Resources for physicians

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Mayo Clinic's Pain Rehabilitation Center (PRC) in Minnesota offers several programs based on a multidisciplinary cognitive behavioral treatment model.

The primary goal of the PRC programs is to restore function and quality of life for people suffering from chronic pain. People whose chronic pain has negatively affected their moods and overall health or whose pain has caused them to experience a decline in quality of life, personal tasks or work responsibilities may be candidates for the programs.

The programs emphasize discontinuation of pain medications. Other important goals include:

  • Return to regular daily activities
  • Increase physical strength, stamina and flexibility
  • Reduce or eliminate use of pain medications
  • Minimize behaviors drawing attention to pain
  • Learn stress management techniques
  • Return to gainful employment, school or volunteer activities (if applicable)
  • Resume leisure and recreational activities
  • Improve interpersonal relationships
  • Reduce reliance on health care professionals by improving the ability to self-manage chronic pain

Referral process

Physician referral is required. The patient's primary care provider or referring provider will be responsible for arranging other health care services if need arises. Referring health care professionals can contact the PRC at 507-266-5100 to begin the referral process.

Admission to any of Mayo Clinic's Pain Rehabilitation Center programs begins with a patient evaluation. During evaluation, Pain Rehabilitation Center staff will assess whether a rehabilitation approach is appropriate for the person with chronic pain.

If staff determines pain rehabilitation is appropriate, staff will help the person decide which program may be most beneficial. Upon scheduling a tentative admission date, a representative from Patient Account Services will contact the person's insurance carrier, as many health insurance plans require approval prior to admission.

Admission criteria

A person may be considered a candidate for admission if he or she has:

  • Pain of more than three months duration affecting functioning. If pain duration is less than three months, there must be a clinical indication that the pain will likely develop into a chronic condition.
  • Medical clearance to participate in daily aerobic exercise regimen.
  • No pending medical work-ups for pain-related condition. Person is no longer seeking medical cure for pain.
  • Psychiatric stability, including not psychotic, no recent (past 3 months) suicidal or self-injurious or aggressive behavior, no recent (past 3 months) psychiatric hospitalization  unless evaluated and approved by PRC consultant staff.
  • Willingness to taper opioid medications and other controlled substances, and to participate in all program activities.

Applicants must be able to perform activities of daily living (toileting, dressing and bathing) and ambulation or transfer from a wheelchair. They also need to have adequate concentration and memory function to learn and apply new information. Full-day participation is required.

People who are accepted into a three-week Pain Rehabilitation Center program will need a medical clearance for exercise form completed by their medical providers prior to beginning the program.

Exclusionary criteria

A person may not be considered a candidate for admission if he or she has:

  • Been unwilling to discontinue use of pain medications, other targeted medications affecting cognition or substances that would prevent meaningful participation in the program
  • An intrathecal opioid delivery system in place
  • Shown insufficient motivation to participate in medication management, physical and occupational therapy, or group therapy
  • An acute physical condition or illness that would prevent his or her adequate participation in the program

For questions, please contact the Pain Rehabilitation Center at 507-255-5921.

Referring provider follow-up

Coordination with providers in the person's local community is an integral part of a successful return home.

Upon admission to the Pain Rehabilitation Center's three-week program, each person will be asked to specify a local provider and sign a form authorizing release of information to the doctor. The person's nurse coordinator will contact providers who have been authorized to communicate about the person's care in the PRC.

A provider who has been authorized to receive information will get a written dismissal summary outlining an individual's care during the program.

This summary will include the person's PRC treatment course, medication changes, laboratory tests and consult notes. It will also outline behavioral strategies the person was taught for coping with chronic pain and offer specific follow-up recommendations.

PRC staff encourages each person's provider to discuss the rehabilitation program with the individual to reinforce the functional goals and progress accomplished during the program.

If indicated, a care conference may be held, either in person or via a telephone conference call. After the three-week program ends, PRC nurse coordinators are available for consultation with individuals and their providers.