel 31905, Haifa, Israel

  2. JE Deutsch, PT, PhD, is Professor and Director of the Rivers Lab, Doctoral Programs in Physical Therapy Department of Developmental and Rehabilitative Sciences, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark, NJ

Address all correspondence to Dr Dickstein at:


Motor imagery is the mental representation of movement without any body movement. Abundant evidence on the positive effects of motor imagery practice on motor performance and learning in athletes, people who are healthy, and people with neurological conditions (eg, stroke, spinal cord injury, Parkinson disease) has been published. The purpose of this update is to synthesize the relevant literature about motor imagery in order to facilitate its integration into physical therapist practice. This update also will discuss visual and kinesthetic motor imagery, factors that modify motor imagery practice, the design of motor imagery protocols, and potential applications of motor imagery.

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Motor Imagery in Physical Therapist Practice 2007

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