The development of generalized sensitization during acute pain conditions plays an
important potential role for the transition to and development of chronic pain. Such a
phenomenon complicates adequate pain management and challenges current therapeutic
modalities. This doctoral thesis aims to investigate the application of quantitative sensory
testing in a clinical setting, mainly postoperative pain and chronic pain states. The
pathophysiology, extent, and intensity of generalized sensitization, and in particular its
relation to clinically relevant patient experiences, i.e. spontaneous pain and pain evoked by
daily activities, are still a matter of debate and intensive research. The current thesis has
taken on the difficult task of applying standardized quantitative sensory testing to clinical
medicine to explore the extent and magnitude of sensory perturbation in a number of
The thesis is a very impressive and pioneering collection of important pieces of research
providing a strong assertion on how pain can be diagnosed and profiled. It comprises an
important contribution to the progress of the field and the impact of the studies will pave
the way for new explorative studies for the benefit of patients suffering from chronic pain.
Going from a purely descriptive way of thinking, the thesis has developed, in an ambience of
changing concepts in pain medicine at large, a shift towards a mechanism-based way of
thinking. This is the only way to make a step forward in pain medicine both when it comes to
understanding the complex pictures presented by pain patients, and to provide clever
answers to the complex therapeutic needs of these patients.
The scientific work described in this thesis is original, and the findings contribute to new and
better understanding of the pain syndromes investigated. This work also provides important
information for planning future research.
I have known and collaborated with Oliver since the early 1990s, and he is a true pioneer
within the research to apply QST in the clinical setting. Therefore, I was extremely honoured
when he chose to submit and defend his doctor of science thesis at the Center for Sensory-
Motor Interaction, Aalborg University, and I am very much looking forward to our future
collaboration and interaction in many years to come.