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5 Types of Mechanical Stress

Not all forms of stress are the same.

As a manual osteopath, I wanted to share some information with you about the impact of mechanical stress on the human body.

Mechanical stress refers to the forces that act on our bodies and can affect your fascia, muscles, bones, ligaments, joints and organ function.

5 Types of Mechanical Stress:

Compressive stress occurs when an object or force pushes down on a body, such as when you stand or walk (shortened or compressed).

Tensile stress is defined as being the result of a force applied perpendicularly outward from the surface of an object - pull - such when you lift something heavy (elongated or stretched).

Shear stress is defined as being the result of forces applied parallel to the surface of an object.

Torsion is a rotational force or movement which acts to twist an object. It results in a combination of shear, tensile and compressive stress. An example of this is twisting your ankle.

Bending is also technically a rotation-like force that acts to fold or bend an object. Bending results in compressive stress on the inside of the bend and tensile stress on the outside of the bend.

Understanding the different types of mechanical stress is important because they can affect our bodies in different ways.

For example, compressive stress can lead to issues such as joint pain, while torsion stress can cause muscle strain.

Osteopathic manual practitioners specialize in identifying and treating mechanical stress to help reduce symptom expression, improve overall function and achieve optimal health and well-being.

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