Stress loading is use of active traction and compression exercises to produce stress in the extremity with minimal motion of the painful joints. Stress loading follows the basics of exercise physiology: Your body adapts in response to demands placed on it. Your response to pain has been changed, so now any stimulus is interpreted as a painful stimulus. Stressful exercise is needed to override what has become "abnormally normal" for that area. An overload is required to achieve a training effect and to break the pain cycle that you and your body are experiencing. This means you need to do something to overload your neural, vascular, sensorimotor, and musculoskeletal systems to break the existing pain patterns your body is feeling.