Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Neck FAQ

Question:

What is whiplash?

Answer:

Whiplash is an injury that occurs to your neck when your body has been stopped suddenly and your head is forced forward and back, snapping. Most people associate whiplash with car accidents but it can also be the result of a sports injury, at an amusement park (from some of the rides), and from falls. Even shaken-baby syndrome can result in whiplash.

Your neck is made up of seven cervical bones, which is why you may hear neck injuries referred to as cervical injuries. The bones are held together by muscles and ligaments. There are also many nerves that run through your neck. If your head snaps back and forth violently, these muscles and ligaments become stretched, producing swelling or inflammation, causing pain. James P. Robinson, MD, PhD, et al. Perceived and Actual Memory, Concentration, and Attention Problems After Whiplash-Associated Disorders (Grades I and II): Prevalence and Predictors. In Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. June 2007. Vol. 88. Pp. 774-779.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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