Whiplash is often caused by unexpected stretching of the neck muscles and ligaments. While it is simply not always possible to prevent every accident or event that would overstretch your neck, some precautions can help. Most cases of whiplash are caused from rear-end car accidents. A correctly placed headrest in your car can help lessen your neck pain after an accident. Also, if you do have whiplash, stretching your neck muscles after they heal can lessen the likelihood that the pain will return.