Olavi Airaksinen, MD PhD

Chairman and Clinical Director of Rehabilitation Services at Kuopio University Hospital
Professor of PRM in University of Eastern Finland

A leader in rehabilitation medicine with a clinical focus on the spine and on chronic pain management. He is also a researcher, an educator and a collaborator in product design & development for several health technology enterprises.

Pain management is more than relief from discomfort. Chronic pain is also strongly correlated with depression and is a significant factor in workforce efficiency. Olavi is an advisor for government health initiatives that deal with chronic pain.

Successful rehabilitation means the effective management of long term pain due to injury and the treatment of chronic conditions such as Epicondylitis (tennis/golfer's elbow) and Osteoarthritis.

Botox treatment

In some cases, Olavi administers BOTOX® injections to treat chronic pain in the neck or lower spine. BOTOX® injections ease chronic pain and can restore joint mobility in affected regions.

Spinal manipulation

Olavi has spent more than 30 years researching lumbar spine anatomy and is an expert in performing physiological manipulations of spinal articulations as a therapeutic intervention for lumbar pain and musculoskeletal disease.


Olavi also brings his broad rehabilitation experience to musculoskeletal degenerative conditions such as Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis. 

Recently, Olavi has been collaborating in the development of new pharmaceutecal drugs that employ anti-NGF antibodies to treat Osteoarthritis.


Acupuncture involves the insertion of thin needles to stimulate nerve centres that can reduce pain perception. Olavi uses this technique as a focused treatment for minor chronic conditions.

Olavi Airaksinen's experience and guidance is sought by many researchers and institutions around the world. He has published over 172 original, peer reviewed articles in indexed international journals and has many other written contributions.

One direction of his research is the Surface EMG and in assisting the development of new technology that involves biofeedback. His expertise is sought by many entrepreneurial efforts and Olavi is intensely involved with several commercial projects as a key collaborative partner.

Mega Electronics

For the Horizon 20-20 project, Olavi works in close collaboration with Mega Electronics, a Finnish biotechnology company with a focus on Electromyography.


Olavi has been acting as the country co-ordinator for the Women UP project, a Horizon 20-20 initiative focusing on urinary incontinence in Women with the goal of developing a biofeedback device to help the patient control their muscle functions.


Olavi leads a collaboration of scientists from Peking First University Hospital in Beijing, Hangzhou University, Harvard University and Kuopio University to find new diagnostic & pre-diagnostic tools for Parkinson's disease through EMG signal analysis.


Olavi collaborates with Michael Schaclock's Neurodynamic Solutions, recently being involved with two prestigious research awards, in conjunction with Marinko Rade (Croatia), for developing a new, non-invasive way to measure neurodynamics in conscious, healthy humans.

Ice Power

Olavi consults for Ice Power, a Finnish company producing a cooling gel that is used to relieve pain and inflammation from common sports soft tissue injuries.



He is also involved in the development of the Myontec's Mbody series of trousers which can provide feedback on muscle balance and activation through surface electrodes that are integrated into worn fabric.


Olavi provides expert opinions for the administration & approval of Pharmaceutecal research in Finland, having acted as the country co-ordinator for more than 50 clinical trials, including companies such as PfizerMSDGSK and Mundipharma, and conducting clinical research for discovering new treatments for pain management.

Olavi Airaksinen has supervised over 21 PhD candidates and contributed to the academic community throughout his career as a lecturer and in his position as Associate Professor of PRM at University of Eastern Finland.

Olavi speaks at many conferences presenting on topics relating to pain management, lumbar spine and rehabilitation medicine and is a participant in many conventions and institutions around the world. 

Olavi also runs training courses instructing in a variety of physiological treatments.

Kalpa's Team Doctor

Olavi Airaksinen has been the doctor for Kalpa, Kuopio's ice hockey team, since 1982. When the game is on, he can be found above Kalpa's bench, watching to make sure his local warriors can fight hard, stay strong and recover fast. 

Although Olavi spends much of his time abroad, he and his family have lived in Kuopio, Finland for over 40 years, where he is a well loved member of the community and supporter of local industries. He is married, with three beautiful daughters who have their own families.

In the winter, Olavi jump-starts each day with an ice-cold swim in the nearby frozen lake and spends much time cross-country skiing with his wife across the enamoring Finnish winter landscape. During the summer, he can be found tending to his ship, or in the forest, cutting wood for his several saunas. He also plays a mean round of golf and loves to prepare his signature birch-smoked salmon roast for his family and international guests.