Postural sway ADHD

Maintaining correct balance and motor function requires both our muscles and our brain. They basically work together to keep us from falling over and to assist us in our daily routines.

Keeping one's equilibrium when standing, however, might be difficult for certain people. There is a clear link between attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, and greater postural sway, according to study.

Though postural sway is a normal element of balance — after all, it is our body's attempt to find its center of gravity — persons with balance and motor control issues may have a harder difficulty staying still. They may be labeled "clumsy" or "fidgety" as a result

This page explains postural sway, what it is, and how it connects to ADHD and anxiety, as well as offering management advice.

What is postural sway, and what causes it?

Postural sway is the horizontal movement around a person's center of gravity while standing, according to the definition (1Trusted Source, 2Trusted Source).

"Postural sway is the unconscious preservation of posture by movements around our center of gravity," explains Alli Cost, MSOT, OTR-L, Foundation Training's director of education

Michael Shipper, a certified personal trainer and owner of Empowered Sports and Fitness, which provides inclusive movement opportunities for athletes of all ages and abilities, adds, "It's one's capacity to manage their body while standing motionless (i.e., balance)."

Even if their feet are flat on the ground, a person with greater postural sway will have more movement while standing, which may appear as if they are softly swaying from side to side or in little circles.

Feeling postural sway for yourself may be a better approach to understand it. Begin by standing with your feet hip-distance apart and focusing your gaze directly in front of you. After that, close your eyes.

As your body maintains its equilibrium while standing "still," you will likely notice very slight, reflexive movements around your center of gravity - perhaps side to side or front to rear.

What causes a person's posture to sway?

"A variety of elements pertaining to the neurological system, rather than a single defining metric, produce postural sway," explains Shipper.

Our nervous system is continually analyzing and adapting to information acquired from numerous sensory systems throughout the body. Our body's response to sensory input is reflexive, according to Cost, so we aren't constantly conscious of it.

"Imagine having to 'think through' every sense you came across," she continues.

However, in order to completely comprehend postural sway, we must expand our knowledge of the senses beyond the five you learn about in elementary school.

"Recognize that the sensory system is the brain [as a whole], rather than thinking of the senses as [functions of] the nose, mouth, skin, ears, and eyes." "Those five sensory organs do provide input, but not solely," Cost explains.

Somatosensory systems are other key sources of sensory input. They are as follows:

interoceptive perception (internal feedback your body sends your brain about how it feels)

the vestibular apparatus (the organ in your inner ear that helps control balance)

Proprioception is the spatial awareness of your body's position and movement.

These body's sensory systems work together to provide a map for your brain, assisting you in navigating, comprehending, and anticipating the world around you.

The input you get from all of these systems is referred to as sensory integration. The input from all of the somatosensory systems sometimes integrates (connects) cohesively. Sometimes, though, they mislead one another.

Postural sway is one of the ways our bodies respond to sensory input, and the degree of it is determined by the integration of our somatosensory systems.

"All of the systems work together to keep us in a state of equilibrium." "The more balance one has, the less postural sway one has," Shipper explains.

"Postural wobble is only noticeable when we have trouble perceiving, interpreting, or regulating our reaction to information — basically, when the muscular system and sensory system are battling to find balance," explains Cost.