Treadmill Training With Body Weight Support in Patients With Spinal Cord Injury

  • sponsor
    Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Updated on 7 November 2020
spinal cord disorder


Body weight support (BWS) treadmill training uses an overhead harness to give partial support to patients walking on a treadmill. This study will determine whether BWS training is more effective than conventional rehabilitation therapy in improving walking ability in patients with spinal cord injuries (SCI).


Gait rehabilitation is a specific component of physical rehabilitation of persons with sub-acute or chronic spinal cord injury (SCI). One novel method of gait rehabilitation involves the use of an overhead support point and a harness. The BWS strategy has been combined with treadmill-based gait training in recent studies with dramatic results. It is believed that this form of training may enhance output of a ‘central pattern generator' of stepping movement from circuitry intrinsic to the patient's spinal cord. However, only limited attention has been paid to the role that training-induced physical conditioning might play in mediating functional improvements. This study will evaluate whether BWS gait training is more effective than conventional rehabilitation therapy in improving functional gait in patients with neurologically incomplete spinal cord injury. The study will also compare treadmill-based training to overground-based training. Treadmill-based training has the inherent advantage of providing highly rhythmic input to the subject's legs; overground-based training has the inherent advantage of allowing use of assistive devices and thereby replicating a more ‘natural' training condition. Patients with chronic SCI (greater than 1 year post-injury) and patients with sub-acute SCI (2 to 8 months post-injury) will be evaluated. Patients with chronic SCI will be randomly assigned to one of 3 groups: body weight support and treadmill-based training, body weight support and overground training, and conventional rehabilitation therapy. Patients with sub-acute injury will be randomized to receive either BWS treadmill training or conventional rehabilitation. Training sessions are typically 1 hour long, with 3 sessions per week for 13 weeks. All patients will be evaluated with a battery of functional, metabolic, and neurophysiologic measures prior to the onset of training and during the week after training has been completed. The primary outcome measure will be average maximum overground walking velocity without body weight support but with the use of passive assistive devices. Secondary measures will concentrate on function (balance, mobility), fitness (work capacity, strength, gait efficiency), and spinal cord neurophysiology (motor conduction, reflex excitability).

Condition Spinal Cord Injury
Treatment Body weight support treadmill training
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT00061295
SponsorEunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Last Modified on7 November 2020


How to participate?

Step 1 Connect with a site
What happens next?
  • You can expect the study team to contact you via email or phone in the next few days.
  • Sign up as volunteer to help accelerate the development of new treatments and to get notified about similar trials.

You are contacting

Investigator Avatar

Primary Contact


Preferred Language
Other Language
Please verify that you are not a bot.

Additional screening procedures may be conducted by the study team before you can be confirmed eligible to participate.

Learn more

If you are confirmed eligible after full screening, you will be required to understand and sign the informed consent if you decide to enroll in the study. Once enrolled you may be asked to make scheduled visits over a period of time.

Learn more

Complete your scheduled study participation activities and then you are done. You may receive summary of study results if provided by the sponsor.

Learn more

Similar trials to consider


Browse trials for

Not finding what you're looking for?

Every year hundreds of thousands of volunteers step forward to participate in research. Sign up as a volunteer and receive email notifications when clinical trials are posted in the medical category of interest to you.

Sign up as volunteer

user name

Added by • 



Reply by • Private

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur, adipisicing elit. Ipsa vel nobis alias. Quae eveniet velit voluptate quo doloribus maxime et dicta in sequi, corporis quod. Ea, dolor eius? Dolore, vel!

  The passcode will expire in None.

No annotations made yet

Add a private note
  • abc Select a piece of text from the left.
  • Add notes visible only to you.
  • Send it to people through a passcode protected link.
Add a private note