What does it mean when old people’s hands shake?

What is that one thing you almost instantly associate with old age? Bingo! It’s shaky hands. It’s common knowledge that older folks are prone to having shaky hands, but have you ever wondered what causes them or if there’s a way to reverse it? Well, grab your walking cane and let’s go on a scientific journey together because it turns out- the answer is not as simple as “old age”.

Age Matters

It goes without saying that as we grow older, our bodies change too. Just like an antique clock ticking away its final hours, old age comes with various challenges that manifest physically in different ways. One of these physical changes includes tremors or shaky hands which become more common over time.

However, just because somebody has been around the block doesn’t mean their shaky hand issue should be brushed off casually – the shaking could even signify underlying medical conditions.

Medical Conditions Can Cause Shaking

Sometimes trembling can crop up due to some underlying health issues:

Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease results from the slow degeneration of brain cells responsible for producing dopamine [1]. Without this neurotransmitter essential for relaying messages within the body’s nervous system, muscle movements become impaired resulting in involuntary shakes. If left untreated, Parkinsonism can advance quickly.

Essential Tremor

Essential Tremor (ET) is another neurological disorder resulting in tremors usually occurring during movement [2]. Many individuals who show symptoms experience shakiness while performing basic everyday activities such as brushing teeth

How Are Hand Tremors Triggered?

So how do people end up developing these annoying shakes in their golden years?

Well old times used equate it to drinking too much coffee whereas others believed exercising excessively was equally responsible for making one shake worse than a wet dogBut modern-day medicine theories believe genetics play a major role in developing this condition, while some doctors are divided on what triggers Other age-related disorders like kidney or Even stress and anxiety can exacerbate symptoms of shaky hands. If you’re still unsure what could be causing your tremors? The best approach is to visit a doctor.

Types Of Essential Tremor

As mentioned earlier essential tremors (ET) refer to uncontrollable shaking that occurs when an individual attempts movement. Here we highlight two distinct types:


Kinetic ET happens during any voluntary movement such as holding objects or gesturing with hand – the more advanced disease gets the worsened sharpness, speed and amplitude becomes. For example , if somebody tries pouring drinking from mug who has been living Parkinson until for long years will find it difficult without spilling over


Postural ET is less severe than kinetic kind them but manifests when motions would generally put pressure on certain body parts – think porters carrying heavy bags of luggage about A typical scenario might be pressing palms firmly against a surface such as a floor or table [3].

How To Treat Hand Tremors Due To Old Age?

Treatment for shaky hands effectively depends on its root cause Options suggested by healthcare professionals include:


Medications such as L-dopa and carbidopa may improve hand steadiness resulting from nervous system dysfunctions like Parkinson’s.

Botulinum toxin Type A injections (Botox)

If you’ve ever heard someone say “I need Botox!” they probably weren’t talking about their hands — but however peculiar it may seem, botox can provide relief from bothersome shaking!

Deep Brain Stimulation

Deep brain stimulation works via electrical activity within the brain itself relieving visible shakiness.

But no matter how old one gets, It’s evident that regardless whether its consistent worries due hereditary aspects,iItchy allergies crossing the fingers while tying shoe laces or even unmixed cake batter- shaky hands can make everyday tasks a bit of a hassle.
But don’t worry; With medical advancement, there are plenty of exciting treatments to cater for it.

  • And here’s hoping something will work!

[1] Parkinson’s disease and Essential Tremor: Still Unmet Medical Needs – PubMed (nih.gov)

[2] Essential Tremor Symptoms & Causes | Boston Children’s Hospital

[3] Types of tremors / International Parkinson Foundation August 2021 Update

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