Whiplash can be an excruciatingly painful injury and occurs when the neck is thrust into extension, usually in car accidents. However it can be caused by falls, knocks, slips or when playing a sport.
Causes of mild whiplash surprise many sufferers when they realise that they have such an injury after simply turning their head too quickly in one direction. Mild whiplash injury can also occur by falling over, or being thrown about on a fast moving carnival or fun ride.
In more serious cases, the neck is thrust into extension, especially in rear-end vehicle accidents when a person in the first car is thrown backwards into their seat as the car is pushed forward by the car behind. After being thrust backwards onto the restraint, the person’s head then rebounds as it is thrown forward, forcing the neck into flexion with the chin hitting the chest as the seatbelt tightens. This all happens very suddenly, and can happen in sideways accidents as well with the neck thrown into a sideways movement.