Tremors are a type of involuntary movement that can affect different parts of the body, such as the hands, arms, legs, head, or voice.
They are characterized by rhythmic shaking or trembling and can range from mild to severe. Tremors can be caused by a variety of factors, including neurological disorders, medication side effects, alcohol withdrawal, or stress.
Tremors can be classified based on their frequency and amplitude. Frequency refers to the number of tremors per second, while amplitude refers to the extent of the movement.
Some common types of tremors include essential tremors, Parkinson’s disease tremors, cerebellar tremors, dystonic tremors, and psychogenic tremors.
Tremors can have a significant impact on an individual’s quality of life. Seeking medical attention is important to determine the cause and appropriate treatment for this condition.
Types Of Tremors:
Tremors are characterized by rhythmic shaking or trembling and can range from mild to severe.
Tremors can be caused by a variety of factors, including neurological disorders, medication side effects, alcohol withdrawal, or stress. Here are the common types of tremors:
Essential tremors are the most common type of tremors and are often hereditary. They typically affect the hands, head, and voice, and can worsen with movement.
Essential tremors usually start in early adulthood or later and may become more noticeable with age. The severity of essential tremors can vary greatly from person to person and can be triggered by stress or anxiety.
Parkinson’s disease tremors:
Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative disorder that affects the nervous system. The tremors associated with Parkinson’s disease typically occur at rest and can affect the hands, legs, and face.
Parkinson’s disease tremors are often accompanied by other symptoms such as rigidity, bradykinesia (slowness of movement), and postural instability.
Cerebellar tremors are caused by damage to the cerebellum, which is part of the brain responsible for coordinating movement.
Cerebellar tremors can affect the arms and legs and may worsen with movement. They are often associated with ataxia, which is a lack of muscle coordination and can affect balance and speech.
Dystonia is a neurological disorder that causes involuntary muscle contractions. Dystonic tremors typically affect the head and neck and may be worsened by stress. Other types of dystonic tremors can affect the arms, legs, or trunk.
Psychogenic tremors are caused by psychological factors such as anxiety, stress, or trauma. Psychogenic tremors can affect any part of the body and may be worsened by emotional stress.
Unlike other types of tremors, psychogenic tremors may disappear when the person is distracted or engaged in a task.
Orthostatic tremors are a rare type of tremors that occur when standing still. The tremors usually affect the legs and can cause a feeling of unsteadiness or unbalance.
Walking or sitting can alleviate the tremors in some cases.
Holmes tremor is a rare type of tremor that occurs after a lesion or injury to certain parts of the brain.
The tremors are characterized by slow, low-frequency movements that may affect the arm or leg on one side of the body.
Physiologic tremors are a normal response to certain stimuli such as anxiety, fatigue, or caffeine intake. They usually affect the hands and can be barely noticeable.
Physiologic tremors are not a cause for concern unless they interfere with daily activities.
Task-specific tremors occur during specific activities such as writing or holding a tool. These tremors are usually benign and do not progress to other types of tremors.
Causes of Tremors:
Tremors can be caused by a variety of factors, including neurological disorders, medication side effects, alcohol withdrawal, or stress. Here are the common causes of tremors:
Essential tremors are the most common type of tremors and often have a genetic component. A patient has a family history of tremors or Parkinson’s disease.
Nervous system disorder:
Sometimes a patient has a history of a disorder of the cerebellum that controls movement coordination.
The loss of dopamine-producing cells in the brain induces Parkinson’s disease. Dystonia is caused due to involuntary muscle contractions.
Certain medications can cause tremors as a side effect. These include stimulants, antidepressants, and drugs used to treat Parkinson’s disease.
The tremors caused by medication are usually temporary and will stop once the medication is discontinued.
Alcohol withdrawal can cause tremors in heavy drinkers. The tremors usually start 6 to 24 hours after the last drink and can last for several days.
Alcohol withdrawal tremors are usually accompanied by other symptoms such as sweating, anxiety, and insomnia.
Stress and anxiety:
These tremors are usually temporary and will stop once the stressor is removed or the anxiety is treated. Psychogenic tremors are tremors caused by psychological factors and can affect any part of the body.
This is thyroid gland disease where the gland produces thyroid hormone in excess. The tremors caused by hyperthyroidism usually affect the hands and may be worsened by stress or anxiety.
Symptoms of Tremors:
The symptoms of tremors may vary depending on the underlying cause and the severity of the tremors. Here are some common symptoms of tremors:
Shaking or trembling:
The most common symptom of tremors is shaking or trembling of a part of the body, such as the hands, arms, legs, head, or voice.
The shaking can range from mild to severe, and it may be more noticeable when the person is resting or holding an object.
Difficulty with fine motor skills:
Tremors can make it difficult to perform fine motor skills, such as writing, drawing, or holding utensils.
The tremors can make it hard to maintain a steady hand, which can affect the person’s ability to perform daily activities.
It can be exhausting and can cause fatigue due to constant muscle activity. The fatigue can be more pronounced if the person is experiencing severe tremors or if the tremors are affecting multiple parts of the body.
Loss of balance:
If the tremors are affecting the legs or trunk, the person may experience a loss of balance or coordination. This can make it difficult to walk or perform activities that require balance.
Tremors affecting the vocal cords or muscles used for speaking can cause a shaky or quivering voice. This can make it difficult to communicate effectively, especially in social or professional situations.
Worsening with stress or anxiety:
Tremors can be worsened by stress, anxiety, or excitement. This can make it difficult to manage the tremors in high-stress situations and may lead to increased anxiety or social isolation.
Uncontrollable shaking during sleep:
In some cases, tremors may occur during sleep and cause the person to wake up with uncontrollable shaking or jerking movements.
Here are some common risk factors associated with tremors:
Tremors are more common in older adults, and the risk increases with age. As the body ages, the nervous system can become less stable, which can increase the likelihood of developing tremors.
Tremors may have a genetic component, and a family history of tremors may increase the likelihood of developing tremors. Some types of tremors, such as essential tremors, are known to run in families.
Certain types of tremors, such as essential tremors, are more common in women. Other types of tremors, such as Parkinson’s disease tremors, affect men more frequently than women.
Certain medical conditions:
Certain medical conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, or stroke, may increase the likelihood of developing tremors.
Additionally, some medications used to treat these conditions may also cause tremors as a side effect.:
Substance abuse, particularly alcohol abuse, can lead to tremors. These tremors are often temporary and may go away once the substance use is discontinued.
Exposure to toxins:
Exposure to certain toxins, such as heavy metals or pesticides, may increase the likelihood of developing tremors. In some cases, tremors may be a symptom of poisoning from these substances.
Stress and anxiety:
Stress and anxiety may exacerbate tremors or trigger them in some people. Additionally, the anxiety and social isolation associated with tremors can contribute to increased stress levels.
It’s important to note that having one or more of these risk factors does not necessarily mean that a person will develop tremors.
Many people with these risk factors never develop tremors, while others may develop tremors without any known risk factors.
If you are experiencing tremors or are concerned about your risk of developing them, it’s important to speak with your healthcare provider for an evaluation and appropriate management.
The diagnosis of tremors can be challenging, as there are many possible causes of tremors, and symptoms may overlap between different types of tremors.
The diagnosis of tremors typically involves a thorough medical history and physical examination, as well as additional tests or imaging studies as needed. Here are some common methods used to diagnose tremors:
A healthcare provider will typically begin by taking a detailed medical history, including information about the onset and progression of the tremors, any related symptoms or medical conditions, family history, and medication use. This information can help identify potential causes of the tremors.
A physical examination may be performed to assess the severity and location of the tremors.
The healthcare provider may observe the tremors during rest and during specific tasks, such as holding an object or reaching for an object.
A neurological examination may be performed to assess the functioning of the nervous system. This may include testing reflexes, muscle strength, and coordination.
Diagnostic tests Additional tests may be ordered to help diagnose the underlying cause of the tremors.
Blood tests, imaging studies, or other diagnostic tests may be ordered based on the suspected cause of the tremors.
For example, if the healthcare provider suspects Parkinson’s disease, a dopamine transporter (DAT) scan or other imaging studies may be ordered.
Electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction studies:
EMG and nerve conduction studies may be performed to evaluate the electrical activity of the muscles and nerves. This can help identify nerve damage or other neurological conditions that may be causing the tremors.
Trial of medication:
In some cases, a trial of medication may be used to help diagnose the type of tremors. For example, if the healthcare provider suspects essential tremors, a trial of beta-blockers or other medications may be prescribed to see if the tremors improve.
Overall, the diagnosis of tremors can be complex, and it may require a multidisciplinary approach involving a healthcare provider, neurologist, and other specialists as needed.
Early diagnosis and appropriate management are important for improving quality of life and preventing complications associated with tremors.
Treatment and Management of Tremors:
The treatment and management of tremors depend on the underlying cause of the tremors, the severity of the symptoms, and the impact on daily functioning.
Here are some common methods used to treat and manage tremors:
Medications may be prescribed to help manage tremors, depending on the type and cause of the tremors.
For example, beta-blockers, anticonvulsants, and antipsychotics may be used to manage essential tremors, while levodopa and dopamine agonists may be used to manage tremors associated with Parkinson’s disease.
Occupational therapy can help individuals with tremors develop strategies to manage tremors and improve daily functioning.
This may include exercises to improve coordination and fine motor skills, as well as the use of adaptive devices and modifications to the home or workplace.
Speech therapy may be recommended for individuals with tremors that affect speech or swallowing. This can help improve communication and reduce the risk of complications, such as aspiration.
Deep brain stimulation (DBS):
DBS is a surgical procedure that involves implanting electrodes in the brain and connecting them to a pacemaker-like device that can help manage tremors.
This procedure is typically reserved for individuals with severe tremors that do not respond to other treatments.
Certain lifestyle modifications may help manage tremors, such as reducing stress, avoiding caffeine and other stimulants, and getting enough sleep.
In some cases, modifications to the diet or exercise routine may also be helpful.
Support groups and counseling:
Living with tremors can be challenging, and support groups and counseling can be helpful in managing the emotional and social impact of tremors.
This can help individuals with tremors connect with others who share similar experiences and develop coping strategies to improve their quality of life.
It’s important for individuals with tremors to work closely with their healthcare provider to develop an individualized treatment plan that meets their unique needs and goals.
Homeopathy Remedies for Tremors:
Homeopathy treatment is helpful in the treatment of tremors as well as to improve the quality of life in tremor patients.
Prescription of homeopathy remedy depends on the causes of tremors, physical examination, personal history, and family history of a patient.
Homeopathy is based on individuality. Every person is different, likewise, every tremor patient may require individual homeopathy remedies.
Proper case history is important to decide the homeopathy treatment of a specific patient.
Here are some homeopathy remedies:
1.Absinthium: Useful for tremors and chorea associated with cerebral irritation.
This is a good remedy for tremors and chorea associated with cerebral irritation, hysterical, and infantile spasms.
Dose and Potency: Absinthium 12 C, 4 globules 2 times a day for 8-10 days.
2. Agaricus: Indicates jerking, twitching, trembling, and tremors.
This is a remedy for neuralgic pain with locomotor ataxia. A patient complains of trembling with paralytic pain.
Dose and Potency: Agaricus 30, 4 globules 2 times a day for 8-10 days.
3. Arg nit: It is useful for hand tremors, especially for writers.
This is a great remedy for debility and trembling of extremities. A patient walks and stands unsteadily. A Patient complains of trembling hands associated with numbness of upper extremities.
Dose and Potency: Argentum Nitricum 30, 4 globules 2 times a day for 8 days.
4. Ant tart: Useful for trembling of hands associated with weakness.
This is a good remedy for trembling hands with spasms. A patient complains of twitching of muscles and tremors in his hands.
Dose and Potency: Ant Tart 30, 4 globules 3 times a day for 4 days.
5. Cocculus: Useful for tremors of the head and jaw after exertion.
This is a great help for tremors in the head and jaw after excitement, pain, and aftereffects of physical exertion. A patient has a history of emotional stress, physical stress, and loss of sleep.
Dose and Potency: Cocculus 200, 4 globules at night for 3 days a week.
6. Gelsemium: Tremors of single facial muscle.
This is indicated by twitching or tremors of a single muscle of the face like the chin, face, tongue, etc. after exposure to extreme heat and summer. It is useful for acute cases of tremors.
Dose and Potency: Gelsemium 30, 4 globules, 2 times a day for 5 days in summer.
7. Hyoscyamus: Indicated for tremors in hands and legs associated with convulsion history.
This is a great remedy for single-muscle twitching from head to toe. A patient has a history of epileptic attacks and convulsions. Symptoms aggravate in the evening.
Dose and Potency: Hyoscyamus 200, 4 globules at night 2 times a week for 4 weeks.
8. Ignatia: Useful for tremors in hands while writing in presence of other people.
It is a great remedy for tremors and chorea associated with nervous affection. A patient has a history of the effects of grief and worry.
A patient suffers from spasmodic effects like chorea, twitching, and tremors of a single muscle.
Dose and Potency: Ignatia 1M, 4 globules at night, once a week for 4 weeks.
9. Phosphorus: Useful for weakness and tremors of hands after exertion.
This remedy is useful for acute tremors and weakness in the hands and lower limbs after physical exertion. A patient cannot stand still, and staggers while walking especially after rising from the bed.
Dose and Potency: Phosphorus 30, 4 globules 2 times a day for 4-5 days.
10. Stramonium: Useful for tremors in drunkards.
This is a remedy for tremors, twitching of tendons, and staggering gait, especially in an alcoholic person. A patient complains of spasm and chorea which changes places constantly in different body parts.
Dose and Potency: Stramonium 200, 4 globules, 3 times a week for 4 weeks.