In addition to pain, patients with chronic pain often report increased psychological stress, poor quality of life and health. Chronic pain is associated with increased sick leave and high social costs. Pharmacological treatments for chronic pain is often problematic and have limited effects.

The research is based on a biopsychosocial view of pain and is focused on two major areas:

1) The effects of multimodal pain rehabilitation

In complex chronic pain, several measures are needed to noticeably change the situation of the affected person. Such a well-synchronized program of measures is called interdisciplinary pain rehabilitation. It includes psychological interventions, physiotherapeutic measures, teaching about pain, and various efforts to facilitate return to work or studies. Since 1998, there is a quality register for interdisciplinary pain rehabilitation (the Swedish Quality Registry for Pain Rehabilitation) and which registers data from all specialist clinical departments in the country. A national research group has been formed in which various aspects of the effects of multimodal rehabilitation are investigated.

2) Biochemical changes in chronic pain

Understanding the biological mechanisms of chronic pain is very limited. This limitation makes it difficult to assess patients and develop new and optimized treatment methods. In different tissues, for example, muscle, blood and cerebrospinal fluid, the protein content is examined with the aim of understanding if there are changes in patients with chronic pain compared to healthy persons. We also investigate whether clinical variables such as pain intensity and psychological stress are related to the protein pattern. The research is done within the Painomics® Research group.


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Selected publications

Björn Gerdle, Sophia Akerblom, Gunilla Brodda Jansen, Paul Enthoven, Malin Ernberg, Huan-Ji Dong, Britt-Marie Stalnacke, Bjorn O. Ang, Katja Boersma (2019)

Journal of Pain Research , Vol.12 , s.891-908 Continue to DOI

Karin Wåhlén, Bijar Ghafouri, Nazdar Ghafouri, Björn Gerdle (2018)

Frontiers in Psychology , Vol.9 Continue to DOI

Latest publications


Sara Hallberg, Ola Rolfson, Jaro Karppinen, Berit Schiottz-Christensen, Audun Stubhaug, Marcelo Rivano Fischer, Björn Gerdle, Emilie Toresson Grip, Anders Gustavsson, Rebecca L. Robinson, Christoph Varenhorst, Patricia Schepman (2022) Burden of disease and management of osteoarthritis and chronic low back pain: healthcare utilization and sick leave in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark (BISCUITS): study design and patient characteristics of a real world data study Scandinavian Journal of Pain Continue to DOI

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