Treadmill Training for Spinal Cord Injury

2014-07-23 21:56:19 | BioPortfolio


This is a trial to test whether treadmill training can be used to improve the "walking" of patients with partial spinal cord injury. While on the treadmill, patients will be partially supported through the use of a specially designed harness attached to an overhead lift (also called Body Weight Supported Treadmill Training, BWSTT). Patients who enroll in this study will be randomly assigned to either the experimental group, which receives 12 weeks of this specialized treadmill training with regular physical therapy, or to the control group, which receives 12 weeks regular physical therapy. The ability of the patients to "walk" will be measured before and after treatment as well as 6 and 12 months later, using standard tests that examine mobility independence and speed of ambulation. The trial takes place across five sites in the US and Canada. Patients eligible for this trial will have had a traumatic spinal cord injury within 8 weeks of trial entry.


This is a 5-site randomized clinical trial of a task-oriented locomotor intervention for acute spinal cord injury (SCI). The intervention, body weight-supported treadmill training (BWSTT), partially supports the weight of the patient via an overhead lift attached to a harness. Therapists train the patient to walk on a treadmill by correcting gait deviations and manipulating sensory input that enhance control of the stance and swing phases of walking at increasingly higher speeds and less weight support. 100 patients with incomplete SCI (from below C4 to T10/11) and 100 patients with lesions at T12 to L3 will be randomly assigned to 12 weeks of conventional therapy programs for mobility versus the same intensity and duration of a combination of conventional therapy plus BWSTT. The primary outcome measures are the level of independence for ambulation and the maximal speed for walking 50 feet. Patients will be tested by masked examiners before and after the 12 weeks of therapy, and 6 and 12 months after entry into the study.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Control: Active Control, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment, Masking: Single Blind, Primary Purpose: Educational/Counseling/Training


Spinal Cord Injury


body weight-supported treadmill training


Rancho Los Amigos Medical Center
United States


Active, not recruiting


Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-07-23T21:56:19-0400

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PubMed Articles [18973 Associated PubMed Articles listed on BioPortfolio]

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Repair of the damaged neuron function after SPINAL CORD INJURY or SPINAL CORD DISEASES.

A syndrome associated with traumatic injury to the cervical or upper thoracic regions of the spinal cord characterized by weakness in the arms with relative sparing of the legs and variable sensory loss. This condition is associated with ischemia, hemorrhage, or necrosis involving the central portions of the spinal cord. Corticospinal fibers destined for the legs are spared due to their more external location in the spinal cord. This clinical pattern may emerge during recovery from spinal shock. Deficits may be transient or permanent.

Pathologic conditions which feature SPINAL CORD damage or dysfunction, including disorders involving the meninges and perimeningeal spaces surrounding the spinal cord. Traumatic injuries, vascular diseases, infections, and inflammatory/autoimmune processes may affect the spinal cord.

Reduced blood flow to the spinal cord which is supplied by the anterior spinal artery and the paired posterior spinal arteries. This condition may be associated with ARTERIOSCLEROSIS, trauma, emboli, diseases of the aorta, and other disorders. Prolonged ischemia may lead to INFARCTION of spinal cord tissue.

Ischemia or infarction of the spinal cord in the distribution of the anterior spinal artery, which supplies the ventral two-thirds of the spinal cord. This condition is usually associated with ATHEROSCLEROSIS of the aorta and may result from dissection of an AORTIC ANEURYSM or rarely dissection of the anterior spinal artery. Clinical features include weakness and loss of pain and temperature sensation below the level of injury, with relative sparing of position and vibratory sensation. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, pp1249-50)

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