Physiotherapeutic Diagnostics and Rehabilitation

Människor rehabtränar med gummiband

In physiotherapy we conduct clinical research on diagnostic methods and effects of interventions such as therapeutic exercise, manual therapies, pain management modalities as well as pedagogical and behavioural based management strategies. Our research agenda also focuses on the implementation of research findings into clinical practice to improve clinical decision-making and evidence-based practice in health care.

Our previous research findings suggest that structured physiotherapy assessment and intervention can be effective for patients with functional impairments and activity limitations. For the majority of patients, it is recommended that physiotherapeutic assessment and intervention be trialed before other complex or invasive interventions such as surgery are considered. Current literature supports the early implementation of physiotherapy alone or as a complementary intervention before, during or after other interventions. Furthermore, physiotherapy should also be included in multidisciplinary healthcare interventions to support patient return to activities and work. In our clinical research we compare different interventions using randomized studies and cohort studies. The research program also develops through hypothesis generating methodology including interview and register studies.

Our central research questions:

  • What physiotherapeutic interventions improve the result of pain, function, activity as well as health and well-being related outcomes in different diagnostic groups?
  • What patient characteristics and other factors (family, work and leisure related) are of importance for functional impairments and the effect of interventions?
  • How accurately do physiotherapeutic diagnostics provide understanding of sickness/injury and choice of intervention?
  • How can evidence based knowledge be implemented?

Research projects



Current research areas/projects

Current research

Musculoskeletal Spine

WAD and cervical radiculopathy

Can physiotherapeutic intervention improve function and relieve neck pain?



In a group of patients with specific lumbar spine pathology awaiting surgery, does physiotherapy stratified according to treatment based classification improve pain and functional outcomes after surgery? Are sensory and pain thresholds predictive of treatment response? What significance does the patients' own attitudes and activity level have?

Function after anterior cervical discectomy and fusion

Can physiotherapeutic intervention improve function and relieve neck pain?

Optimal diagnostics and treatment of back and neck pain

A careful history and appropriate physical assessment are of importance to identify etiological and effective interventions for back and neck pain. The aim of this research program is to improve the diagnosis etiological mechanisms and effectiveness of stratified prevention and treatment methods for back and neck pain. Randomized controlled trials and longitudinal register databases (Swespine rehab) are used to answer research questions.

Etiology and prevention of spinal deformities

Aging, heredity, biomechanical factors, neuroendocrine and neuromuscular impairments have been proposed as contributing factors to spinal deformities. The aim of the research is to improve the knowledge of modifiable etiological mechanisms and the effectiveness individualized prevention and treatment methods for spinal deformities. (See below.)


Can a specific training strategy create a functionally stable shoulder?

How does training effect pain and function in the shoulder? Can the effects modify the need of other interventions than physiotherapeutic interventions for patients with subacromial pain? The shoulder is comprised of several joints where the muscles are of importance for movement and arm activities. Studies within the area evaluate therapeutic exercise interventions that aim to change activation pattern and strengthen shoulder musculature to decrease pain and improve function.


Dynamic joint stabilisation / muscle functions importance for the knee joint stabilization

ACL register studies

Chronic pain

Analgesic effects of physiotherapeutic interventions for chronic pain


Effects of physiotherapeutic interventions for patients with cancer


Children and adolescents with cerebral palsy

Adults with neurological functional impairments