Tremor is a shaking motion (oscillation). The vibration is felt mostly in the hands and arms which is known as hand tremors. Vibration in the arm often occurs when your hands are in a resting position or when the hand is held in the same position for a more extended period.
Trembling of hands is a very uncomfortable condition, which can cause difficulty in daily activities. Reasons for shaking hands may include nerve disorders, taking drugs, stress, or many other reasons.
Treatment of hand tremor depends mainly on the root causes of your problem. Physical therapy and hand exercises can help stabilize your hands.
Hand Tremors Symptoms
What are the symptoms and signs of hand tremors?
Vibration in hands is considered a symptom of an underlying condition. Symptoms associated with hand tremors depend on the cause of the problem.
Some of the primary symptoms associated with essential tremor are:
- Uncontrollable vibration for a short time.
- Vibrating voice (shaking).
- Shaking head
- Shivering conditions that worsen during emotional stress.
- The vibration that changes further during a purposeful motion.
- The shiver that reduces with rest.
- Balance problems (in rare cases).
- Tremor may be exacerbated by fatigue, caffeine ingestion, or elevated temperatures.
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When should the doctor see?
If you feel a tremor in your hands, see a doctor, which includes the following conditions:
- If it keeps getting worse over time.
- Worst while resting and recovering while doing some work.
- It is accompanied by another syndrome, such as a headache, weakness, abnormally moving tongue, muscle strain, or other movements you cannot control.
- If it is affecting your daily activities.
- The doctor will, first of all, want to make sure that the vibration in the hands is due to some other condition.
Hand Tremors Causes & Risk Factors
What can be the cause and risk factors of hand tremors?
Vibration in the hands is usually caused by problems associated with those areas of the brain that control movement. Many people with Parkinson’s disease experience handshaking, but the primary reason for shaking hands is essential tremor.
Essential vibration is the most common type of tremor. In this, the hand usually moves less, but it moves faster. This happens sometimes when you are trying to do something, such as reaching something or writing something.
The problem of trembling can also be caused by other people in the family. Essential tremor is the most common neurological disorder affecting adults, although it is not yet well understood. Any possible disturbance in the normal function of the cerebellum (a part of the brain) maybe its cause.
Other causes and risk factors can be:
Age – Essential tremor can occur at any age. It is more likely to occur in people over 40 years of age. Your odds increase as you age.
- Toxic substances in the atmosphere
- Have a stroke
- Overactive thyroid gland activities
- Cerebellar disease
- Huntington’s disease
- Side effects of certain types of medicines
- Excess of caffeine (drinking excessive amounts of tea and coffee)
- Excessive drinking or addiction to alcohol
- Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar level)
Prevention of Hand Tremors
How can hand tremor be prevented?
The problem of tremor, which is genetic in origin, cannot be prevented. Some other steps you can use to keep this problem under control, such as:
The state of trembling becomes worse due to stress and anxiety and can be improved by resting. However, you cannot remove all types of stress from your life. However, stressful situations can be changed using some techniques.
These techniques include massage and meditation. Mental stress can be reduced by doing yoga regularly.
Avoid caffeine, as it produces the adrenaline hormone. This hormone can worsen tremor.
Avoid alcohol consumption – It affects the nervous system, which increases essential tremor.
If you work in someplace where you can come in contact with some harmful substances, in this case, take proper precautions to protect yourself from coming into contact with them.
If a medication causes a shivering condition, talk to your doctor to discontinue those medications, or replace them with another medicine. Do not try to change or stop medications on your own without asking a doctor. Stay fit and maintains a healthy weight.?
Diagnosis of Hand Tremors
How is hand tremor tested/diagnosed?
During the test, the doctor performs a physical examination, which includes brain and nervous system testing. The doctor may also ask you few questions to find out the cause of tremor in hands, such as:
Do you feel any other symptoms?
Are you taking any medicine?
Previous information related to the health of you and your family.
The mild vibration of the hands is not caused by any other condition, and usually, it does not require any special treatment. The doctor may keep an eye on you for a few days to ensure that the situation is not changing at all.
If doctors feel that tremor has developed as a symptom of a situation such as Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis, then the doctor may refer you to specialists for other tests.
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There are no medical tests to detect essential tremor. To test this, other conditions are examined, which can cause these symptoms. To do this, your doctor may suggest having the following tests done:?
In this test, doctors survey the functions of your nervous system; this includes the following tests:
- Tendon reflexes
- Muscle strength and tone
- Ability to feel certain types of sensations
- Posture and coordination
Along with this, instructions can also be given to get the following tests done:
- Blood tests like CBC, blood differential, thyroid function test, and glucose test
- EMG or nerve conduction study are used to examine muscles and nerves.
- Head CT scan
- MRI scan of the head
- Urine test
- Performance tests
- To evaluate the vibration yourself, the doctor may ask you to:
- Spread arms and keep in the same posture
- To write
- Drawing a circle
If your doctor is still not sure whether you have an essential tremor or Parkinson’s disease. In such a situation, the doctor can instruct to have a dopamine transporter scan. This scan can tell the difference between these two types of vibration conditions.?
Hand Tremors Treatment
How is tremor treated?
Not every person with a tremor problem needs to undergo treatment. If the doctor feels you need treatment, treatment is first started with medications.
Medications usually prescribed by a doctor
The most commonly prescribed medications for tremor or essential tremor are:
- Long-acting propranolol
Propranolol is a beta-blocker designed to treat hypertension (Arrhythmia). Whereas premed is a medicine to prevent epilepsy and seizures etc.
Other Beta-Blocker Drugs:
Sotalol and Atenolol are also beta-blocker drugs that can be used in the treatment of essential tremor. If any other medicine cannot help in the problem of tremor, then doctors prescribe these medicines.
Other Antiseizure Medications:
Gabapentin and topiramate are also drugs that are mainly used to treat seizures. These drugs can be beneficial for people suffering from essential tremor.
Alprazolam medicines are used to treat anxiety and panic disorders etc. They are also very effective in treating essential tremor. This medicine should be taken very carefully because it is also known as those drugs, which are used.
Botulinum or botulinum toxin type A is a reliable drug for the treatment of essential tremor in hands. Where this medicine is injected, the medication makes the muscles permanently weak.
So talk to the doctor to be entirely sure about its potential dangers and benefits. An injection of this provides benefits for up to 3 months, later more vaccinations may be required.
Surgery is unlikely to be recommended by doctors as an alternative to earlier treatment. Surgical procedures are only for those who have a shivering problem that makes them severely disabled. Depending on your age or if the tremor problem has become worse, surgery may also become an option.
Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS)
This is a surgical procedure used to treat tremors. During the in-depth brain stimulation process, surgeons insert an electrode into the brain called electrodes. When this device reaches the brain, it emits an electronic signal.
These signals interfere with the activities of the brain responsible for developing a tremor. At present, this process is done only for those people, in whose hands the problem of vibration has become severe.
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Thalamotomy is also another surgical option. During this procedure, surgeons make a small incision in the thalamus part of your brain. This disrupts the regular electrical activity of the brain, causing the vibration to stop or decrease.
To help reduce the symptoms of essential tremor, doctors may suggest you change your lifestyle. Suggestions may include the following:
Use heavy objects
Your doctor may ask you to use heavy objects instead of light and fragile items.
Reducing or stopping substances that increase the problem of tremors – such as reducing caffeine or other types of drugs (Stimulants), etc. can improve the tremor problem.
However, small amounts of alcohol improve the tremor problem in some people. As the alcohol effect diminishes, the vibration problem returns to its position.?
What to avoid during Hand Tremors?
What should be avoided in the problem of tremors in hands?
?To keep its symptoms under control, avoid eating the following foods:
- Caffeinated drinks (tea, coffee, energy drink, soft drink)
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Food that has high sugar content
What to eat during Hand Tremors?
People who have a vibration problem find that they are losing weight. They consume high amounts of calories to maintain weight so that the issue of weight loss can be avoided.
Weight loss can also be due to loss of appetite or feeling difficulty in eating or swallowing. It may also be that your body is not able to absorb nutrients efficiently or that you are using extra energy to combat the symptoms of tremors.
Therefore, a well-balanced diet is necessary for those who have a tremor in their hands. Including:
- Citrus fruit
- Green leafy vegetables
- Milk products
- Nuts (almonds, betel nuts, etc.)
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