Whiplash-associated disorder (WAD) is a commonly occurring injury that often results from neck trauma suffered in car accidents. However the cause of the condition is still unknown and there is no definitive clinical test for the presence of the condition. Researchers have begun to analyze the size of neck muscles and the presence of fatty infiltrates to help understand WAD. However this analysis requires a high precision delineation of neck muscles which is very challenging due to a lack of distinctive features in neck magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This paper presents a novel atlas-based neck muscle segmentation method which employs discrete cosine-based elastic registration with affine initialization. Our algorithm shows promising results based on clinical data with an average Dice similarity coefficient (DSC) of 0.84 +/- 0.0004.