Photo of an occupational therapist and patient lifting baskets.

An occupational therapist demonstrates how to properly lift to avoid pain.

For more than 40 years, Mayo Clinic's Comprehensive Pain Rehabilitation Center in Minnesota has helped people with chronic pain return to an active lifestyle. Mayo Clinic's pain rehabilitation program was one of the first in the world.

The Comprehensive Pain Rehabilitation Center offers several outpatient rehabilitation programs:

People ages 12 to 86 come to the Pain Rehabilitation Center (PRC) from across the United States and the world. Before coming to the PRC, they may have tried other pain interventions, medications, surgeries and physical therapy — with little improvement in their function or pain levels.

Mayo Clinic's pain rehabilitation programs are based on clinical knowledge that chronic pain requires different interventions than acute pain does.

Over time, individuals with chronic pain may have restricted their lifestyles and lost strength to the point that even daily activities cause pain. Managing chronic pain requires an active, consistent approach to help individuals cope more effectively with pain.

Generose Building sign and building

The Pain Rehabilitation Center is located in the Generose Building on the Mayo Clinic Hospital — Saint Marys Campus.

The Pain Rehabilitation Center in Minnesota is staffed with an integrated team of health care professionals trained in many areas, including pain medicine, physical therapy, psychology, psychiatry, pharmacology, occupational therapy, biofeedback and nursing.

The program emphasizes discontinuation of pain medications and focuses on a self-management approach to chronic pain. With the support of staff and peers in the program, participants regain strength and stamina, and shift toward a focus on what they can do rather than what they cannot.

People come to Mayo Clinic's Pain Rehabilitation Center in Minnesota with many different types of chronic pain and conditions. Examples include:

  • Chronic back pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Generalized pain or pain in multiple areas
  • Abdominal pain
  • Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS)
  • Upper or lower body pain, such as pain in the chest wall, jaw, face, pelvis or joints
  • Pain after removal of breast tissue from a breast (mastectomy)
  • Nerve (neuropathic) pain
  • Complex regional pain syndrome

In addition to chronic pain, some people also have depression. Doctors trained in mental health conditions (psychiatrists and psychologists) assess people, provide group-based cognitive behavioral treatments and help identify a trained therapist close to the person's home for care after program completion.