This is a term used to describe what happens when a person riding in a vehicle is unexpectedly struck from behind. In more simple terms, it is an extension strain of the neck. The head tends to stay in the same position as the body is thrown forward which tends to ‘whip’ the neck. As a result, the spinous processes tend to ‘kiss’ each other and at the front, ligaments in the neck can be strained. Fractures can also occur and nerve root impingement is common.
Severe inures may require an X-ray of the cervical spine or MRI scan.