What Is Whiplash?

Whiplash-a soft tissue injury to the neck-is also called neck sprain or neck strain. It ischaracterized by a collection of symptoms that occur following damage to the neck,usually because of sudden extension (backward) and flexion (forward). The disordercommonly occurs as the result of an automobile accident and or a slip and fall, and mayinclude injury to intervertebral joints, discs and ligaments, cervical muscles, and nerveroots. Symptoms such as neck pain may be present directly after the injury or may bedelayed for several days. In addition to neck pain, other symptoms may include neckstiffness, injuries to the muscles and ligaments (myofascial injuries), headache,dizziness, abnormal sensations such as burning or prickling (known as paresthesias), orshoulder or back pain. In addition, some people experience conditions such as memoryloss, concentration impairment, nervousness/irritability, sleep disturbances, fatigue, or depression.