“Whiplash” is a commonly-used term to describe damage to the soft tissue of the neck. Contrary to what many people believe, whiplash is not a single injury. Instead, it can refer to many different types of injuries—all of which may be painful.
People commonly suffer whiplash in car accidents—primarily in rear-end collisions. However, whiplash can result from any impact or event that causes your head to snap suddenly in one direction and then snap quickly back. This snapping is what causes tears, strains, or sprains to the ligaments, tendons, or muscles in the neck. When soft tissue injuries are caused by a jerking of the head, you may be diagnosed with whiplash.