People who have experienced a spinal cord injury (SCI) or dysfunction may benefit from locomotor training, an activity-based therapy. Locomotor training is a type of therapy to help improve and recover your walking movement through challenged practice while lower extremity weight bearing.

You may benefit from therapy to recover locomotor abilities if you're experiencing:

  • Impaired movement and sensations (impaired neurological body functions)
  • Difficulty walking
  • Difficulty participating in activities of daily living

Trained Mayo Clinic physical therapists will work with you in locomotor training to improve your quality and technique of walking and functional mobility activities using several devices, including:

  • A robotic-assisted body-weight-support treadmill system (Lokomat)
  • Body-weight-support treadmill training
  • Body-weight-support overground
  • Overground activities (walking or standing)
  • Functional electrical stimulation

Your locomotor training will be based on your individual needs. Your individualized plan of care will integrate activity-based therapies of locomotor training into your home and community setting, including your daily living activities, transfers and overall mobility. Therapists also may incorporate physical therapy, occupational therapy, recreational therapy and nursing into your treatment plan when appropriate.

  • Experience. Mayo Clinic doctors and staff have helped thousands of people recover from traumatic spinal cord injuries and nontraumatic spinal disorders. Licensed and experienced therapists with knowledge and training in locomotor training work with you and give you daily interventions, including making timely and appropriate changes in your program as needed to help you meet your needs and reach your goals. The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) has accredited the Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Program at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.
  • Integrated team. Mayo Clinic's spinal cord injury rehabilitation team meets regularly to collaborate on your care, education, training and guidance after your spinal cord injury. Your integrated team may include doctors, surgeons, mental health professionals, nurses, physical therapists, occupational and recreational therapists, and other specialists.
  • Individualized care. Your team will create an individualized treatment plan to meet your needs. Therapists will work with you to determine which locomotor training options most appropriately address your needs. The team considers you and your family to be an integral part of the treatment team, and you'll be informed and involved in making decisions and setting treatment goals.
  • Treatment and follow-up care. Mayo Clinic doctors and staff trained in physical medicine and rehabilitation offer a full range of spinal cord injury rehabilitation services for you. Your spinal cord injury rehabilitation team provides inpatient rehabilitation, outpatient rehabilitation and lifelong care. Pediatric specialists trained in physical medicine and rehabilitation also care for children with spinal cord injuries at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.
  • Advanced technology. Mayo Clinic doctors and staff use advanced technology in diagnostic tests and treatment interventions for people with spinal cord injuries, including robot-assisted treadmill training, functional electrical stimulation and other therapies.
  • Research. Mayo Clinic researchers study outcomes, rehabilitation options and potential treatments for people with spinal cord injuries and conduct clinical trials.

Read more about diagnosis and treatment of spinal cord injury.

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., is ranked among the Best Hospitals for rehabilitation by U.S. News & World Report.

At Mayo Clinic, we assemble a team of specialists who take the time to listen and thoroughly understand your health issues and concerns. We tailor the care you receive to your personal health care needs. You can trust our specialists to collaborate and offer you the best possible outcomes, safety and service.

Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit medical institution that reinvests all earnings into improving medical practice, research and education. We're constantly involved in innovation and medical research, finding solutions to improve your care and quality of life. Your doctor or someone on your medical team is likely involved in research related to your condition.

Our patients tell us that the quality of their interactions, our attention to detail and the efficiency of their visits mean health care — and trusted answers — like they've never experienced.

Why Choose Mayo Clinic

What Sets Mayo Clinic Apart

Mayo Clinic works with hundreds of insurance companies and is an in-network provider for millions of people. In most cases, Mayo Clinic doesn't require a physician referral. Some insurers require referrals or may have additional requirements for certain medical care. All appointments are prioritized on the basis of medical need.

Doctors trained in physical medicine and rehabilitation and other staff care for people with spinal cord injuries who may benefit from locomotor training in the Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Program at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

You'll need a physician's referral to be considered for admission to the inpatient Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Program or for an appointment in the outpatient program.

For information regarding admission to the inpatient Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Program, call the admissions coordinator at 507-266-6442 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central time, Monday through Friday. For information regarding outpatient appointments, please call 507-284-5000 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central time, Monday through Friday.

Pediatric specialists trained in physical medicine and rehabilitation care for children with spinal cord injuries who require rehabilitation at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. Children needing inpatient treatment receive care at Mayo Eugenio Litta Children's Hospital at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

Your child will need a physician's referral to be considered for admission to the inpatient program or for an appointment in the outpatient program.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 507-538-3270 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

See information on patient services at the three Mayo Clinic locations, including transportation options and lodging.

Mayo Clinic researchers conduct research in spinal cord injury rehabilitation, including studying locomotor training and other therapies for people with spinal cord injuries. Researchers also study outcomes, new treatment options and other areas related to spinal cord injury rehabilitation. Read more about spinal cord injury research.

Mayo Clinic researchers conduct many studies related to spinal cord injury, including nerve regeneration in the spinal cord system and diaphragmatic pacing system, among others.

Publications

See a list of publications by Mayo Clinic authors on spinal cord injury rehabilitation on PubMed, a service of the National Library of Medicine.

Mar. 14, 2012