Had accident: what exactly happens when I get whiplash?

Cervical sprain. Whiplash is a nonmedical term used to describe neck pain following an injury to the soft tissues of your neck (specifically ligaments, tendons, and muscles). It is caused by an abnormal motion or force applied to your neck that causes movement beyond the neck's normal range of motion. Whiplash happens in motor vehicle accidents, sporting activities, accidental falls, and assault.