Whiplash injuries can cause neck pain, muscle strain, and headaches. Did you know that many patients who suffer from whiplash also report symptoms not related to the neck injury. These symptoms include sleep disturbances, shortness of breath, and gastrointestinal symptoms.
One theory that helps explain why this is a possibility is that the symptoms are a result from an over-stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system. The whiplash injury causes injury and irritation to the nerves in the lower cervical and upper thoracic spine. There is a high percentage of sympathetic nervous fibers in the cervico-thoracic junction. This excess of stimulation can create excess stress leading to hormone changes and an increase in pain perception.
Some researchers believe that a fear-avoidance is created which can lead to hypomobility and even possibly depression. In either case the nervous system is taxed more than it should be during normal situations. Prolonged exposure to increased nervous system stress can have detrimental effects on the body. If you have been injured in an automobile accident, please make sure you have proper representation and proper medical treatment.