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Björn Gerdle

 

Research

The target group for rehabilitation medicine comprises patients with chronic or long-term conditions causing a decrease in quality of life. Rehabilitation medicine traditionally focuses on three patient groups: one with brain damage, a second afflicted by chronic pain, and a third by spinal injuries. Rehabilitation medicine begins with a broad assessment of the patient taking into account medical, psychological, social and economic information, followed by analysis, treatment, and rehabilitation designed to optimise the patients’ functional abilities, skills and coping strategies to help them regain better health and quality of life.
My research is now concentrated to a great extent on chronic pain:


Pathophysiological studies of chronic muscle pain

The trapezius muscle is often clinically affected in patients reporting local or regional pain conditions of the neck and shoulders. Our group has previously reported on a variety of morphological alterations in the trapezius of women with chronic muscle pain. In our most recent research we have studied biochemical alterations in the aching trapezius muscle using the microdialysis technique. In one study, we have found increased concentrations of several different pain mediating and metabolic substances (e.g., serotonin, glutamate, pyruvate) in the trapezius muscle of patients reporting pain. In other studies we are investigating how sensitivity to heat, cold, and pressure are affected by different kinds of chronic pain.

The complex interplay between chronic pain, co-morbidity and health

Taking a bio-psycho-social model as starting point, we are investigating how aspects such as the intensity, duration and spreading of the chronic pain interact with or are related to psychological symptoms such depression and anxiety, strategies of coping, work and sick-leave history and the patients’ self-perceived health. Groups of patients being studied include patients with chronic widespread pain such as fibromyalgia, chronic whiplash associated disorders (WAD) and chronic work-related muscle pain of the neck-shoulder region.

Prevalence of chronic pain and risk factors for chronic pain

The prevalence of chronic pain in the population and in different occupational groups is being investigated. Within this area of research we are also studying risk factors for different chronic pain conditions.

  Björn Gerdle

Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine, Linköping University
Temporary vice dean, Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköping University


E-mail: bjorn.gerdle@liu.se

Address:
Rehabilitation Medicine, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Linköping University,  SE 581 85 Linköping, Sweden

Phone:  +46-10-103 15 74
Phone, secretary: +46-10-103 44 53
Mobile:+46-763-92 71 91

Background
Born 1953
Physician (M.D. 1985), specialist in rehabilitation medicine since 1991 and in pain alleviation since 1997. The Ph.D in rehabilitation medicine was earned in 1985 at Umeå University.
Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine, Linköping University since 1993
Temporary vice dean, Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköping University 2009/05/15-present
Head senior physician, Pain and Rehabilitation Centre, University Hospital, Linköping              
Associate editor J Rehabilitation Medicine
 


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Last updated: 2014-01-23