Generally, physicians will employ a physical exam including a neurological exam, along with a patient’s history, to make a WAD diagnosis. Clinical signs of whiplash include spasms, tenderness, and limited range of motion of the neck.
Symptoms such as neck pain, shoulder pain, arm pain, and headache may be present directly after the injury or may be delayed for several days. Other symptoms may include neck stiffness, muscle (myofascial) pain, dizziness, and abnormal sensations such as burning or tingling in the arms.
Additional testing, (e.g., X-rays, MRI, and EMG/NCS) may be warranted in the diagnosis of a WAD; especially, if the patient presents with significant neurological signs.