Solving neck pain
Dave’s first and still most passionate research target, neck pain continues to be major global burden in terms of years lived with disability, and a focus of research at the PIRL. Whether through our clinical research with the SYMBIOME and related projects, our work in wearables and consumer tech, quantitative sensory testing, or our lab-based simulations using immersive virtual reality for road collision (whiplash) research, we have been actively exploring the phenomenon of neck pain for over 10 years. Many of our studies will include a component of (most commonly traumatic) neck pain. Despite some sketchy metrics, the independent expert ranking website expertscape.com currently ranks Dave as amongst the top 0.2% of global experts in trauma, neck pain, and currently the second in whiplash specifically (though Dave himself would dispute that high a ranking).
Neck pain is a fascinating condition, being a complex anatomical region and one that is more strongly associated with negative psychology than any other body region. Traditional imaging has largely failed to find a consistent connection between structural pathology and clinical complaints, though new directions by collaborators such as Dr. Jim Elliott at the University of Sydney are changing that conversation. We will continue to focus on neck and spinal pain, while expanding to explore trauma across a variety of body regions.