People who have experienced a spinal cord injury 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 and 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

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
  • Overground activities (walking or standing)
  • Functional electrical stimulation

Locomotor training for spinal cord injury care at Mayo Clinic

May 05, 2018
  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;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. In press. Accessed Feb. 10, 2018.
  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;55:722.
  4. Baker GS. Spinal cord injuries. Minnesota Medicine. 1949;32:1094.
  5. Riggin EA. AllscriptsEPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 31, 2017.
  6. Provider profile. CARF International. http://www.carf.org/providerProfile.aspx?cid=8020. Accessed Jan. 17, 2018.

Locomotor training for spinal cord injury