What is rocking a symptom of (7 possible reasons)

In this article, we will list out what is rocking a symptom of and how it can be treated. 

What is rocking a symptom of?

Here is a list of what rocking is a symptom of:

  • Schizophrenia
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Stereotypic movement disorder
  • Sleep rhythmic movement disorder
  • Vision or hearing problems
  • Trauma
  • Chronic pain in the body

The activity of rocking backward and forwards, or of rocking the body, goes far beyond the domain of mental disorder. The soft rocking of the crib, for example, eases toddlers and infants. In fact, as the body, joint, and muscle pressure escalate with age, relaxation can be sought in the use of rocking chairs. In addition, some species, like elephants, often switch their bodies side-by-side to relieve pain or discomfort.

Although it might sound primitive, rocking causes the brain to release endorphins, a feeling-good compound. Endorphins may also be produced through workouts, scents, some foods, or even music. David Givens, the writer of the Nonverbal Dictionary, claims that rocking, either backward and forth or sideways, “stimulates the vestibular senses,” pointing to areas of the ear canal and mind that control coordination and eye movements. Both sensations are closely related to the portion of the brain that regulates stress and discomfort.

Unusual behavior may be a sign of a range of psychosocial conditions. There are several forms of neurological conditions, but stereotypical gestures or stereotyping is most often found in psychological disorders. Disorders include schizophrenia, autism, OCD, addiction as well as other neurological disorders (frontal lobe lesions, Tourette’s syndrome, Parkinson’s disease) can manifest with irregular or stereotypical movements.


Schizophrenia is a condition that can impair your ability to think rationally, control your thoughts, and communicate with one another. It affects the individuals drastically.

The manner many individuals experience schizophrenia will play an important role as to how schizophrenia influences an individual. It will make life simple or tougher for you to deal with your disease.

Symptoms of schizophrenia

Symptoms of schizophrenia usually involve:

Negative signs 

“Negative” does not mean “poor.” Negative signs are aspects that have been “lost” from your nature, or even how you view life. You can:

  • Don’t think about anything.
  • Don’t have much interest or incentive in doing anything.
  • Don’t take good care of yourself, like not washing or feeding properly.
  • Find it impossible to tell how you felt about it.
  • Be mad with others without no explanation, and respond to others in other negative ways.

Positive signs 

“Positive” does not mean “healthy.” Positive signs are “add” or “different” things to your attitude or how you view life. They shall include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Ideas and expressions are confusing.

Cognitive signs 

These signs have something to do with thinking. They’re just not clear to you or anyone. They may include:

  • Loss in memory.
  • Not really being capable of comprehending situations quite enough to come to a decision.
  • Have difficulty talking to someone.

Individuals with schizophrenia perceive, think and behave in a disorganized manner. Disruption in the usual cycles of brain signaling reorganizes how feelings, sensations, and impulses communicate with each other, triggering the illusion of a very different reality. People can feel non-existent stimuli, experience illusions, and respond in reference to these misleading stimuli. When these hallucinations are exacerbated, a schizophrenic patient can rock back and forth to establish stasis.

Autism spectrum disorder

Rocking is popular in individuals with autism spectrum disorders. An individual with a different developmental condition with a normal rocking pattern may be diagnosed as autistic.

Three primary explanations clarify the development of rocking in the autistic community:

  • Hyposensitivity: The individual rocks back and forth or sidewards to activate an otherwise underneath the activated nervous system.
  • Hypersensitivity: The individual is engaged in rocking to achieve comfort from overstimulation.
  • Endorphins: a human normally rocks to alleviate severe tension.

The existence of other disorders and human causes can also describe rocking as an autism symptom. Rocking is one example of repetitive motion that can be seen in autism, but it’s more than irregular movements are needed for classification. However, this could be a strong symptom of a bigger problem which may proceed to a conversation with the doctor.

Stereotypic movement disorder

Stereotypic movement disorder is a syndrome in which an individual participates in repeated, usually rhythmic, but meaningless motions. In certain cases, gestures can lead to self-injury. In order to be deemed a disease, repeated gestures must occur for at least 4 weeks and should conflict with an individual’s regular everyday work. This condition most often affects children with autism, learning disabilities, or developmental disabilities.

Symptoms of Stereotypic Movement Disorder

The repeated gestures that are normal to this condition include:

  • Rocking up
  • Banging your head 
  • Self-biting
  • Nail bite
  • Self-injury
  • Picking on the skin
  • Hand-shaking or smiling
  • Mouthing for Items

The source of stereotypic movement disorder is not established. Nevertheless, gestures appear to increase when the individual is anxious, irritated, or tired. Any of the factors that have been proven to increase the disease are certain medical disorders, brain trauma, and the use of medications (like cocaine).

Sleep rhythmic movement disorder

Sleep-related rhythmic movement disorder (RMD) involves repetitive gestures. They happen while awake or sleeping. It’s mostly seen in kids. Rhythmic singing or other noises also occur simultaneously with body movements. These noises may be very strong. The infant can rock his whole body on his hands and knees. That can even happen as he shakes his core muscles while leaning back.

Some family and friends can be deeply disturbed by the disturbance. It is common for a family to be worried about this. No instances of significant injuries caused by RMD have been reported. It is necessary for parents to address the behavior of the infant with other guardians or family members.

Episodes frequently occur while the infant is nearly asleep. They can also arise at some time of the night. Sometimes it can also happen during calm tasks while the infant is awake. He or she might be playing music or traveling in a car.

The pace can vary, but intervention is swift. One or two movements occur relatively almost every one or three minutes. The episode would always run for up to 15 minutes. Movement may cease when the infant is interrupted by sound, gesture, or speech.

These acts are typical to normal babies and children. These gestures do not always count as a condition. That is only a disorder if the acts actually affect the child or disrupt the kid’s sleep.

Appropriate Treatment Options

Genetic, psychological, and environmental influences all lead to rocking as well as other stereotypical gestures. Even so, the diagnosis of the underlying medical condition must be taken on a particular circumstance basis. There are many other multiple techniques for the diagnosis and treatment of mental conditions, such as schizophrenia and autism, including medicine, personalized rehabilitation, counseling, and schooling.

Response or actions parents can take

Just bear in mind that head knocking and body rocking are common things that some kids use to help with sleeping. There’s not anything you need to do, because most kids can mature out of this activity by the primary school.

There really is no particular want of additional cushions or bumpers to be mounted in the bed. Often, don’t overlook that by watching your child when doing these things, you will be able to reinforce how such an attention-seeking activity may be. So be sure that you pay your kid a lot of care throughout the day, and neglect this behavior at night.

As long as your children’s protection is involved, please ensure the crib or bed is stable – that all bolts and screws are tested and adjusted on a daily basis. When your children is in bed, placed on a guardrail so that he or she does not fall out of bed. You will want to shift the bed/crib away from a wall in order to reduce the disturbance level at night.

You may need to address everything with your physician if you have a similar condition or feel that there is a risk for harm. Owing to the loud head-banging, there’s also a number of disturbances to the home atmosphere. You feel like your children may have some trouble sleeping, including snoring and sleep apnea. You’re worried about your child’s growth. You’re concerned that your children will have seizures.

Treatment options for individuals with schizophrenia

Medications help your signs, and treatment and care help to improve the way you learn regarding problems and cope with your condition. Treatment can take quite some time.

You are in rehabilitation until the signs are under regulation. Rehabilitation is typically a lifetime process. In the healing process, you learn how to deal with your signs and problems, find and achieve your goals, and get the help you need. Your healing relies on a relationship with you, your physicians, and those who are significant to your success.

In this article, we listed out what is rocking a symptom of and how it can be treated. 

FAQs: What is rocking a symptom of

What does body rocking mean?

Head-banging and body rocking are forms of rhythmic activity dysfunction that typically require a form of excessive stereotypic entire bodies or limb spinning, spinning, or head-banging action. These habits are frequently seen in kids at naptime and bedtime and can recur during the night after waking up.

What is swaying a sign of?

Many people call vertiginous experience ‘wobbly’ or a condition of jumping, wobbling, and lightheadedness. Periods of vértigo can range from seconds, minutes to a few hours, although vértigo may last for weeks. Vertigo is a sign of several different diseases, and it will occur to persons of different ages.

What does rocking do to the brain?

Electroencephalography results revealed that rhythmic rocking motions tended to synchronize those neuronal oscillations, known as sleep oscillations, throughout the thalamocortical networks of the brain—circuits that are essential for sleep and memory formation.

How do you stop body rocking?

You can stop body rocking, head rolling, or headbanging during bedtime by making sure to avoid paying any attention to their behavior, this will only encourage them. Also, ensure to remove all hard surfaces and bedside table from near your child’s bed. Ensure that the bed is way away from the walls too.

Is rocking a sign of ADHD?

In certain cases, persons with ADHD are observed to be overly fidgety, anxious, and “on the go.” They exhibit repetitive activity that is not critical to performance, such as wriggling their feet and hands, tapping items, rocking while sitting, or changing their pose or stance while executing reasonably dull activities.

Is body rocking a sign of autism?

Stimming can be more noticeable in individuals with autism. For eg, it can occur as a full-body rocking backward and forward on, twirling, or wriggling hands. It can go on for extended periods, too. Sometimes, the person has little social knowledge that actions can be harmful to others.





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