Whiplash is one of the most common injuries sustained in auto accidents; however, you don’t need to be involved in an auto injury to get whiplash. Whiplash occurs when the neck is suddenly jolted forward and backward, backward and forward, or side to side. This abrupt whipping motion causes the supportive soft tissues (muscles, ligaments and tendons) of the neck and head to flex and extend suddenly. This rapid, jarring motion affects the spine and supportive soft tissue structures including the discs and nerve roots. Whiplash is often characterized as a mild to severe neck sprain/strain that can cause a number of associated symptoms in the days to months after an injury. Symptoms of whiplash typically develop within the first 24 to 48 hours of an injury, but these symptoms can also be slow to develop, which is why whiplash is often referred to as a “hidden injury.” While whiplash is generally classified as an acute neck injury that is treatable, studies show that it can lead to long-term pain and symptoms.