I’ve been having a discussion with a few colleagues over a formula we were told in college saying that

“the strength of the spine is proportional to the number of its curvatures, by the formula R = C^2+1 . The human spine has three [sometimes I find “four”] curvatures so its strength is 3^2+1 = 10 times higher than if it didn’t have the curvatures”.

Is this formula valid?

Does anyone know the source?

It’s whether uber-advanced biomechanics, or it’s false, because as an engineer, I can tell that simply adding some curvatures to a bar will not in any way increase its strength.

My colleagues keep telling me “it’s like a spring”, and I’m sure it isn’t… [to which I say, spring my ass. Additional coils make the deformation in each coil smaller, and as such the tension in every bit of material smaller]

If it actually works like a spring, do tell.

Anyway, I’d appreciate it if anyone could explain to me where this formula comes from, or if it makes any sense…