What are Trembling Hands?
Trembling or shaky hands is a condition when there is an involuntary movement of the hands. Trembling hands are also referred to as hand tremors.1
Is Trembling Hands a Serious Condition?
Though not life-threatening, trembling hands leads to difficulties in performing daily activities and can be a warning sign of any neurological or degenerative condition.
What are the Causes of Trembling Hands?
The trembling hands can be caused by any neurological condition like multiple sclerosis, stroke, brain injury or Parkinson disease.1 Another most common cause of trembling hands is an essential tremor, which is a most common neurological problem affecting the adults. Trembling hands occurring as a result of essential tremor is caused by disruption in the normal functioning of the cerebellum.
Other health issues causing trembling hands include:
- Alcohol abuse or withdrawal.
- Mercury poisoning.
- A psychiatric condition, such as depression.
- Liver or kidney failure.
Trembling hands or shaky hands also result as a side effect of certain medication, such as asthma, caffeine, corticosteroids, amphetamines, and medicines to treat psychiatric or neurological disorders.
How Can You Treat Trembling Hands?
Most of the trembling hands or hand tremors do not have any cure. Mild trembling in the hands does not require any treatment as they do not affect the activities of the patient. The treatment for trembling in the hands is removing the cause of the condition. Some hand tremors go away as soon as the patient starts receiving the treatment. If trembling in the hands is because of a side effect of any medication, the trembling goes away as soon as the medicines are changed.
If the trembling hands impact the everyday life, then few of the below options help overcome it:
- Lifestyle Changes to Treat Trembling Hands. Trembling of the hands can be reduced if the triggers or the causative factors are removed from the daily routine. Caffeine and amphetamine are known to be the causative agents of hand tremors. Restricting their intake can reduce or completely eliminate the hand tremble.
- Physical Therapy to Treat Trembling Hands. Physical therapy helps in increasing muscle strength and enhances coordination and balance. PT also helps people with trembling hands to perform their daily tasks. An occupational therapist can help with on how to go ahead with the therapy. He would teach the person on how to brace the affected limb during a tremor. An occupational therapist or physical therapist might suggest some coordination balance exercise, which would to be very beneficial for treating trembling in the hands.
- Psychological Techniques to Treat Trembling Hands. Various relaxation techniques, such as meditation and breathing exercises, calm down the anxiety and stress which can be causing trembling in the hands. If the trembling or the shaky hands are because of panic or anxiety these techniques prove to be really very helpful.
- Medications to Treat Trembling Hands. Medications are available to treat the essential tremor, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis, which include beta blockers, anti-anxiety drugs, anti-convulsion drugs, and seizure medications.
- Alternative Treatment for Trembling Hands. If the patient does not respond to the medications, the doctor goes ahead with interventions, such as deep brain stimulation (DBS) to stop the trembling of the hands. In DBS, a small generator is placed under the skin of the upper chest, which sends the signal to the thalamus (a part of the brain which controls the involuntary movements).
Trembling hands worsen with age. Therefore if you experience shaky hands, don’t panic and speak with your doctor. It is always good to detect the cause and find a suitable cure if possible for trembling of the hands.