Mayo Clinic's approach

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 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

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.

Expertise and rankings

  • 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's campus in Rochester, 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.

    Specialists in the Pediatric Rehabilitation Program care for children with spinal cord injuries at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, 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.

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

Locations, travel and lodging

Mayo Clinic has major campuses in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona; Jacksonville, Florida; and Rochester, Minnesota. The Mayo Clinic Health System has dozens of locations in several states.

For more information on visiting Mayo Clinic, choose your location below:

Costs and insurance

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.

Learn more about appointments at Mayo Clinic.

Please contact your insurance company to verify medical coverage and to obtain any needed authorization prior to your visit. Often, your insurer's customer service number is printed on the back of your insurance card.

March 19, 2015
  1. Moraweitz C, et al. Effects of locomotor training after incomplete spinal cord injury: A systematic review. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2013;94:2297.
  2. Harkema SJ, et al. Locomotor training: As a treatment of spinal cord injury and in the progression of neurologic rehabilitation. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2012;93:1588.
  3. Spinal cord injury: Hope through research. National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke. Accessed Dec. 1, 2014.
  4. Mehrholz J, et al. Locomotor training for walking after spinal cord injury. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. Accessed Dec. 3, 2014.
  5. Riggin EA. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Nov. 17, 2014.
  6. Provider profile. CARF International. Accessed Dec. 3, 2014.

Locomotor training for spinal cord injury