Whiplash: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 9/12/2020

Whiplash is a type of neck injury that usually follows a sudden acceleration-deceleration force that causes unrestrained, rapid forward and backward movement of the head and neck. Whiplash is a very common injury.

Common signs and symptoms associated with whiplash can include

Other symptoms can include a

When cases become severe or chronic, symptoms such as depression, anxiety, stress, insomnia, anger, and drug dependency have been reported.

Cause of whiplash

The characteristic cause of whiplash is a rear impact while in a stationary position, such as being rear-ended while in a parked car.

Other whiplash symptoms and signs


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Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.