Pediatric Pain Rehabilitation Center | Programs & Services

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, occupational and recreational 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.

On the day of admission, new patients spend time with each discipline, participating in evaluations and assessment.  Parents should anticipate staying at the PPRC for the majority of the day on this first day of treatment. 

Since parents are a vital part of the treatment team, parents should anticipate involvement in their child’s treatment each day.  Parents are requested to be present for the last hour of each treatment day.  Further parent participation is also requested each Wednesday afternoon to participate in parent support and education.  Additional parental presence may be requested throughout the child’s admission. 

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.

Therapeutic Recreation

Therapeutic Recreation uses treatment, education and recreation services to help individuals to develop and utilize their leisure pursuits to enhance their social, emotional and cognitive health, functional abilities, independence and quality of life. Each patient is assessed by a recreational therapist and is assisted to develop skills, knowledge, and behaviors for daily living and re-integration into school and community involvement.


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.