Whose pain becomes chronic? Marja Mikkelsson studies pain symptoms in children and adolescents

The professor also conducts research on the functioning of rehabilitation systems.

What are your research topics?

I have studied the epidemiology of children’s and adolescents’ pain symptoms. I find it interesting to determine whether the musculoskeletal pains and disorders causing incapacity for work in adults are part of a continuum from childhood and adolescence.

I have also investigated the safety and effect of cryotherapy in healthy individuals and rheumatoid patients. My current research focuses on the rehabilitation service system.

Where and how does the topic of your research have an impact?

By investigating pain symptoms in children and adolescents, we are trying to identify risk factors associated with the development of chronic pain. This is important as it enables us to better identify high-risk adolescents and make a difference the prognosis of their symptoms. 

The purpose of investigating the rehabilitation service system is to ensure that the current practices are correctly timed and effective. The effect of new procedures and techniques in everyday life should be studied more.

What is particularly inspiring in your field right now?

New techniques offer new opportunities in rehabilitation. It’s interesting to see whether rehabilitees improve their functional capacity and quality of life to a significant degree, and how beneficial the methods used are in relation to the cost.

Marja Mikkelsson is the professor of rehabilitation at the Faculty of Medicine.

Watch Marja Mikkelsson's inaugural lecture as a new professor on the 7th of September on YouTube.

Read about the other newly appointed professors here.