A tremor is an involuntary, rhythmic muscle contraction that causes one or more parts of your body to shake uncontrollably. Tremors can be consistent or intermittent, meaning they stop and start. Tremors may also be sporadic or unrelated to an underlying disorder. They may also occur as a symptom of another condition.
Tremors can develop at any age, although they’re most common in middle-aged or older adults. The problem affects both genders equally. Although tremors aren’t life-threatening, they can be disabling and even embarrassing. They can also be genetic with multiple family members suffering from tremors.
There are two basic types of tremors:
These tremors occur when a muscle is relaxed, and usually affects hands, fingers and jaw & head. Hands affected by resting tremors will shake while resting in your lap, but not when you’re using them. This type of tremor is often seen in people with Parkinson’s disease.
These tremors occur with voluntary muscle movement. An action tremor that affects your vocal cords causes your voice to shake when you speak. An action tremor that affects your arms causes them to shake when your arms are moving.
While most tremors have no known cause, some appear to have a genetic component because they tend to run in families. In general, tremors stem from some type of problem in the deep parts of your brain that control movement and coordination. Your neurlogist will explain this in detail.
Tremors are sometimes a symptom of another neurological problem, such as:
Other potential causes of tremors include:
Tremors cannot be cured, but certain medications can help keep them under control. Beta-blocking drugs, anti-seizure medications,some psychiatry medication, Botox® injections and Deep Brain Stimulation have all proven helpful in controlling moderate-to-severe sporadic tremors. Mild sporadic tremors often don’t require treatment of any kind. But when tremors become in any way disabling , they need to be addressed and treated.
For tremors that are symptomatic of an underlying neurological disorder, treating the disorder itself can often help relieve tremors. If you have Parkinson’s disease, for example, Parkinson’s medications that increase the dopamine in your brain can help relieve related tremors.
After reaching a conclusive diagnosis for your tremors, your physician at The Neurology Group can let you know all your treatment options.