Whiplash is pain and stiffness in the neck after an injury that has caused the neck to move suddenly or beyond its normal range.
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Neck Strain and Whiplash
Neck strain is often just called whiplash. Although it’s usually associated with car accidents, any impact or blow that causes your head to jerk forward or backward can cause neck strain. The sudden force stretches and tears the muscles and tendons in your neck. Neck strain afflicts many amateur and professional athletes.
Symptoms of whiplash are pain and stiffness in the neck and sometimes in the muscles in your head, chest, shoulders, and arms. You also may have a headache, feel dizzy, and have pain in your back.
You may not have any symptoms until the day after your injury. Or your symptoms may go away but then return a few days later.
You may have a more serious injury if you have:
- Severe pain in your neck.
- Pain down one or both arms.
- Pain that comes back after being gone for a few days.
- Numbness or tingling in your hands, arms, chest, or legs.
- Weakness in your arms, hands, or legs.
- Inability to move your head.