- touch through hand or back decreased trunk sway and decreased the effects of muscle vibration and GVS
- GVS led to a large increase in sway
- muscle vibration was only observed as an increase of drift and not of sway
- the stabilizing effect of touch was strong enough to mask any effects of perturbations of vestibular and paraspinal muscle spindle afference
Although this research was performed in healthy adult subjects, perhaps this gives us some suggestions to try with children to help to decrease postural sway in sitting. Is this why sometimes holding a fidget helps a child to sit more upright and stay more alert? Perhaps that child who is constantly slumping to one side could use some tactile input to maintain a more upright posture. Thoughts? Experiences?
Reference: Maaswinkel E | Veeger Hej | Dieen JHv. Interactions of touch feedback with muscle vibration and galvanic vestibular stimulation in the control of trunk posture Available online 19 October 2013 at Gait and Posture