When a car stops suddenly the driver and passengers continue to move forward. The body is restrained by the seat belt but the head continues to move forward. The head then goes backwards and may be restrained by the headrest. If this doesn’t happen the head continues to move back wards. All these movements puts strain on the neck joints and the associated muscles. If the connective tissue is very tight it cannot accommodate these violent movements and the whole area becomes inflamed with the neck becoming very stiff and painful.
Rest is important as is the avoidance of movement which causes pain. Treatment with Manual Lymph Drainage and Connective Tissue Manipulation helps to reduce the swelling, inflammation and pain as well as improving the range of movement. See Referred Pain.