The presence of a hydrostatic pressure as a general feature of SPD methods is essential for achieving the high strains and the introduction of the high amount of lattice defects, which are necessary to establish new grain boundaries. Systematic investigations of High Pressure Torsion (HPT)-deformed Cu under variation of strain and hydrostatic pressure revealed marked differences between the in-situ torsional stress (torque measurement) and the post-HPT strength of the ultrafine-grained materials. These facts let assume the occurrence of relaxation processes (recovery/recrystallisation) of static character with respect to the release of the hydrostatic pressure after straining. In order to gain insight into the processes behind, a special experimental procedure was designed to simulate the hydrostatic pressure release. Investigations by X-ray line profile analysis and hardness measurement show marked influences of the pressure release on microstructure and strength. While the size of the coherently scattering domains is not strongly affected, the dislocation density decreases drastically and the arrangement of the dislocations within the subgrain structure changes to a less stress intensive one, upon the pressure release. In parallel the hardness decreases significantly and confirms the discrepancy between in-situ torque-stress and post-HPT strength.