Whiplash occurs when the head is suddenly forced forward and
then snapped backward (or vice versa), as might happen in a car accident or
sports injury or while being shaken. This may cause stretching or tears
(sprains) of muscles and ligaments in the neck.
Neck pain caused
by minor whiplash usually improves within 3 months with home treatment. More
severe whiplash may take longer but usually improves in 6 to 12 months with
occasional continuing pain.