Whiplash, a soft tissue injury to the neck, is also called neck sprain or neck strain. It is characterized by a collection of symptoms that occur following damage to the neck, usually because of sudden extension and flexion. The disorder commonly occurs as the result of an automobile accident and may include injury to intervertebral
Is there any treatment?
Treatment for individuals with whiplash pain may include pain medications, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antidepressants, muscle relaxants, and a cervical collar (usually worn for 2 to 3 weeks). Range of motion exercises and cervical traction may also be prescribed. Supplemental heat application may relieve muscle tension.
What is the prognosis?
Generally, the prognosis for individuals with whiplash is good. The neck and head pain clear within a few days or weeks. Most patients recover within 3 months after the injury, however, some may continue to have residual neck pain and headaches.
What research is being done?
The NINDS conducts and supports research on trauma-related disorders such as whiplash. Much of this research focuses on increasing scientific understanding of these disorders and finding ways to prevent and treat them.