The Pain Rehabilitation Center (PRC) at Mayo Clinic's campuses in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota all provide a three-week program for adults, but the Minnesota PRC also offers a two-day program for adults and pediatric programs for adolescents (age 13 to young adult).

3-week pain rehabilitation program

The Pain Rehabilitation Center's three-week program is intended for adults whose chronic pain is a major health issue and who, because of pain, have experienced a significant decline in functional abilities, mood and quality of life.

Photo of classroom discussion Understanding chronic pain

Chronic pain can impact so many aspects of a person's life. Cognitive behavior therapy is one of the most effective methods to help people learn to manage their chronic pain.

In the program, people learn pain management skills and techniques for physical reconditioning. Staff supervises medication changes, including withdrawal from pain medications, and may also address other medications that may be harmful when used long term.

Each PRC employs 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. The program offers several core components to help people manage chronic pain.

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 care for themselves. An after-care program can help PRC graduates continue the progress they made during treatment.

2-day pain rehabilitation program

The two-day pain rehabilitation program at Mayo Clinic's campus in Minnesota teaches adults with chronic pain the skills they need to self-manage their pain. Staff focuses on helping people whose pain can't be cured learn which aspects of their pain and life they can control.

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

The program uses a cognitive behavioral model to teach people coping skills to manage pain, with an emphasis on improving function and reducing unnecessary health care utilization. It doesn't include physical or occupational therapy, or medication management for discontinuing pain medication.

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, as parent and family groups are a major component of the pediatric program.

Adolescents age 13 and older can participate in the pediatric pain rehabilitation programs offered at Mayo Clinic's campus in Minnesota.

Staff members in this program meet with adolescents as a group and address the additional challenges that young people with chronic pain face. Because teenagers with chronic pain often aren't active in school, a group setting can help them develop better social relationships.

In addition to core components, staff in the pediatric program covers topics specific to teens 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 affects 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 effectively and how to lessen the effect of chronic pain on family members. Other family members and siblings are 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.