RECOVER Injury Research Centre is conducting a clinical trial investigating the most effective type of exercise for people with whiplash. We are now seeking participants: you can contribute to this study (with or without whiplash) and receive FREE physiotherapist-led exercise training.


  1. To investigate the biological effects of exercise in people with and without chronic whiplash associated disorder.
  2. To investigate the effectiveness of different types and durations of exercise for people with chronic whiplash associated disorder.
  3. To investigate the relationship between changes to the biological system and health outcomes.

Type of volunteers needed:

People with chronic whiplash:

  • 18-60 years old
  • Injury more than 12 weeks ago
  • Suffering neck pain (at least 4/10 on a 0-10 pain scale [0: no pain; 10: worst pain imaginable])
  • No confirmed fractures or dislocations at the time of the injury

People without whiplash:

  • 18-60 years old
  • No neck pain/never had a whiplash injury

What is involved?

If you agree to participate, you will be asked to do the following:

  • Complete brief (5 min) questionnaires to identify pain intensity, disability in daily activities and activity level.
  • Attend three 1.5-hour sessions over a period of 10 weeks at The University of Queensland, Herston Campus to collect data. During these sessions you will undergo a 1-hour MRI scan, a blood sample will be taken, and an exercise test and movement control test will be performed.
  • Engage in one of two exercise programs:
    1. Aerobic exercise program, 3 sessions a week for 8 weeks: Moderate intensity whole-body exercises of your preference (e.g., walking, cycling, running, rowing). Minimum of 20-30 minutes per session. If you are allocated to this group, you will receive a heart rate monitor for the duration of the study in order to determine your exercise intensity.
    2. Resistance exercise program, 3 times a week for 8 weeks: Moderate intensity resistance exercises. Minimum of 20-30 minutes per session. If you are allocated to this group, you will receive a Gymstick for the duration of the study. This is an instrument that allows you to perform resistance exercises at home.

What’s in it for me?

You will be given FREE weekly exercise training sessions by a trained and experienced physiotherapist. We will provide you with equipment to do two more exercise sessions each week independently. As this study aims to investigate the effectiveness of exercise, it is possible that you will experience positive effects on your health outcomes, but it is also possible that you will not experience any effects. There are no costs associated with any of the study elements.

How can I volunteer or find out more?

Please contact Dr Rutger de Zoete on 0432 218 486, or email