Pediatric Pain Rehabilitation Center | Frequently Asked Questions

Below, you’ll find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions about the PPRC.

Why is this a day treatment program?

The PPRC was designed to provide intensive treatment during the day while also having time when the participant is with their family to practice their new skills and strategies. This model allows the family to develop independence with pain management so that they can successfully manage pain after discharge.

What can families do while waiting for admission?

There are helpful ways that families can prepare for admission to the PPRC. Continuing outpatient therapies (behavioral health, physical therapy, or occupational therapy) is an important part of preparing for participation in the program, as well as following recommendations of the referring physicians. Participants will be attending the PPRC for eight hours a day, arriving at 8 a.m. Therefore, it can be helpful to establish a regular daily routine prior to arrival, with a consistent wake time and bedtime prior to admission in the PPRC. Once a potential admission date has been determined, the PPRC staff will be in contact with caregivers to discuss the details of the admission and help families to plan their stay.

How long is a typical admission?

Admission length is determined on an individual basis. The treatment team will meet with families after getting to know the participant and assessing their needs to determine the most appropriate treatment recommendation. Our average length of admission is four to six weeks.

How often do caregivers need to be involved?

Caregivers are important members of our treatment team. We frequently include caregivers in our program so that they can gain new skills and learn how to manage chronic pain. Caregivers spend at least one hour per day (typically the first or last hour of the day) involved in the program. One day per week, caregivers spend three hours participating in caregiver-focused groups and family treatment. There will also be meetings scheduled throughout your child’s admission to talk with the treatment team about your child’s progress in the program.

Why is a psychologist included in the treatment?

Chronic pain is not only a physical experience; it is an emotional one too. What we think, what we feel and what we do all affect how we experience pain. Some people feel confused or even uncomfortable knowing that psychology is part of their pain rehabilitation program. They might worry that this means chronic pain “is all in your head” or “is not real pain.” These statements are far from the truth. The pain is very real. The brain plays a large role in the experience of pain. This is why treatments that focus on thoughts, emotions or behaviors can help participants to cope with pain as well.

Is it going to be like ‘boot camp’?

The PPRC treatment is individualized to each participant’s needs and is not one-size-fits-all. Our focus is not on pushing through pain. Rather, participants learn how to effectively cope with pain and pace themselves throughout the day so that they can effectively participate in daily activities. Our team will assess the best ways to motivate each participant to achieve these goals.

Will the pain go away?

Our research and the research of other programs indicates that most typically, functioning improves before pain decreases. We expect that pain will reduce over time if participants are following treatment recommendations in the program and after discharge. The exact timeline for when pain will decrease cannot be predicted, and is different for every participant.

What is considered ‘appropriate dress code?’

Appropriate exercise clothing includes athletic wear such as t-shirts, gym shorts, leggings, sweatpants, and sneakers. All shirts should be full length (i.e. not cropped), and athletic undergarments should be worn as needed and should not be visible. Please avoid clothing with inappropriate logos, images, and messages, including those that reference drugs, tobacco, alcohol, or violence.