'Whiplash' is injury to your ligaments, muscles, and nerves of the neck and upper portions of your spine that usually results from a sudden backward movement of your head. The most common cause of whiplash is a car accident, especially when your car is hit from the rear. Damage usually takes the form of injury to the facet joints of your vertebrae and related muscles and ligaments. The spinal disks or vertebrae themselves usually aren't injured. Whiplash is an injury that may be painless when it occurs, but is followed by pain some hours or days later. Treatment includes immobilization of your neck by wearing a cervical collar, pain relievers, and physical therapy. If you've recently been in a car accident and are experiencing neck pain, consult a health care professional, who can diagnose your condition and prescribe treatment, if necessary.
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