Whiplash occurs when the head is suddenly forced forward and then snapped backward (or vice versa), as might happen in a car crash 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.
Medical Review:William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & Donald Sproule, MDCM, CCFP - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Robert B. Keller, MD - Orthopedics