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What is whiplash?

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

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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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.