Definition of Whiplash
Whiplash is when the soft tissues of the neck are injured by a sudden jerking or “whipping” of the head. This type of motion strains the muscles and ligaments of the neck beyond their normal range of motion.
You may feel pain and stiffness in your neck for the first few days following a whiplash injury. Then you feel better, but the pain and stiffness may come back several days later. This symptom can last for months or years.
Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine; and C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Dept. of Orthopaedic Surgery. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 7/10/2009