Whiplash is a painful and common cause of complaint after an injury such as an automobile accident. Also known as Whiplash Associated Disorder (WAD), this disorder is characterized by soft tissue damage to the neck and upper spinal area, and in some cases the face and back as well. Due to the sudden flexion and extension of the neck following an accident such as an automobile collision, the body does not have enough time to compensate for the sudden change in motion and reacts by snapping the head front and back. Unfortunately, this puts too much strain on the neck muscles and can lead to lasting pain, chronic headaches, restricted range of motion, and dizziness for months following an injury. In some cases, the pain associated with whiplash is so severe that it interferes with work and sleep, thus leading to both fatigue and irritability. In even more severe cases, these problems can develop into depression and lowered cognitive abilities, such as problems with memory and concentration. Disc herniation may also have occurred during the accident and will need to be addressed by a physician. It is important to realize that the symptoms of whiplash may not manifest themselves until a few days after an accident, so if you or a loved one are in an automobile accident and have unexplained neck and back pain a few days later, whiplash may be the cause of your discomfort. The most common way to experience whiplash from an automobile accident is from a rear-end collision.