The acute whiplash injury is real. It exists wherever there are motor vehicle accidents. One can readily produce acute symptoms of neck pain or stiffness in human volunteers subjected to experimental collisions. Yet, while the acute injury exists in all cultures and even in laboratory setting, in some cultures those with the acute injury continue to report chronic pain for months or even years and also report disability for prolonged periods. There are other cultures where this prolonged pain is not reported. Why do some countries and cultures trend towards prolonged injury where the recovery time in others is only a fraction of the time?