Is Your Stiff Back Actually Stiff?
In a study at the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, participants were asked how stiff their backs felt to them. After that, the faculty measured the biomechanical status of the participants’ backs.
“There was no relation between biomechanical stiffness and the reported feeling of stiffness,” said Greg Kawchuk, professor and back and spine expert in the Department of Physical Therapy. “What people describe as stiffness is something different than the measurement of stiffness.”
Tasha Stanton, lead author and senior research fellow of pain neuroscience at the University of South Australia, said that the feeling of stiffness may be a protective construct that is created by our nervous system.
“It’s our body’s way of protecting ourselves, possibly from strain, further injury or more pain,” she said.