What Does Back Stiffness Really Mean?
Low back pain and stiffness is the leading cause of disability worldwide, affecting about 632 million people. But according to researchers at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, what many describe as back stiffness may not be true biomechanical stiffness.
The researchers asked participants to describe the feeling of back stiffness and then measured actual stiffness in the back using a custom device. They discovered no association between the reported feeling of back stiffness and actual biomechanical stiffness. Instead, the feeling of stiffness may be created by the nervous system to protect the body from further injury and pain. Results of the study were published in Scientific Reports.