Henrik Bjarke Vægter is an internationally leading researcher in the field of pain, exercise and pro- and anti- nociceptive mechanisms. His primary research expertise lies within pain, physical activity, and interdisciplinary rehabilitation with a particular focus on quantitative assessment of pro- and anti-nociceptive mechanisms in individuals with chronic pain to understand how these manifestations influence outcomes after rehabilitation.

Henrik Bjarke Vægter is Head of the interdisciplinary Pain Research Group at University Hospital Odense and he has extensive experience in working in interdisciplinary teams and networks nationally and internationally within this area. He is leading several large scale externally funded projects and randomized controlled trials in clinical practice.

Henrik has published extensively within the field of pain and exercise, and is author of 71 publications in international peer-reviewed journals (2/3 as first or senior author) with several papers published in the top five journals in the pain and exercise field (e.g. PAIN, Journal of Pain, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise). His H-index is 24 (Google Scholar).

Henrik has led the development and implementation of 2 electronic clinical registries (PainData and FunkData) including patient-reported outcome (PRO) measures across more than 20 private and public interdisciplinary rehabilitation centers in Denmark, and is now leading the steering group for development of quality indicators in interdisciplinary pain management in Denmark comprising multiple professional disciplines (center leaders, physicians, nurses, psychologist, physiotherapists, secretaries and patient-representatives). Furthermore, he has a strong collaboration with Danish Regions where he is part of the implementation group for the project Value- Based Health Care in high-impact chronic pain.

Henrik is associate editor for Scand J Pain since 2020 and perform numerous ad-hoc reviews for scientific journals, including frequent reviews for top journals within the pain field. He has served as grant reviewer for organizations such as Medical Research Council, UK, Research Council Norway, Auckland Medical Research Foundation in New Zealand and Israel Science Foundation.

Henrik Bjarke Vægter has received research support as the principal investigator or co-applicant from numerous sources including The philanthropic foundation TrygFonden, HelseFonden, Offerfonden, Sundheds- og Ældreministeriet, The Danish Rheumatism Association, Udviklings- og Forskningspuljen, and The Fund for Physiotherapy in Private Practice.

Henrik has a comprehensive teaching portfolio including formal education (Lecturer Training Programme, SDU) and supervision of master’s students, PhD students and postdocs as well as formal educational training in research leadership and management (Project Management and Leadership for researchers at RUC and SDU). He has served as PhD opponent in Denmark and Australia.

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  • High impact chronic pain
  • Exercise and pain
  • Pro- and antinociceptive mechanisms
  • PhD in Pain Neuroscience, 2015

    Aalborg University

  • MSc Pain Management, 2010

    University of Edinburgh

  • Bachelor in Physiotherapy, 2004

    University College Zealand


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(2022). Hypoalgesia after exercises with painful versus non-painful muscles – a randomized controlled cross-over study. In Scand J Pain, In press.

(2021). Low dose naltrexone for the treatment of fibromyalgia: Protocol for a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. In Trials 22(1):804.

(2021). Should exercises be painful or not? Effects on clinical and experimental pain in individuals with shoulder pain. In J Pain 22(10):1246-1255.


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