Two-day pain rehabilitation program

By Mayo Clinic Staff

The two-day pain rehabilitation program provides adults with chronic pain with an overview of skills for self-managing pain. Staff focuses on helping people whose pain can't be cured to learn which aspects of their pain and life they can control.

People who struggle with chronic pain that negatively affects their ability to function and quality of life, or whose personal and work abilities are in decline, may be appropriate candidates for the two-day program.

Candidates for the two-day program may not be able to attend the three-week program because of time limitations or financial concerns.

An integrated team trained in comprehensive pain management leads the two-day program.

The program uses a cognitive behavioral model to teach people coping skills to manage pain, while improving function, discontinuing pain medication and reducing unnecessary health care utilization.

Concepts of pain rehabilitation include:

  • Conservative medical treatment
  • Recognition of negative consequences of pain medications
  • Stress management
  • Education about the difference between short-lasting (acute) pain and long-lasting (chronic) pain
  • Reduction of  behaviors that draw attention to pain
  • Relaxation training
  • Daily exercise
  • Moderation of activity
  • Coping with the emotional aspects of chronic pain

The two-day program incorporates core components to help adults manage chronic pain, but doesn't include physical or occupational therapy.

The program is held regularly on two consecutive days from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Family programming is offered for family members to learn how to support those with chronic pain and also better care for themselves.


Strategies and goals to improve quality of life include:

  • Learn stress management and relaxation techniques
  • Improve communication in interpersonal relationships
  • Return to work, leisure and social activities
  • Learn appropriate use of pain medications
  • Minimize behaviors that draw attention to pain
  • Create exercise goals
  • Learn moderation techniques
  • Reduce reliance on health care professionals
  • Improve ability to self-manage pain
July 25, 2015