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Setting force to joint? not torque?

Why can't gazebo set torque to joint? I couldn't find "SetTorque" command for joints. Actually, I cannot understand what "setting force to joint" means. For example, SetForce(0, 1) means generating 1N to a given joint. Does that mean the joint can apply 1N to its loads no matter how big the loads are? I think joint effort should be described as torque...

The reason that I'm asking is that I'm simulating some passive torsional spring-damping joints. Thanks to the answers of this question (, I was able to design those by using

springjoint->SetForce(int _index, (rest_angle-current_angle)*stiffness);

However, stiffness unit of torsional spring is N-m/rad and the unit doesn't match with force. Please clarify what SetForce of joint exactly means in real physics?