Tremor

Tremor in hands

Last Updated February 20th, 2019

Overview of tremor

Neurological disorders are common after a certain age and may arise from the abnormalities in the central and peripheral nervous system. In the recent years, these abnormalities are observed in children and young adults also. These diseases affect both men and women belonging to any ethnic or demographic group. The incidence rates of these diseases are a little high in the low and middle-income countries where the treatment techniques are not so advanced.

Tremor is one such disorder found in both adults and children. It causes involuntary muscular contractions and interferes with the activities of daily life. Nearly 1% of the current global population suffers from tremor and the frequency has recently increased to about 4% in those above the age of 40. It is a very serious neurological disorder and is associated with certain prominent symptoms. The current global burden of the disease is quite high and demands immediate attention.

 

What is a tremor?

Tremor in handsA tremor is a rhythmic involuntary muscular contraction and relaxation, accompanied by oscillations and twitching movements of one or more body parts. It is a very common form of neurological disorder and is felt in the eyes, face, head, arms, hands, trunk, legs and even vocal cords. In most cases, tremor usually occurs in the eyes and hands.

In some people tremor itself is not a disorder. It is rather a manifestation of an existing neurological disorder. A commonly studied type of tremor is teeth chattering, that is induced by strong emotions or by cold temperature. In its milder forms, tremor is self-limiting and manageable. But in the more severe forms, tremor needs medical intervention and may cause some serious systemic impacts.

 

What causes tremor?

Tremor is usually associated with the disorders in the segments of the brain that regulates muscular movements. Some of the clinical conditions that induce tremor are as follows-

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Stroke
  • Brain injury
  • Kidney disease
  • Parkinson’s disease

Some other general causes of tremor are given below-

  • Prescribed drugs like amphetamines, corticosteroids and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors
  • Recreational drugs like cocaine, heroin etc
  • Strong stimulants such as caffeine, narcotics
  • Withdrawal symptoms
  • Toxicity due to mercury poisoning
  • Diseases like Phenylketonuria, Hyperthyroidism, Hypoglycemia and liver failure
  • Lack of sleep
  • Deficiency of vitamins and certain essential minerals
  • Physical or emotional stress
  • Insect bites (Eg: Redback spider of Australia)
  • Anxiety and panic

 

What are the common symptoms of tremor?

Following are the commonly observed signs of tremor-

  • Rhythmic shaking in the hands, legs, arms or trunk
  • Trembling voice
  • Difficulty holding a pen or fork firmly
  • Inability to control the trembling

 

What are the different types of tremor?

Based on the clinical features and the source, tremors are classified into the following types-

Cerebellar tremor: It is a slow tremor of the extremities that take place while trying to carry out a voluntary movement, say pressing a button. Lesions in the cerebellum can cause this type of tremor. These lesions are generally seen in patients having a history of stroke, tumor or some disease (Eg: Multiple sclerosis). Cerebellar tremors worsen with directed movements. A wing-beating tremor also known as “Holmes tremor” is also seen in many cases. The main manifestations of this type of tremor are-

  • Ataxia
  • Speech problems (dysarthria)
  • Rapid involuntary rolling of eyes (nystagmus)
  • Gait problems
  • A tremor of neck and trunk
  • A tremor of the head (titubation)

Dystonic tremor: As the name implies, it occurs in people suffering from Dystonia. It is characterized by involuntary twisting of muscles, repetitive motions, and abnormal postures.

Essential tremor: It is also called “benign essential tremor” and is a very common type. In some cases, the tremor is mild and non-progressive, while in some other cases the tremor progresses gradually. The onset occurs at one side of the body and gradually affects both the sides. The hands are most affected in this type. Some patients may exhibit head tremor, that occurs as horizontal and vertical motion. The main reasons behind essential tremor are- low blood sugar, stress, fever and physical exhaustion.

Orthostatic tremor: Rhythmic muscular contractions occur at a rate of 12 Hz or more. Muscle cramps occur in the legs and thighs.

Parkinson’s tremor: It results from the damage to the parts of the brain that regulate movements. It is mostly characterized by a pin-rolling action of the hands.

Physiological tremor: It occurs due to physical exhaustion, hyperthyroidism, and hypoglycemia.

Psychogenic tremor: It is also known as hysterical tremor. It may occur at rest or during postural and kinetic movements.

Rubral tremor: The red nucleus of the midbrain is affected in this case. It is characterized by a very slow tremor.

Based on the position at which tremor occurs, it can be categorized into the following types-

  • Resting tremor: It occurs at rest and is mostly observed in people with Parkinson’s.
  • Contraction tremors: This takes place during a voluntary contraction, such as a tight first while the arm is supported or at rest.
  • Posture tremors: These are the ones that grow worse with postures.
  • Intention tremors: These are the tremors that take place when an intended movement is made, for example when a patient tries to approach a switch.

 

Diagnosis, treatment, & prevention

Tremor parkinsonsThe following tests are recommended-

  • CT or MRI scan
  • Neurological examination
  • Study of muscle and nerve problems (through electromyogram)

The medications for the different types of tremors are described below-

  • Parkinsonian tremor: Levadopa
  • Essential tremor: Beta-blockers (propranolol)
  • Cerebellar tremor: Benzodiazepine
  • Rubral tremor: Anticholinergic drugs
  • Dystonic tremor: Botulinum toxin
  • Primary Orthostatic tremor: Primidone and Diazepam
  • Enhanced physiological tremor: Beta-blockers

Medications are considered to be an effective way of treating tremors, but they are do not guarantee a 100% suppression of tremors. Many people find taking alcohol (ethanol) to be helpful in keeping tremors away. But this has two major side-effects. Firstly it makes the person addicted to alcohol, and secondly, once the person stops alcohol consumption, the symptoms usually re-appear and with greater intensity. Drugs such as propranolol, metropolol, and nadolol are effective in treating this condition. In extreme cases, Botox (botulinum toxin) may be prescribed (when medicine fail to improve the condition).

Whether tremor can be prevented or not depend upon the causative agent. If the underlying reason is a genetic or neurological condition (Parkinson’s), then no preventive measure will work. But in case of environmental/ occupational reasons for the onset of tremors, safety measures can definitely help. One of the most effective ways is to protect individuals from lead or any other heavy metal poisoning.  This includes monitoring working and living environment being checked for toxicity.

 

 

Facts

  • There can be a neurological cause of bodily tremors such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, or even Parkinson’s disease.

Facts

  • Heavy metal poisoning, alcohol abuse, liver failure, or consumption of corticosteroid drugs might be also the underlying reason.
  • If the tremor exists without any underlying cause or condition, it is called as essential tremor.

Facts

  • Essential tremor is observed in almost 3-4 million Americans.
  • 70% of patients who undergo a Botox surgery for tremors observe significant improvements. But this surgery makes the muscles weak.

Related Conditions

Want to live a healthy lifestyle?

Subscribe to free FactDr newsletters.

REVAMP YOUR

If you're enjoying our website, we promise you'll absolutely love our new posts. Be the first one to get a copy!

Get factually correct, actionable tips delivered straight to your inbox once a week.

I want the latest scoop on :

We hate spam too. We will never share your email address with anyone. If you change your mind later, you can unsubscribe with just one click

By clicking Subscribe, I agree to the FactDr Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of FactDr subscriptions at any time.

 

Dos and Don'ts

Dos
  • If you experience mild shivering due to sudden adrenaline rush, you can opt for jogging that will use up the adrenaline in the body.
  • Many people find deep breathing to be helpful in addressing bodily tremors.
Don'ts
  • Depend solely on medications that too for long-term usage, if you suffer from panic attacks.
  • Treat bodily tremors as a “mild” condition. It could be an indicator of a more severe underlying issue.

 

 

 

Related Conditions

Trending Topics

diverticulitis diet
Diverticulitis diet: The right way to eat if you suffer from the disease Are you suffering from diverticultis but clueless about your diet ? Read this complete plan for diverticulitis diet…
passion fruit juice
Passion fruit: How one exotic fruit can help you fight infections and cancer! Passion fruit: Why does this exotic fruit have such an enticing name? And how can it protect you…
Maltitol: Things you must know about this artificial sweetener Sugar alcohols are produced by fruits and vegetables. Maltitol is an artificially produced sugar alcohol and is used…
Top 6 remedies to treat a razor burn at home Symptoms of razor burn include bumps on the skin, redness, and irritation of the skin. Find easy and…
The science behind daith piercing: Can it really cure migraine? Since the ear has several pressure points, it is believed that daith piercing activates the vagus nerve and…
Chromium Picolinate: An essential mineral supplement for faster weight loss Did you know that about 1.6 million deaths were directly linked to diabetes globally? How is it linked…
maltodextrin sugar
Maltodextrin: What are the hidden health benefits of this food additive? Maltodextrin is one of the few food additives that has been relatively deemed safe. Many experts now have…
The real reason why you shouldn’t be eating ramen noodles Instant ramen noodles might be your go-to snack for your hunger pangs. But with each spoonful you are…
nature health benefits
Green Healing: The amazing health benefits of being in nature You have no idea what sitting in a closed room does to your body and mind.Can a stroll…
CLA: A breakthrough weight loss supplement with minimal side effects Tried every weight loss supplement in the market with no substantial gain? Why not try CLA supplements, derived…
Vitamin K2: 8 reasons why you need this bone-building & cancer-fighting nutrient Vitamin K2 is claimed to be essential for your bone health, for reducing the risk of cancer, and…
BRAT Diet: What is the right way to follow this diarrhea-relieving diet? BRAT diet, a simple diet consisting of just bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast, can help you combat the…
diabetes symptoms in women
FBS Test – Fasting Blood Sugar FBS or fasting blood sugar test is a blood test that is used to determine the level of…
rubella IgG test
Rubella IgG Test The rubella IgG test is a blood test that checks for the rubella virus IgG antibodies present in…
ASTtest-liver
AST- Aspartate Aminotransferase Test AST test is a blood test that is used to measure the level of a particular liver enzyme…
Stye : The best natural home remedies to ease the pain Styes developing inside the eyelid tend to be more painful whereas external styes are less painful and ooze…
ketoacidosis diabetes
HB1Ac Test HB1Ac test is an important blood test that is used to measure the levels of glycated hemoglobin in…
Piaget stages: Do they accurately describe the way the human brain develops?  A common assumption was that children are less competent thinkers as compared to adults, but this was refuted…
Lectin: The common link of proteins between peas and people Lectins are a type of protein that are found majorly in legumes. Most people are find it easy…
Colloidal silver benefits
Colloidal silver: An essential dietary supplement or yet another pharmaceutical hoax? Colloidal silver is hailed as an effective home remedy for infections. Many believe it can treat HIV and…
anti-thyroglobulin antibody
Anti-Thyroglobulin Antibody test Anti-thyrogloubin antibody test measures the level of antibodies that attack the thyroid gland cells and are hence indicative…
occupational hazards types
Occupational Hazards: How to vouch for your health at your workplace Occupational hazards affect millions worldwide. Chemical spills, faulty wires, deadly pathogen, and work-stress can happen anytime. Follow these…
eating disorder anorexia
Eating Disorders: Lifestyle choice or a psychological condition? Is eating disorder just a harmless bad habit? Or does it represent grim psychological disorders? Do you want…
yoga health benefits
How to practice yoga for astounding health benefits Can a 5000-year-old system be the ultimate body healer? Did you know yoga can make you smarter and…
How do neutrophils protect you from fatal bacterial attacks? During an infection, certain enzymes alert the mature neutrophils.  Neutrophils then travel through the bloodstream to the affected…
Juice Plus: Can you really replace actual fruits with pills?  Juice Plus supplements intend to fill nutritional gaps present in our daily diet. But how successful have they…
TBHQ: A carcinogen lingering in your child’s favorite snacks TBHQ - Why you should shun the practice of eating instant noodles or microwave popcorn to get rid…
Chlorella: Therapeutic powers of the billion-year-old algae now within your reach Chlorella - A billion year old nutrient-rich algae that can potentially ward off cancers and high cholesterol; the…
nutritional yeast bread
Nutritional Yeast : How can a fungi culture be good for your body? Nutritional yeast: How a simple culture of fungi can transform your skin, digestion, immunity , and much more.…
low fodmap plan
Troubled with IBS? Here’s a complete roadmap to the low FODMAP diet Leaky & inflammatory gut troubling you? No medicine bringing you relief from the pain? Why not try the…
Tamarind: The top health benefits of this staple Asian ingredient Did you know this sweet and sour pulpy fruit does more than just add a tangy flavor to…
How accurate is the hair follicle drug test? Hair follicle drug test is one of the best ways to identify drug use in professional circles. But…
Poop chart: Top things you didn’t you your poop could reveal about you Bristol poop chart was designed during the 1990s in order to help doctors identify various types of poops…
bilirubin-test-result
Bilirubin Test Bilirubin is a substance produced in the body as a result of red blood cell breakdown. A bilirubin…
Jicama: A fiber-rich tuber for your weight loss goals Pronouced as HEE-kah-ma, Jicama is the "new kid on the block" that has taken the world by the…
Salt dangers
Sodium chloride: The wonders and dangers of the simple table salt Sodium chloride is a salt containing sodium and chlorine ions at a 1:1 ratio. It is edible and…
Silicon Dioxide: How can a component of sand be essential to your wellbeing? Silicon is one of the most abundant elements in the nature. Find out how silicon dioxide can prove…
What is the right way to take a pregnancy test? A pregnancy test is undertaken to determine if you have conceived. A home pregnancy test is the most…
Eustachian Tube : Functions and top home remedies to prevent its infection Pressure equalization, mucus drainage and protecting the middle ear from bacteria and viruses are the three important functions…
lifestyle diseases
The Big 5 lifestyle diseases: How your everyday living might be killing you You'd be shocked to know how unhealthy and potentially fatal your everyday routine could be. Has the modern…
hidden benefits walking
9 benefits of walking we bet you didn’t know! Did you know walking can be the miracle pill for eternal youth? Everyone knows walking is good for…
liver detox facts
7 liver detox facts and why ignoring these could kill you! Are you taking care of this organ that handles over 500 different vital functions in your body? Your…
ashwagandha brain
Ashwagandha: The best-kept secret of Ayurveda now revealed! Ashwagandha literally means "smell of horse". Don't get bogged down by that one tiny detail because this ayurveduic…
Milk Thistle skin
Milk Thistle: Find possible cures for fatal diseases in these purple blooms Milk thistle is well-known for treating liver conditions. However, did you know that it comes with a plethora…
green poop causes
Green poop : What are the reasons and how can you correct it Ever sneak a peek down the toilet only to shockingly find green poop? Why does our poop turn…
waterchestnut
Water Chestnuts: The tastiest ways to include this healthy tuber in your diet Water chestnut is not a nut after all. It is a tuber (much like the potatoes) growing close…
Hydroquinone: Is it the best topical treatment for hyperpigmentation? Darkening of the skin due to high melanin levels is called hyperpigmentation.  Hydroquinone interferes with melanin production thus treating…
Oxalates: How healthy greens can sometimes be bad news for your kidneys Oxalates are compounds present in a majority of healthy foods. However, at times an overconsumption of these could…
Urologist: When should you visit one and why? A urologist can treat not only genitourinary problems of both men and women but also can treat various…
reflexology massage
Top reasons why you should go for a reflexology massage today Reflexology involves the application of pressure to your feet and hands to encourage self-healing. Could this be beneficial…
IGE test
IgE test – Immunoglobulin E IgE or immunoglobulin E test is a test that measures the level of IgE in the blood and…
Helicobacter pylori IGA
Helicobacter Pylori – IgA Test The H.pylori IgA test is a blood test used to identify the level of IgA antigen in the…
sleep deprivation
Don’t let your sleep deficit grow into memory loss or heart attack Why is sleep important for us? How could sleep deprivation harm you? We bet you didn't know about…
kefir bottle
Kefir: Top reasons why this probiotic drink should be consumed by you Yet another remarkable fermented food, kefir is a much healthier version of yogurt. These chewy white grains can…
Jackfruit: Slice your way into higher immunity, better digestion, & more… Native to the South East Asia, the jackfruit is a fruit brimming with thousands of health benefits. Discover…
Pescatarian Diet 101: What are the inherent health advantages of this diet? People opt to become a pescatarian in order to enrich their bodies with the essential health benefits that…
Mood swings
The real reasons for your mood swings and how to overcome them Are you prone to heated moods frequently? Do you also feel bouts of depressive feeling creeping up on…
Bubble Tea: Bubbling with nutrition or a hidden sugar mine? The tapioca pearls present in the tea looks like bubbles and hence the name bubble tea became popular.…
dance health benefits
5 unbelievable effects of dance on your overall health! You enjoy dancing, but did you know what else it does to your body? Dancing is not only…
Cordyceps: How the Caterpillar fungus works as a proven cancer-shield Strange as it may sound, but cordyceps or "caterpillar fungus", a fungus variety native to the Himalayas may…
How chlorophyll is more than just a green pigment meant for photosynthesis Cholorphyll - you must know the usual function of this chemical in plants. But did you know that…
Astaxanthin: Why experts believe it could be 550x more potent than vitamin E! What is astaxanthin and why is this new supplement on the block touted as the most powerful antioxidant…
Is bronchitis contagious? And how to prevent this infection? It is acute bronchitis that is contagious which means you can contract it from another person or you…
Balneotherapy jacuzzi
5 things you didn’t know about balneotherapy and how you can do it at home Sauna baths have been popular since a long time. But how much more beneficial can balneotherapy be as…
Max thalassemia profile
Max thalassemia Profile Max Thalassemia is the most severe form of Thalassemia where a person’s body is unable to produce the…
Pumpkin Seeds: Why pumpkins are more than just for pies! Pumpkins have been long associated with Halloween carvings and delicious pies. But did you know that pumpkin seeds…
vital organ diseases
Common diseases that could cripple your vital organs Brain, heart, kidney, lungs, and liver - these vital organs are indeed vital for your survival. However, these…
chia seeds weight loss
Chia seeds: How to consume this staple Aztec food to get a leaner body Chia seeds: What is the actual reason for its sudden popularity? Why are celebrities swearing by its amazing…
Garlic health benefits cloves
Garlic: Nature’s white pill as an effective home remedy What are the secrets hidden in these tiny white pills? Find out the immense health benefits of using…
Exercises or diet? Find out the healthiest way to gain weight Tired of being called skinny all the time? Looking for healthy ways to beef up? Why not try…
Experts reveal the safest ways to perform an enema at home The idea of pushing some up your rectal area might make you queasy but an enema could actually…
liver cleanse detox
14 go-to foods that are best for a complete natural liver detox Liver cleanse can be achieved by just choosing or avoiding certain types of food. Liver itself is a detoxifying…
Ear pain model
Easy and safe tips for ear wax removal you can do at home Cerumen impaction generally occurs when an external object like cotton swabs are used to remove the ear wax.…
CBC blood test
CBC (Hemogram 6-part diff) blood test CBC (Hemogram 6-part diff) blood test refers to the test that measures the number of RBCs, WBCs, etc…
CT-scan-machine
CT – Computed Tomography Scan CT scan or computed tomography scan is an diagnostic imaging technique where cross-sectional images of body are obtained…
hidden causes obesity
8 hidden causes of obesity you probably didn’t know! Did you know that around 2 billion people worldwide are either overweight or obese? Are you too a…
iron food shellfish
Iron-Rich Foods: Eat these foods to keep fatigue and anemia away! How to ensure a muscles as strong as iron? Eat iron rich foods ! Iron is one of…
Moringa drink
Moringa: This could be the most nutrient-dense food known to us! Moringa is a lush green tree brimming with over 90 essential nutrients required for a healthy mind and…
Trisodium Phosphate: How a paint thinner made its way into your breakfast Ever thought how toxic chemicals find their way into our foods? How can they harm our body? And…
Love tea, hate tannins? Rooibos tea is just what you need The market is brimming with a multitude of herbal teas. But what makes rooibos tea (or red bush)…
How can Kegels help you overcome weak pelvic muscles & incontinence? Kegel exercises are pelvic floor strengthening exercises that can help you overcome incontinence issues that rise out of…
Top natural diuretics: The instant benefits you can get from nature’s water pills Since diuretic drugs are known to cause side effects, it is better to choose a natural diuretic that…
Appendix pain: Recent findings on this not-so vestigial organ The exact function of the appendix is still not clear. Some consider it as an organ that once…
Quinine: How gin and tonic came to be known as a potent health elixir The discovery of quinine-containing tree bark is sometimes considered the most serendipitous medical discovery of the 17th century.
Nipah Virus epidemic
Is shingles contagious? If yes, then how can you prevent this infection? What is shingles? How is different from chicken pox? Do adults get shingles? How contagious is it? Find…
How to scrub away stress and fatigue with an Epsom salt bath? Epsom salt is a popular home remedy for many skin ailments. Though there is a lack of scientific…
Hot cups for detox? Read all about the ancient technique of cupping Did you know inverted hot cups on your back can squeeze out and eject toxins from your body?…
Krill Oil: Does the solution to human illnesses really lie at the depths of the ocean? The word "krill" means “small fry of fish” in Norwegian. They are usually the primary food source of…
Chest X-Ray A chest x-ray is a diagnostic test that uses x-rays to visualize the structures inside your chest. It…
about mediterranean diet
Why you should be adopting a Mediterranean style of diet today Ever wondered why the Mediterranean diet is so healthy? One simple solution to lowering risk of several deadliest…
Panera bread steak arugula
Panera Bread: The truth behind this “healthy” restaurant chain What to order and what to avoid when dining at Panera Bread ? Know more about this popular…
autoimmune diseases facts
Autoimmune Diseases: Find out if your body is attacking you right now Did you know your body can harm itself? What are autoimmune diseases and why does it harm some…
Dragon Fruit – Blessing from Nature’s Basket The dragon fruit is packed with nutrients and yet low on calories and is the dream food that…
improve digestion weight loss
Power up your gut: 8 proven steps on how to improve your digestion Did you know you have a colony of bacteria in your gut that help you in digesting food?…
High Fiber Diet – Fire up your fiber intake for these health benefits! Regular bowels, healthy detox, higher immunity, and guaranteed weight loss - a high fiber diet can bring all…
bananas exercise
10 health reasons why you should go “bananas” over bananas! Bananas:The world's most popular fruit comes with a host of unbelievable health benefits. Find out how you can…
stevia side effects
Stevia: A healthy sugar substitute or yet another risky additive? Stevia is a plant native to South America.  It has been used as a natural sugar substitute and…
The right way to prepare Alfalfa sprouts at home Alfalfa or lusan ghas is not just a nutritious animal fodder. This flavonoid-rich herb has some amazing health…
Muscle relaxers: Think twice before popping prescription drugs for muscle pain The market is brimming with OTC muscle relaxers. But these come with a host side-effects. Find out the…
What to eat, what not to eat in the South Beach Diet? The South Beach Diet is one among the most popular weight loss programs that have been the talk…
Carb Cycling: Weighing the pros vs the cons of this diet routine Completely discarding carbs from your life will do you more harm than good. Read more about carb cycling,…
GERD heartburn
Heartburn: What are the exact symptoms and the best home remedies? There are easy home remedies for heartburn, which not only acts as a first aid when you experience…
The Vegan Diet: The benevolent way of eating that wins hearts (and tummies) The vegan diet involves fauna-friendly outlook towards food. Could the diet that hopes to balance everything based on…
The complete fitness guide on how to perform Tabata This fitness routine is called Tabata workouts, which is named after Dr. Izumi Tabata who developed this intensive…
TRX: Why is this total resistance workout the best choice for your body? TRX or total resistance exercise is a form of exercise where suspension belts are used to produce that…
PiYo (Pilates + Yoga): Bringing you the best of both the worlds PiYo exercise routine was formulated for people who find it tedious and grueling exercise regimens such as extensive…
These are the top foods to increase your hemoglobin count It is important to add iron-rich foods into your diet in order to increase hemoglobin. Deficiency of hemoglobin could…