How is whiplash diagnosed?

Generally, whiplash can be diagnosed clinically by a thorough history and physical exam by your doctor. In most cases of whiplash, injuries are to soft tissues such as discs, muscles, and ligaments, and cannot be seen on X-rays. Specialized imaging tests, such as CT scans or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), may be needed to accurately diagnose whiplash, but are not required for the diagnosis.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 12/12/2014.

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