Our Clinic

Over 25 Years of Managing Acute & Chronic Neck Pain

Experts in Neck Rehabilitation

The Melbourne whiplash centre is the first and only clinic in Melbourne that utilises the Multi Cervical Unit (MCU) in the assessment and treatment of acute and chronic neck pain.

If you have recently suffered a neck trauma, then contact our centre and allow one of our Physiotherapists to assess your needs and provide you with our acute management guidelines. It is important not to be ‘over treated’ initially, but allow time and sensible management guide you on the path to recovery.

The majority of clients attending for our advanced neck rehabilitation program have suffered neck symptoms, on average for over 8 years. Their story starts, in 85% of cases, with a motor vehicle accident. Their symptoms often start within days, but sometimes many months later. In the remaining 15% of cases, there may not have been a direct trauma, but subtle trauma over time. Examples of this are sitting or working with poor posture or sustained postures over time causing wear and tear to the soft tissues of their necks.

The Melbourne Whiplash Centre was the first Centre in Australia to use the Multi-Cervical Unit – an advanced, computerised & objective technology for defining and treating chronic neck pain. The treatment provided at the Melbourne Whiplash Centre is supported by an increasing volume of research indicating that exercise prescription gains best results for whiplash and chronic neck pain sufferers (view research links in FAQ). The Melbourne Whiplash Centre incorporates proven manual therapy techniques with a tailored rehabilitation programme directed at strengthening areas of the neck and shoulders weakened by pain and dysfunction.

Our Neck Programs here have been developed by our centre Director, Senior Physiotherapist, Mr Robert De Nardis. As far back as 1997 Robert recognised a need in rehabilitation for neck strengthening programs.

“Any patient suffering a soft tissue injury, requires strengthening exercises to complete their rehab, the neck is no different.”

Based on this belief, Robert went ahead and working with US manufactures developed the Multi Cervical Unit (MCU). The MCU allows for objective data collection on neck function.

Over many years now Robert and his team have developed protocols and treatment programs to assist patients experiencing neck issues. They cater for acute pain stemming from recent trauma and road accidents, to those suffering from chronic pain who are in desperate need of neck rehabilitation (strengthening). Their programs used at the centre have been developed from Robert’s experience in this field that stems from being a Panel Member of the International Whiplash Task Force and as a consultant to the UK Air Force, where he assisted Fast Jet Fighter Pilots with their neck issues.

Scientific Publications

The Melbourne Whiplash Centre is committed to evidence based practice. This ensures our patients receive the best possible treatment to assist with their management and recovery.

The MWC has recently received ethical approval (Monash University) to undertake a research project looking at the impact of Concussion on neck strength in AFL players. The study will assess the neck strength of AFL players who have and have not had a previous concussion to identify any strength deficits.

The Melbourne Whiplash Centre and the MCU has been directly involved in numerous publications. These are listed below with a brief summary of each paper:

Please choose from the following PDFs:

  1. Physio Research International July 2020
    Progressive resistance exercise for improving pain and disability in chronic neck pain: A case series
  2. Spine Publication, Davidson and De Nardis 2011 “ A 12 item Symptom Intensity Rating scale”. This paper directly correlated the SIR with the universally accepted NDI (Neck Disability Index). Results suggest that both the NDI and SIR should be used to evaluate both the pain scale and functional capacity of patients suffering from chronic neck pain.
  3. Professor Jenny Keating and De Nardis, published in 2008 in the Journal of Whiplash and Related disorders. This paper demonstrated that patients with higher levels of neck dysfunction respond more favourably than those with mild dysfunction to our advanced neck rehabilitation program.
  4. Randomized Controlled Trial on the Efficacy of Exercise for Patients With Chronic Neck Pain
  5. Chiu 2002 who concluded: “Conclusions: The Multi Cervical Rehabilitation Unit was found to be reliable and valid for testing the cervical active range of motion and isometric neck muscle strength for both normal and patient subjects.
  6. Chiu and Hedley 2002 and their conclusions were “ Conclusion: Men have approximately 20–70% greater isometric neck muscle strength than women. Both men and women can maintain high levels of cervical muscle strength in six different directions up to their seventh decade. There is no significant correlation between physical measurements and isometric neck muscle strength.
  7. Pearson March 2009 who concluded:  The MCU demonstrated good test-retest properties for healthy subjects and individuals with WAD. Cervical strength was lower in individuals with WAD; however, the strength deficits were not clearly linked with psychological factors.
  8. Reliability Study Findings Demonstrates that the procedures we use at the Whiplash Centre are ‘reliable’. Thus all centres purchasing a MCU are trained on The Melbourne Protocol as designed in our facility.
  9. Summary of Outcome findings This document demonstrates the improvement seen in our patients who were suffering from chronic neck pain. It demonstrates the success of our neck rehabilitation program.

If you have any questions regarding the Melbourne Whiplash Centre Protocol and Treatment please do not hesitate to contact us.

Meet our team

Our experienced and qualified Physiotherapists are extensively trained in the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic neck pain. Our friendly Physio Aides also assist patients during ongoing sessions during their exercise programs.

ROBERT DE NARDISDirector / Senior Consultant
BRANDON KAMSenior Consultant / MCU
DENNISE SMITHConsultant Physiotherapist / MCU
MICHAEL SHILSON JOSLINGConsultant Physiotherapist
LAURA MUNYARDSenior Physiotherapist / MCU
ALEXANDRAMyotherapist/Physio Aide
DEBAdmin Coordinator

Getting started

Patients experiencing chronic neck pain are first screened via a 2 hour evaluation on our computerised Multi Cervical Unit (MCU) to determine if our advanced neck rehabilitation program is suitable for their needs

Whiplash Symptoms

Learn more on how to help identify the symptoms of whiplash

Whiplash Advice

Information on how to help manage whiplash injuries

Assessment & Treatment

Learn more about our approach on treating whiplash injuries

Contact Us

Questions? Contact us below or call our clinic on (03) 9131 0712 and one of our friendly team members will happily assist with your enquiry.