Whiplash is a term that was coined in 1928. It has since been replaced by the term “Cervical Acceleration Disorder” (CAD) or “Whiplash Associated Disorder” (WAD) and sprain or strain of the cervical spine. The term whiplash is not an officially recognized diagnostic term, however the word continues to be used frequently by both professionals and lay-people alike.
Cervical Acceleration Disorder is often caused by a motor vehicle related accident. The forces created by colliding vehicles are transferred through the occupants in the vehicles. The head and spine of the occupants are thrown forward and backward in a vigorous ripping motion, tearing and sometimes fracturing the soft tissue holding the head in place.