Rear-ended automobile accident victims will recognize this condition. Whiplash is a soft tissue injury to the neck. It can affect intervertebral joints, discs, and ligaments, cervical muscles, and nerve roots.
It occurs when your head suddenly moves backward, then forward in an extreme motion, pushing neck muscles and ligaments beyond their normal range of motion.
This condition ranges from mild to severe, depending on the intensity of the whipping of the head at impact.
Sometimes the injury may not appear until a day or two after the incident. On the other hand, more severe whiplash injuries, accompanied by severe debilitating pain, can present symptoms immediately.
Often the symptoms include headache, dizziness, a burning sensation in the neck, shoulder and back, and fatigue from lack of sleep.
Treatment ranges from anti-inflammatory pain medication and generally some form of physical therapy to restore range of motion to the affected muscles and ligaments.