Hand tremors refer to involuntary shaking of hands. This condition can affect people of all ages and cause a lot of discomfort. It could be a symptom of an underlying medical issue, and it’s important to determine its cause. In this article, we’ll discuss the different types of tremors, their causes, and whether or not they’re serious.
Types of Hand Tremors
There are several types of hand tremors:
- Resting tremor: This type of tremor occurs when the affected hand is at rest.
- Postural tremor: This type of tremor occurs when the hand is being held still or maintaining a position.
- Action tremor: This type of tremor occurs when the hand is being used for a task, such as writing or holding a cup.
Causes of Hand Tremors
Essential tremor is the most common cause of hand tremors, accounting for about half of the cases. It is a neurological condition that usually runs in families. The tremor typically worsens with movement or stress and improves with rest.
Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative disorder of the nervous system that affects movement. It can cause resting tremors that start in one hand and later involve both hands.
Dystonia is a neurological movement disorder that causes muscle contractions and spasms. It can result in abnormal postures that may lead to hand tremors.
Other possible causes of hand tremors include:
- Multiple sclerosis
- Certain medications
- Alcohol abuse
- Brain injury
When Are Hand Tremors Serious?
Hand tremors can be concerning, especially if they interfere with daily activities. However, not all tremors are serious. The severity of the tremor and its effect on daily life are important factors in determining whether or not it requires medical attention.
If the tremor is mild and does not affect daily activities, it may not require treatment. However, if the tremor is severe and affects daily activities, it could be a sign of an underlying medical condition, and medical attention should be sought.
Diagnosis of Hand Tremors
If hand tremors are affecting daily activities, it’s important to seek medical attention. A doctor will perform a physical examination, take a medical history, and may order tests to determine the underlying cause of the tremor. These may include blood tests, imaging tests, or neurological tests.
Treatment of Hand Tremors
Treatment of hand tremors depends on the underlying cause. If the tremor is due to a medical condition, such as Parkinson’s disease or hyperthyroidism, treating that condition may help reduce the tremors. If the tremors are caused by a medication, switching to a different medication may be helpful.
If the tremor is severe and affects daily activities, medications such as beta-blockers, anticonvulsants, or tranquilizers may be prescribed by a doctor. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to treat the underlying cause of the tremor.
Prevention of Hand Tremors
Since hand tremors can be caused by different factors, there is no guaranteed way to prevent them. However, certain lifestyle changes can help mitigate tremors. These include:
- Avoiding caffeine and other stimulants
- Avoiding alcohol and tobacco
- Maintaining a healthy diet and exercise regimen
- Managing stress
Hand tremors can be a sign of an underlying medical condition, and it’s important to seek medical attention if they interfere with daily activities. While not all tremors are serious, it’s important to determine their cause to ensure appropriate treatment. If you’re experiencing hand tremors, please consult a healthcare professional.
- Q: Are hand tremors always a sign of Parkinson’s disease?
- A: No. While resting tremors are one of the primary indicators of Parkinson’s disease, not all hand tremors are due to Parkinson’s.
- Q: Can stress cause hand tremors?
- A: Yes. Stress can worsen tremors in people with essential tremor or Parkinson’s disease.
- Q: Are hand tremors always treatable?
- A: No. The treatment of hand tremors depends on the underlying cause. While some tremors can be treated effectively, others may not be easily manageable.
- American Society of Neuroimaging. “Hand Tremors.” ASNR. [Online]. [Accessed on 12th May 2021]. Available from: https://www.asnr.org/patient-info/conditions-procedures/hand-tremors/
- National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. “Tremor Fact Sheet.” NINDS. [Online]. [Accessed on 12th May 2021]. Available from: https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Tremor-Fact-Sheet
- WebMD. “Tremors Symptoms.” WebMD. [Online]. [Accessed on 12th May 2021]. Available from: https://www.webmd.com/brain/tremors-symptoms-causes-and-treatments#1