Whiplash is an injury to the soft tissues of the neck that occurs from a sudden jerking or "whipping" of the head. This type of motion strains the muscles and the ligaments of the neck beyond their normal range of motion. Whiplash often occurs when a vehicle stops suddenly in a car crash or is struck from behind. Either of these two actions causes things in the vehicle to be thrown forward - including passengers. A seat belt will keep a person's body from being thrown forward, but the head may snap forward, then backward, causing a whiplash injury in the neck. In addition to car accidents, whiplash can be caused by roller coasters and other amusement park rides, sports injuries, or being punched or shaken.
Symptoms: Often, you 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. The discomfort you feel may involve surrounding muscle groups in your head, chest, shoulders, and arms. Other symptoms include: neck pain and/or stiffness, blurred vision, difficulty swallowing, irritability & fatigue, dizziness/pain between the shoulder blades, pain in the arms or legs, feet or hands, nausea, ringing in the ears, vertigo, numbness & tingling pain in the jaw or face.