Alternate Names : Hyperextension Injury of the Neck
Whiplash occurs when the neck is suddenly and forcibly bent backward and
forward. This causes injury to the joints of the neck, known as the cervical
vertebrae, and to the surrounding soft tissue. The most common causes of
whiplash are motor vehicle accidents, especially when the vehicle is struck
from the rear.
What are the causes and risks of the injury?
Whiplash injuries usually happen to a person who is not wearing a seat belt when a motor vehicle is rear-ended. As a result of whiplash, the
ligaments in the neck may be stretched or even torn. Sometimes fractures in the
vertebrae may also be involved.