Whiplash is an injury that occurs to your neck when your body has been stopped suddenly and your head is forced forward and back, snapping. Most people associate whiplash with car accidents but it can also be the result of a sports injury, at an amusement park (from some of the rides), and from falls. Even shaken-baby syndrome can result in whiplash.
Your neck is made up of seven cervical bones, which is why you may hear neck injuries referred to as cervical injuries. The bones are held together by muscles and ligaments. There are also many nerves that run through your neck. If your head snaps back and forth violently, these muscles and ligaments become stretched, producing swelling or inflammation, causing pain.