Ph.D. Defense by Simon Hansen

Ph.D. Defense by Simon Hansen

Simon Hansen will defend his Ph.D. thesis "The influence of musculoskeletal pain on exercise-induced hypoalgesia in humans – an experimental and clinical exploratory approach"


01.10.2021 kl. 14.00 - 17.00



14.00 Opening by the Moderator Kristian Kjær Petersen
14.05 PhD lecture by Simon Hansen 
14.50 Break
15.00 Questions and comments from the Committee
          Questions and comments from the audience at the Moderator’s discretion
17.00 Conclusion of the session by the Moderator


The Faculty Council has appointed the following adjudication committee to evaluate the thesis and the associated lecture: 

Dr. Søren O’Neill; Research Spinecenter of Southern Denmark, Lillebaelt hospital,Middelfart, Denmark; Spinecenter of Southern Denmark, Lillebaelt hospital,Middelfart, Denmark

Dr. Kelly M Naugle; Indiana University Purdue University of Indianapolis, Department of Kinesiology



Dr. Andrew James Thomas Stevenson, HST, Aalborg Universitet


Dr. Kristian Kjær Petersen, HST, Aalborg Universitet



Regular physical exercise may prevent more than 30 chronic disorders and reduce pain by modulation of central pain inhibitory mechanisms. Some individuals do not experience this effect and understanding pain mechanisms related to pain perception and physical exercise have the potential to optimise future pain relieving physical exercise interventions.

Exercise-induced hypoalgesia (EIH) is a well-established phenomenon defined as decreased pain sensitivity after one bout of exercise. The EIH response is a proxy of the balance between endogenous pain facilitatory and pain inhibitory mechanisms, and EIH responses is often larger and more consistent in healthy individuals compared to individuals with chronic musculoskeletal (MSK) pain. Further, higher EIH is observed in physically active individuals compared to physically inactive individuals. Hence, it may be hypothesised that pain influences EIH, and that physical exercise interventions may modulate EIH. However, the relationship between pain intensity and EIH, and if EIH is modifiable by exercise interventions, are only investigated to a limited degree.

Standardised seven-weeks exercise interventions in healthy individuals (Study I) and individuals with chronic MSK pain (Study III) and well-established clinical pain ratings were utilised in this PhD project. Further, intramuscular hypertonic saline injections were used as experimental pain model to investigate the isolated effect of pain on EIH in otherwise healthy individuals (Study II).

This PhD project demonstrates that pain intensity is not associated with EIH responses in healthy individuals (Study I-II) and individuals with chronic MSK pain (Study III). Further, the presence of pain do not inhibit EIH responses (Study II) and pain relief may be associated with increased EIH in individuals with chronic MSK pain following exercise intervention (Study III). These novel findings may have clinical implications in the guidance and treatment of individuals with MSK pain using exercise interventions, and the findings raise new important research questions on which factors influence EIH and pain.


Department of Health Science and Technology, The Faulty of Medicine, Aalborg University


The Ph.D. Defense is organized as a hybrid event - digitally via Zoom and physical presence in room Niels Jernes Vej 14, Auditorium 4-111, Aalborg Ø

Registration Deadline

27.09.2021 kl. 12.00

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