Locomotor Training

The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation NeuroRecovery Network at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation

Kessler is proud to have been selected as one of only seven centers in the United States to participate in the Christopher and Dana Reeve NeuroRecovery Network (NRN). This unique network provides support for the development of specialized centers that translate current scientific and clinical evidence into an intensive activity-based intervention known as Locomotor Training (LT).

Designed for individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI), LT brings research and rehabilitation together to help improve the outcomes of persons with SCI. The Locomotor Training Clinic, provided at Kessler's West Orange Campus, is an outpatient program established through a Grant/Cooperative Agreement (Number U10/CCU220379) between the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Kessler Foundation Research Center (KFRC).

The program is open to individuals with an incomplete cervical and thoracic spinal cord injury who have some voluntary contraction or movement in their legs. Patients must have a referral from a physician to receive outpatient physical therapy after having completed inpatient rehabilitation.

The Approach

Traditionally, rehabilitation after a spinal cord injury assists patients in regaining function and access to the community. The primary focus of the LT Clinic is to promote recovery of injuries by retraining the nervous system.

A recent visit to Kessler by members of the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation prompted one staffer to share her impressions of the locomotor training program that is part of the national Neuro-Recovery Network. Visit our Newsroom to read more on this story.


Locomotor training re-teaches walking by providing using body weight support and a treadmill system in combination with manual assistance by specially-trained physical therapists and other members of the locomotor team. The program also incorporates overground training and community ambulation to promote safe and effective walking both in and out of the home.

This LT program demonstrates how vigorous repetitive exercise may lead to improving neural communication …and to improving in the ability to walk and stand.

Our Outcomes

Participants in the LT Clinic will become part of a national database that accurately collects and analyzes comprehensive medical information about rehabilitation progress. In addition to improving the overall health of patients with spinal cord injury, the Locomotor Training promotes improvements in:

  • Cardiovascular function
  • Pulmonary function
  • Healing of skin
  • Blood flow to arms and legs
  • Bowel and bladder function
  • Emotional well-being

For More Information

For more information about Kessler's Locomotor Training, contact or call Kessler's West Orange, Saddle Brook or Chester Campus.