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Spinal Cord Injury Center, Research

Body weight supported overground gait training to promote recovery of walking function in chronic spinal cord injury: a randomized clinical trial

Project Leader PD Dr. M. Bolliger

FLOAT Trainingsstudie

Successful and independent ambulation at home and in the community is the main goal of gait rehabilitation after spinal cord injury (SCI). Many different treatment approaches have been recommended to achieve this goal. The most established method in clinical settings is body weight supported (BWS) treadmill training.

However recent studies have suggested that the most optimal gait training should be conducted overground with appropriate support conditions to enable a physiological gait pattern. With FLOAT we have the possibility to conduct a task specific BWS overground gait training in a safe environment. The robotic device allows patients to perform different walking tasks that are required in the real world.

Based on promising results seen in preclinical and clinical research, we assume that unrestricted transparent BWS overground training that allows task specific training of real world walking tasks will induce greater improvements than conventional BWS treadmill training.

Therefore we are conducting a training study in patients with chronic (> 6 months) incomplete SCI with a randomized parallel group design. We compare the effect of an intensive 4 weeks unrestricted BWS overground gait training to 4 weeks of intensive BWS treadmill training.


Funding: Wings for Life


For further information please contact:


MSc. Romina Willi