A common aftermath of car accidents and trauma, whiplash also called neck sprain or neck strain, is a soft tissue injury to the neck. Whiplash is characterized by a collection of symptoms that occur following damage to the neck. In whiplash, the intervertebral (located between vertebrae) joints, discs, and ligaments, cervical muscles, and nerve roots might become damaged. It occurs when forceful head movement stresses the muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the neck. It may mimic radiculopathy, with pain traveling down the arm. Pain usually improves rapidly if addressed soon after the trauma, but may become chronic and disabling.

Signs and symptoms (may include one or more):

  • Neck pain and stiffness of muscles
  • Headaches and dizziness
  • Ringing of ears and blurred vision
  • Pain in shoulders, arms or jaw
  • A “knot” in a muscle
  • Numbness in arms

Why it hurts:

  • You may feel pain from the injured soft tissue any time you move it.