I'm in my early 40"s and have injured my neck several times over the years. The worst was about 3 or 4 years back when I dove under a wave while trying to get out of the way of a knee boarder who was coming straight towards me with complete disregard for my safety. I thought I was in deeper water. I was mistaken and dove head first into the bottom. I thought for sure my neck was broken.
My neck hurt for months before I went to the chiropractor. After a few visits, I was starting to feel relief. Now, a few years later, I usually feel ok must of the time, so I would definitely recommend seeing a chiropractor. Hopefully it's just a muscle problem and not something worst.
I second chiropractic.. Never had severe wiplash but I had several problems (from work and sports injuries) before I started going over a year ago. Now, I have almost no pain and don't have to go very often. Like others have said stretching and yoga exercises I'm sure would be beneficial too.
Can't say it enough: CHIROPRACTOR and YOGA
I have an older friend in Raleigh who is a Yogi and a hot rodder. He is a retired Seal who dislocated his neck falling in a missile silo resulting in some gnarly permanent damage to his upper neck. For the past few decades he has been seeing a chiro and of course does yoga 3 times a day at a minimum whether he is teaching or not. He takes no pain killers. Says the pain is still there sometimes but very manageable as long as he keeps up his routine.
Saying that, he spends countless hours/week bent over the hood or crawling underneath his cars which is hell on your neck even in perfect condition.
If I ever got a neck injury *knock on wood* I would follow that mode of treatment.
Also, you should go to a chiro anyway. It makes your balance so much better
I think everyone gets some kind of whiplash when surfing either from air dropping head first off the top of the wave, or by taking a big fat lip on the head. As others have said, chiro and yoga can work wonders not just for the neck but for the whole body. That said, back strengthening exercises such as pull ups and chinups can really help as well. The neck is only as strong as the foundation it rests upon and so improved back strength can makes one neck stronger and less susceptible to the varying degree of whiplash one experiences. Stronger back = stronger neck.