Whiplash is an injury to the neck. Muscles, ligaments, and other tissues in your neck normally move within a certain range of motion. When they are suddenly stretched too far, whiplash is the neck pain that results.
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Honor Society of Nursing (STTI) answered
Whiplash occurs when the head is suddenly forced forward and then snapped backward (or vice versa), as might happen in a car accident or sports injury or while being shaken. This may cause stretching or tears (sprains) of muscles and ligaments in the neck.
Neck pain caused by minor whiplash usually improves within 3 months with home treatment. More severe whiplash may take longer but usually improves in 6 to 12 months with occasional continuing pain.
Symptoms of whiplash are pain and stiffness in the neck for a few days following a whiplash incident. Symptoms may go away but then return a few days later. Pain and stiffness may affect muscles in the head, chest, shoulders, and arms.
Pain in the shoulders or arms, when moving the head, or pain that returns after going away for a few days, may be a sign of a more serious neck injury.
Symptoms of whiplash may be relieved with over-the-counter pain relievers (such as acetaminophen, or ibuprofen) and by avoiding activities, such as lifting or sports, that make the pain and stiffness worse. If pain persists or is intense, the doctor may prescribe pain medicines and recommend a soft neck collar to support the neck.
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Whiplash-a soft tissue injury to the neck-is also called neck sprain or neck strain. It is characterized by a collection of symptoms that occur following damage to the neck, usually because of sudden extension and flexion. The disorder commonly occurs as the result of an automobile accident and may include injury to intervertebral joints, discs, ligaments, cervical muscles, and nerve roots. Symptoms such as neck pain may be present directly after the injury, or may be delayed for several days. In addition to neck pain, other symptoms may include neck stiffness, injuries to the muscles and ligaments (myofascial injuries), headache, dizziness, abnormal sensations such as burning or prickling (paresthesias), or shoulder or back pain. In addition, some people experience cognitive, somatic, or psychological conditions, such as memory loss, concentration impairment, nervousness/irritability, sleep disturbances, fatigue, or depression.
This answer is based on source information from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke