Mayo Clinic's Pain Rehabilitation Center (PRC) helps people with chronic pain return to a more active lifestyle. Teams based at Mayo Clinic's campuses in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota use a rehabilitation approach that incorporates behavioral, physical and occupational therapies to help restore physical activities and improve quality of life. The program also helps participants eliminate the use of pain medications and decrease the use of other medications that can impact health and quality of life in the long run.
Integrated, team-based care
At each campus, the PRC is staffed with an integrated team of health care professionals trained in many areas, including pain medicine, physical therapy, psychology, occupational therapy, biofeedback and nursing.
PRC programs assist participants in gradually eliminating the use of pain medications and other symptom-based medications using a structured taper. Individuals who are not taking pain medications also may benefit from review of their medications during their participation in the PRC.
With the support of staff and peers in the PRC, participants regain strength and stamina and shift away from a focus on pain and symptoms and toward a focus on what they value in life.
PRC program essentials
The Pain Rehabilitation Center (PRC) at Mayo Clinic's campuses in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota provides a three-week program for adults. The Minnesota PRC also offers a two-day educational program for adults.
The Minnesota PRC offers pediatric programs (both 15-day and two-day programs) for adolescents (age 13 to young adult).
People come to Mayo Clinic's Pain Rehabilitation Center with many different types of chronic pain and conditions. Examples include:
- Abdominal pain
- Central sensitivity syndromes
- Chronic back pain
- Chronic fatigue
- Complex regional pain syndrome
- Generalized pain or pain in multiple areas
- Headaches, including migraines
- Nerve (neuropathic) pain
- Nonepileptic spells
- Post-cancer treatment-related pain, such as with mastectomy
- Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS)
- Upper or lower body pain, such as pain in the chest wall, jaw, face, pelvis or joints
In addition to having chronic pain, some people have depression or anxiety. Psychologists provide group-based cognitive behavioral treatments and help identify a trained therapist close to a person's home for care after program completion.
Physician referral is required for admission to any Pain Rehabilitation Center (PRC) program. The person'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:
- Arizona campus: 480-342-6240
- Florida campus: 904-956-1780
- Minnesota campus: 507-266-5100
Mayo Clinic works with hundreds of insurance companies and is an in-network provider for millions of people. All appointments are prioritized on the basis of medical need.
Mayo Clinic PRC programs use several core components to help people manage their pain. Some components may not be available in each program. Core components include:
Group pain education sessions
Each group session has a topic that is presented and discussed with the group. These sessions use a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) model and emphasize learning new ways to deal with the challenges of chronic pain and symptoms. Sessions emphasize skills such as physiological self-regulation, emotion regulation, stress management and problem-solving.
Physical therapists instruct people in strengthening, stretching and aerobic conditioning. Therapists also educate people about proper body mechanics, lifting techniques, posture, aerobic exercise benefits and pain behaviors. Even participants who previously struggled with being active find themselves growing stronger and more active in a short amount of time.
Occupational therapists teach people how to effectively balance their daily activities in the areas of leisure, productivity and self-care. Moderation and modification of activities result in functional improvements than can be maintained over time. Return-to-work issues are addressed when indicated, as are time management and office ergonomics.
Biofeedback provides information about how the body can be negatively affected by pain and other chronic symptoms. Using specialized equipment, biofeedback specialists instruct people on how to regulate breathing and muscle tension while engaged in daily activities.
Medication management and chemical health education
Opioid pain medications can worsen pain over time and promote other adverse health effects. Other medications also can cause side effects that limit function, and some medications can become habit-forming even if taken as prescribed. PRC staff works with each person to reduce pain or symptom-focused medications over time, with the goal of gradually eliminating unnecessary medications.
The Pain Rehabilitation Center (PRC) at Mayo Clinic's campuses in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota provides a three-week program for adults.
The Minnesota PRC also offers a two-day educational program for adults.
The Minnesota PRC offers pediatric programs (both 15-day and two-day programs) for adolescents (age 13 to young adult).
3-week pain rehabilitation program
The Pain Rehabilitation Center's three-week program is intended for people whose chronic pain or symptoms interfere with normal functioning and result in significant declines in health, physical and emotional functioning, and quality of life.
Understanding chronic pain
Chronic pain and symptoms can impact many aspects of a person's life. Cognitive behavior therapy is one of the most effective methods to help people learn to reduce their chronic pain and improve functioning and quality of life.
In the programs, people learn pain coping skills and techniques for physical reconditioning. Staff supervises medication changes, including tapering of pain medications, and may also address the use of other medications that may be harmful when used long-term.
Each PRC program uses an integrated team of health care professionals trained in many areas, including pain medicine, physical therapy, psychology, occupational therapy, biofeedback and nursing.
The staff focuses on helping each person reach personal goals regarding the self-management of chronic pain and symptoms. The program offers several core components to help people reduce chronic pain and symptoms and address functional impairments, improving quality of life.
Special programming is offered for family members and loved ones of adults in the program to learn how to support those with chronic pain and symptoms and also care for themselves. Aftercare programs can help PRC graduates continue the progress they made during treatment.
2-day pain rehabilitation program
The two-day pain rehabilitation programs at Mayo Clinic's campus in Minnesota provide education for adolescents and adults about chronic pain and symptoms. The programs include an overview of self-management skills necessary for improving pain and symptoms. Medication management and physical reconditioning are not included in these brief interventions.
Candidates for the two-day program may have fewer symptoms or less functional impairment, or may not currently be able to attend the three-week program because of time limitations or financial concerns.
Pediatric pain rehabilitation programs
A three-week pediatric pain rehabilitation program is available at Mayo Clinic's campus in Minnesota for adolescents (age 13 to young adult). A parent or legal guardian is required to be present for the three-week pediatric program. Parent and family groups are a major component of the pediatric program.
Staff members in this program meet with adolescents as a group and address the additional challenges faced by young people with chronic pain and symptoms. Because teenagers with chronic pain and symptoms often aren't active in school, a group setting can help them develop better social relationships and the skills needed to tolerate returning to school and social activities.
In addition to core components, staff in the pediatric program covers topics specific to adolescents from a teenage point of view, such as:
- Learning about dysfunction in involuntary body functions (autonomic dysfunction)
- Understanding the difference between short-lasting (acute) pain and long-lasting (chronic) pain
- Managing a difficult day
- Returning to school
- Resuming leisure and recreation activities
- Taking personal responsibility
Chronic pain and symptoms affect all family members. The pediatric program includes daily sessions for parents to learn more about chronic conditions, how to respond to people with chronic pain and symptoms effectively, and how to lessen the effects of these conditions on family members. Other family members and siblings may be welcome to attend.
The PRC at Mayo Clinic's Minnesota campus also offers a two-day program for adolescents and young adults with chronic pain. The two-day program doesn't include physical or occupational therapy.
Mayo Clinic's campuses in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota all offer Pain Rehabilitation Center (PRC) programs based on an interdisciplinary cognitive behavioral treatment model with supervised daily physical reconditioning, opioid medication discontinuation and reduction of polypharmacy. This treatment is based on a proven model of care.
PRC staff members help participants taper off of opioid pain medications and any other medications that are no longer effective in managing pain.
The primary goal of the PRC programs is to restore function and quality of life for people who have 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 incorporate discontinuation of pain medications. People not taking opioid analgesics are welcome to attend the program, and they compose a large proportion of our patient population. Other important goals include:
- Return to regular daily activities
- Increase physical strength, stamina and flexibility
- Eliminate the use of opioid analgesics and reduce the use of muscle relaxants and sedatives
- Minimize behaviors drawing attention to pain
- Learn stress management and relaxation 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
Pain rehabilitation specialists provide management and treatment for many pain-related conditions, including but not limited to those listed below. Availability of some services may vary among Mayo locations. Please confirm when you call to request an appointment.
Mayo Clinic has one of the largest and most experienced practices in the United States, with campuses in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota. Staff skilled in dozens of specialties work together to ensure quality care and successful recovery.
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Mayo Clinic's Pain Rehabilitation Center (PRC) was one of the first pain rehabilitation programs in the world. In operation since 1974 in Rochester, Minnesota, the PRC has helped thousands of people with chronic pain.
Similar centers were established in 2011 at Mayo Clinic's campus in Jacksonville, Florida, and in 2016 at Mayo Clinic's campus in Phoenix, Arizona.
Mayo Clinic has major campuses in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona; Jacksonville, Florida; and Rochester, Minnesota. The Mayo Clinic Health System has dozens of locations in several states.
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The Pain Rehabilitation Center is actively engaged in many research projects that seek further understanding of the nature and impact of chronic pain. People participating in Mayo's pain rehabilitation programs may be asked to participate in ongoing research.
See a list of publications on pain rehabilitation by Mayo Clinic doctors on PubMed, a service of the National Library of Medicine.
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Mayo Clinic works with hundreds of insurance companies and is an in-network provider for millions of people.
In most cases, Mayo Clinic doesn't require a physician referral. Some insurers require referrals, or may have additional requirements for certain medical care. All appointments are prioritized on the basis of medical need.
Learn more about appointments at Mayo Clinic.
Please contact your insurance company to verify medical coverage and to obtain any needed authorization prior to your visit. Often, your insurer's customer service number is printed on the back of your insurance card.