Whiplash is a neck injury that can occur during rear-end automobile collisions, when your head suddenly moves backward and then forward - similar to the motion of someone cracking a whip. These extreme motions push your neck muscles and ligaments beyond their normal range of motion.
Whiplash injuries can be mild or severe. Treatment typically begins with over-the-counter pain relievers and ice applied to the painful neck muscles. If pain persists, prescription medications and physical therapy may be helpful.
Most people recover from whiplash in just a few weeks, but some people may develop chronic pain after a whiplash injury.
Whiplash typically occurs when a person's head is thrown backward and then forward, straining the neck's muscles and ligaments. This type of injury may result from:
Most whiplash symptoms develop within 24 hours of the injury and may include:
Some people also experience:
When to see a doctor
Contact your doctor promptly if:
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