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Whiplash assessment tools

The Guidelines for the management of acute whiplash associated disorders recommend the use of the following assessment tools and outcome measures for the best possible management of adults with a whiplash injury.

2. Is an X-ray required?

At the initial visit, practitioners should use the Canadian C-Spine Rule to determine whether an X-ray of the cervical spine is required for diagnosis of fracture or dislocation. Effective use of this tool will avoid exposing the injured person to unnecessary exposure to X-rays.

The Canadian C-Spine Rule is for alert and stable trauma patients when cervical spine injury is a concern.

Recommended action

Refer for radiography if indicated by the outcome of the Canadian C-Spine Rule (A3, page 16 guidelines).