Occupational therapist and patient lifting baskets

Occupational therapist shows patient how to properly lift to avoid pain.

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

The Pain Rehabilitation Center offers four outpatient rehabilitation programs:

A team of health care professionals, including doctors trained in pain management, physical medicine and rehabilitation (physiatrists) and mental health conditions (psychologists); clinical nurse specialists; nurses; physical and occupational therapists; biofeedback therapists; pharmacists; nutrition specialists (dietitians); vocation rehabilitation psychologists; chaplains; and therapists trained in helping people to stop using tobacco (nicotine-cessation therapists), care for people in the Pain Rehabilitation Center.

Generose Building sign and building

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

The team in the PRC uses a behavioral therapy approach to help restore physical activities and improve the quality of life for people with chronic pain conditions. The program emphasizes discontinuation of pain medications.

Mayo's pain rehabilitation program focuses on a comprehensive physical therapy program for people to improve overall physical strength and endurance to regain function.

People come to Mayo with many different types of chronic pain and conditions, including:

  • Chronic back pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Chronic headaches and migraines
  • Generalized pain or in multiple areas
  • Abdominal pain
  • Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome
  • 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 have depression or anxiety disorders. Doctors trained in mental health conditions (psychologists) assess people, provide cognitive behavioral treatment and help identify a trained therapist close to the person's home for care after program completion.

People ages 12 to 86 come to the PRC from across the United States and the world. Before coming to the PRC, people may have tried other pain interventions, medications, surgeries and physical therapy, with little improvement in their function or pain level.


Watch Mayo Clinic psychologist Barbara K. Bruce, Ph.D., L.P., discuss the Pain Rehabilitation Center.