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Whiplash is a neck injury caused by forceful, uncontrolled neck movements. This type of injury is commonly experienced during a motor vehicle collision, but may also result from other trauma.


  • Neck pain, stiffness and soreness
  • Decreased range of motion in the neck
  • Headaches
  • Sharp or shooting pain in the shoulders, upper back, arms, or hands
  • Numbness or tingling sensations in the shoulders, upper back, arms, or hands
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness

This series will identify 11 commonly seen risk factors that contribute to whiplash injuries. We have divided the risk factors into “human (part one and part two),” “vehicular,” and “collision” categories.



Although whiplash may occur equally between men and women, many studies show that women are twice as likely to experience a whiplash injury when involved in a crash.


Whiplash injury may occur at any age, young or old. The likelihood of experiencing whiplash following a motor vehicle collision increases with age. As we reach middle age and beyond, our fitness and strength gradually decline, the degenerative processes of the spine begin, and there is a longer history of neck injuries, all of which predispose the body to injury.


Individuals who have had a prior neck injury may be more likely to experience whiplash in a crash. Prior injuries may have a negative effect on the severity of the new injuries and recovery time.

The 11 Whiplash Risk Factors series will continue in the next blog article with three additional human factors that may contribute to whiplash injury.

  • Berglund A., Alfredsson L., Jensen I., Bodin L., Nygren A., (Jan. 2003), Occupant- and Crash-related Factors Associated with the Risk of Whiplash Injury, Ann Epidemiol.
  • Croft, Arthur C., (2009), Whiplash and Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries. SRISD Press.
  • Dolinis, (April 1997), Risk Factors for ‘Whiplash’ in Drivers: A Cohort Study of Rear-end Traffic Crashes, Injury.
  • Spine Research Institute of San Diego

This blog pro­vides gen­eral infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion about med­i­cine, health, wellness and related sub­jects. The words and other con­tent pro­vided in this blog, and in any linked mate­ri­als, are not intended and should not be con­strued as med­ical advice. If you or any other per­son has a med­ical con­cern, it is recommended that you con­sult with an appropriately licensed physi­cian or other health care worker.

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