The aims of this study are to determine when after a whiplash injury these nerve findings can be observed and to better understand their clinical significance and possible causes.

What is the purpose of this research?

Some people recover from a whiplash or neck strain injury, while for other people neck pain can become a long-term problem. Recent research findings suggest that in some people who develop long-term whiplash neck pain, there are changes in the structure and function of small sensory nerve fibres responsible for transmitting information about temperature and pain. This is a phenomenon also noted in other pain conditions such as fibromyalgia. This may be related to the biological mechanisms underlying long-term pain in this condition, so we need to learn more about this to help improve diagnosis and treatment.

What does participation in this research involve?

Participation in this research involves attending the Tess Cramond Pain & Research Centre, RBWH (STARS Building, 296 Herston Road, Herston) for data collection (60-90 minute appointment).

During the appointment we will ask you to complete some questionnaires regarding neck pain (if applicable), general health and psychological symptoms, undertake skin biopsies at the finger and ankle, and collect blood from a vein in your arm.


We are looking male and female participants aged 18-70 years with neck pain following a whiplash or strain injury, such as from a car crash, within 3 weeks of injury.

Participant benefits 

To reimburse for time and travel expenses, participants will be provided a $50 gift voucher for each appointment attended.

Register your interest

To register yourinterest visit the link below. To find out more information, please contact Dr Scott Farrell and the research team on (07) 3346 4791, or Dr Nayomi Ranathunga on email

Register your interest

This study has been approved by The University of Queensland Human Research Ethics Committee [Approval No.2022/HE000921].