All you need to know about essential tremors

Essential tremor is a neurological condition that is often compared to Parkinson’s disease. Any involuntary, rhythmic muscle contraction that results in shaking of the hands mainly, or sometimes even other parts of the body is considered a tremor. The following are some common signs of essential tremors.

  • A rhythmic shaking of arms, hands, legs, head, vocal chords or torso
  • A difficulty with eating and drinking, and/or using the hands for any activity
  • Shaky voice
  • Unsteady gait and imbalance while standing or walking
  • Severe shaking set in motion with certain movements or in direct proportion to increasing stress

Essential tremors are quite common and are a condition that can only be managed and not completely curable. Directly proportional to the increase in the use of the muscles that are affected, essential tremors can be noticed when a person has difficulty drinking from a glass, eating with their hands, when they try to hold and control the use of a pen, or any tool or instrument in their hands, or when they raise their hands upwards or stretch them away from the body while doing everyday chores like combing the hair, doing exercises, and so on. Occasionally, but not often, even the way the person moves or walks is affected. Essential tremors can affect anyone, irrespective of age, gender or occupation and can either be a sporadic occurrence or a continuous shaky movement. And, although the connection between essential tremors’ signs and other neurological conditions is not clear, one may lead to the other, especially in the cases of Parkinson’s and migraines.

The most complex organ in the human body, the brain is affected in the person showing signs of essential tremors, and thus, their movements are not under their control. Heredity factors are seemingly the currently known main cause of essential tremors. Moreover, injury to the brain, excessive alcohol consumption, certain neurodegenerative diseases, stroke, and extreme physical and mental stress are some other factors that could cause essential tremors. While it may remain stable and mild for many years, essential tremors could also advance rapidly in some people. While essential tremors are not deadly on their own, they can be risky if the affected person falls or injures themselves due to the involuntary muscle movements that they have no control over. Hence, if the condition escalates, it is best for the person affected to be under supervision and protection of a caregiver.

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