The major cause of whiplash is car accidents where the patient's car is hit from behind by another driver. This causes a rapid backwards bending of the neck immediately followed by a rapid forward bending which can damage the muscles and ligaments of the neck and cervical spine. In particular it is the anterior longitudinal ligament which is affected. This long ligament attaches to the anterior vertebral bodies and intervertebral discs along the entire length of the spine.
The most effective way to protect yourself form the potential of this kind of injury is to adjust the headrest of your car to the corrent height whenever you drive your car and amke sure that you drive a safe distance behind the vehicle in front. To quote Edmund King of the AA:
Drivers can avoid inflicting whiplash on themselves and others by keeping a safe distance - at least two seconds - from the vehicle ahead.If you have had a car accident where your vehicle was hit by another driver, who is at fault and has caused you injury, my advice would be to call a whiplash claim specialist such as Recover! who are based in the East Midlands. Their website is http://www.recover-compensation.com/.
Whether this increase in whiplash claims is a result of more car accidents or simply more litigation and compensation, is open to debate. My feeling is that it is a result of more awareness of how to make a road accident claim rather than an increase in accidents themselves...!