Whiplash typically occurs when your head is forcefully and quickly thrown backward and then forward. This motion can injure bones in the spine, disks between the bones, ligaments, muscles, nerves and other tissues of the neck.
A whiplash injury may result from:
Auto accidents. Rear-end collisions are a major cause of whiplash.
Physical abuse or assault. Whiplash can occur if you are punched or shaken. It's one of the injuries seen in shaken baby syndrome.
Contact sports. Football tackles and other sports-related collisions can sometimes cause whiplash.
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