Programs and Services

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The Mayo Family Pediatric Pain Rehabilitation Center operates on a day-hospital model of rehabilitation. A typical day at the PPRC begins promptly at 8:00 AM and lasts until 4:00 PM, consisting of both individual and group sessions with physical and occupational therapists and psychologists.

In addition to the different therapies, children have study time and lunchtime with the other children. Many children find the friendships made at the PPRC comforting as well as fun. There are also parent support and education groups to provide guidance and encouragement for families during their child’s stay at the PPRC.

Graduation Day is held on the last day of each child’s stay at the PPRC and celebrates the wonderful accomplishments your child has made. After discharge, children have checkups with the team for a period of time to ensure success of the treatment.

The PPRC's interdisciplinary team brings together each of the specialties required for the evaluation and rehabilitation of chronic pain:

Physical therapy (PT) and occupational therapy (OT)

PT and OT evaluation and treatment programs are essential in achieving successful outcomes for children with chronic pain. Each child enrolled in our program has a comprehensive, detailed evaluation. Based on the results our team constructs a goal-oriented program that is tailored specifically for each individual patient. Therapies offered as part of our comprehensive rehabilitation program may include:

  • activities that focus on regaining function in self-care and leisure activities
  • increasing tolerance to touch and other sensations
  • increasing flexibility, strength, coordination and endurance

The PT and OT staff will work closely with each child's interdisciplinary team to promote optimal functioning.


Chronic pain is not only a physical experience. It affects all areas of life including thoughts, feelings and relationships. Psychologists with expertise in pain management work closely with patients and their families to develop skills for coping with pain and help them increase each child's level of functioning to include such activities as going to school regularly, having fun with friends, and doing the things she used to enjoy before the pain developed. Our psychologists can also address feelings of anxiety, sadness, anger and frustration that may arise in children and adolescents who face chronic pain problems.

Medical and nursing management

The main emphasis of the PPRC is not on prescribing medications, but rather on using physical, occupational and cognitive-behavioral therapy to help improve function and promote wellness. An increase in function is a more important sign of improvement than a decrease in pain. Each child is evaluated daily by a physician and nurse, who assess concurrent medical problems, appraise each patient's symptoms and monitor responses to treatments. In many cases we are able to reduce or discontinue medications that have not proven helpful in managing the child's pain.

The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115 617-355-6000 | 800-355-7944