Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation

Locomotor Training

Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation

The mission of the St. Mary’s Locomotor Training Program is to facilitate neurorecovery in children with paralysis using activity-based therapy to enhance the functional independence and quality of life of children and their caregivers.


What is Locomotor Training?

Locomotor Training (LT) is an intensive individualized therapy program that improves function in persons with spinal cord injury (SCI) and other neurological diagnoses.

The interventions in this program focus on sending appropriate input to the nervous system in a systematic way so that it can learn tasks such as sitting upright, standing, and walking.  This training includes three primary components; step training in a body weight supported treadmill system, overground assessment and community integration activities.

Goals of Locomotor
Based on our current understanding of current research of how the brain and spinal cord learn a new skill and how stepping is controlled, patients may be able to make gains in trunk control, functional mobility, and/or independent ambulation.  Studies are currently underway to learn the effects of LT on overall quality of life; however results from studies in adults have shown it has strong impact on cardiovascular, respiratory and musculoskeletal systems.

Program Approach
Therapists and other clinicians who are trained in Locomotor Training develop an individualized treatment plan for each child.  LT includes 90 minute session for five days a week for a minimum of 60 sessions.   Each session includes 60 minutes in a body weight supported system over a treadmill, and 30 minutes of functional activities off of the treadmill.

Who is a Candidate?
A child who meets the following criteria:

  • Has a diagnosis of Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) through traumatic injury and/or infarct, or Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM).
  • Young Adults and younger
  • Has not had tendon lengthenings or Botulinum Toxin injections within the past six months
  • Can tolerate supported standing for an hour
  • Is deemed medically stable by the interdisciplinary team

How Do I Get Started?

  • Fill out the form below, which will be sent directly to our team
  • You can also call Sonali Loboda, Project Coordinator at 718-281-8987
  • Within five business days, a member of our team will reach out to you to complete a phone screening

What is the Admissions Process?

  • Our admissions team will review the below in order to deem candidacy into the program:
    • All medical records
    • Insurance information
    • Current program capacity and wait-list

If My Child is Admitted, What Should I Expect?

  • A full two day evaluation is completed of each patient that is admitted into the program which involves items both on and off of the treadmill
  • The Locomotor Training Program is an intensive therapy program, and therefore will challenge your child. They will be monitored closely and given breaks as needed, but the team’s aim is to make each and every session as productive as possible.
  • We ask that a parent or guardian stays with their child throughout the 90 minute session, five days per week

View Spinal Cord Injury Resources

Watch the video above to learn more about St. Mary’s and our Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Program. The video features St. Mary’s patient Luke participating in Locomotor Training and his amazing road to recovery.

Contact Information

Simply complete the inquiry below and a St. Mary’s representative will contact you to review your medical records and provide more information on the program.


 St. Mary’s Rehabilitation Program
Project coordinator:
Sonali Loboda: 718-281-8987

Meet Emma


Meet Luke

St. Mary's is taking advanced precautions to guard against Coronavirus.Learn more before visiting