Clinical Trials for Whiplash

There are many clinical trials being conducted about whiplash.  Whiplash is a common type of cervical (neck) injury often caused by being rear-ended in a motor vehicle collision.  It is a hyperflexion and hyperextension injury involving the ligaments, tendons, and muscles in the neck.  It is a soft-tissue problem that can cause severe pain that radiates (travels) into the shoulders, upper back, and down one or both arms.

What Do Clinical Trials for Whiplash Study?

Rarely does whiplash require spine surgery.  There are many types of conservative, non-operative treatments available that are the subject of clinical trial evaluation.  Interventions include acupuncture, cervical collar (a soft brace), massage, and manual therapy to restore and increase range of motion. 

Who Conducts Whiplash Research Studies?

The Principal Investigator of the clinical trial is often a doctor who is board certified and may be fellowship trained, such as a physiatrist.  Supporting medical staff includes a clinical trial and research coordinator, and nurse.  If the clinical trial involves a great number of patients and/or is being conducted at multiple locations, there may be more than one investigator with supporting staff members. 

The protocol is the study’s plan, and it governs the patient (participant) selection process, administration of therapy, frequency of re-evaluation, and how data are collected and compiled.  Every aspect of a clinical trial focuses on patient safety.

Informed Consent for a Whiplash Clinical Trial

An Informed Consent documents the possible risks and benefits a patient may experience while enrolled and participating in the whiplash clinical trial.  Make sure you review this document carefully since it outlines the important details of the trial. 

Also, you should know that while the Informed Consent is a document, it is not a binding contract; you can leave the clinical trial at any time you want.

Why Volunteer to Enroll in a Clinical Trial?

Enrollment and participation in any clinical trial is voluntary.  Sometimes whiplash symptoms become chronic months after the injury.  Involvement in a whiplash clinical study can provide a patient the most current treatment—and often at a leading treatment center.