What are common causes of whiplash?

Doug N. Cutter, MD
Sports Medicine
Whiplash injuries are often caused by car accidents or by playing in soccer or football. In this video, I will describe what happens to the neck muscle and how to treat the symptoms.
The most common cause of whiplash is a car accident. In sports, whiplash can happen during blind-side tackling or another unexpected hit.

(This answer provided for NATA by the University of Alabama Athletic Training Education Program.)

Continue Learning about Neck Injury

Neck Injury

Whiplash is one type of neck injury. Any type of injury to the neck that causes pain, swelling, a lump in the neck or inflammation can be considered a neck injury. Falls, car crashes and sports mishaps are common causes of these i...

njuries. With whiplash, the cervical vertebrae in the neck become strained or sprained because the neck suddenly extended and flexed after a rapid acceleration or deceleration. Symptoms include neck stiffness and pain, dizziness and headache. Treatment might include a mix of immobilizing the neck in a cervical collar, taking pain-relief medication and anti-inflammatory drugs, and undergoing physical therapy.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.