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

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

  • Impaired movement and sensations
  • Difficulty walking
  • Difficulty participating in daily living activities

Locomotor training devices and techniques may vary depending on where you receive your therapy. Options include:

  • A robot-assisted body-weight-support treadmill system (Lokomat)
  • Body-weight-support treadmill training
  • Body-weight-support overground training, which is done off the treadmill
  • Overground activities, such as walking or standing
  • Functional electrical stimulation

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Locomotor training for spinal cord injury care at Mayo Clinic

May 12, 2022
  1. Smith AC, et al. A review on locomotor training after spinal cord injury: Reorganization of spinal neuronal circuits and recovery of motor function. Neural Plasticity. 2016; doi:10.1155/2016/1216258.
  2. Morrison SA, et al. Longitudinal recovery and reduced costs after 120 sessions of locomotor training for motor incomplete spinal cord injury. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2018; doi:10.1016/j.apmr.2017.10.003.
  3. Mehrholz J, et al. Is body-weight-supported treadmill training or robotic-assisted gait training superior to overground gait training and other forms of physiotherapy in people with spinal cord injury? A systematic review. Spine. 2017; doi:10.1038/sc.2017.31.
  4. Provider profile. CARF International. http://www.carf.org/providerProfile.aspx?cid=8020. Accessed March 1, 2022.

Locomotor training for spinal cord injury