Whiplash is an injury to the soft tissues of the neck. Whiplash injury strains the muscles and ligaments of the neck beyond their normal range of motion. There is often pain and stiffness in the neck for the first few days following a whiplash injury. The pain can also be felt in the surrounding muscle groups in the head, chest, shoulders, and arms.
Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine; and C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Dept. of Orthopaedic Surgery. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.