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This unintentional shaking motion is called a tremor. The hands and forearms are the most commonly affected areas. But the following parts of your body can also be affected:. Essential tremor is a fairly common disorder, affecting approximately 7 million people in the United States. The tremors associated with essential tremor are small, rapid movements.
You may experience them constantly, frequently, or occasionally. Both sides of your body may or may not be equally affected. These tremors are known as action tremors. These are called tremors at rest. Tremors can range from minor to severe.
Tremors can be caused by alcohol abusean overactive thyroidor a stroke. They can also be caused by a variety of neurological conditions. The exact cause of essential tremor is unknown. However, recent research suggests that essential tremor may be triggered by changes in certain areas of the brain, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke NINDS.
As with most medical conditions, research is ongoing. Genetics can also affect risk. With familial tremor, your child has a 50 percent chance of developing essential tremor if you already live with it. Doctors diagnose essential tremor by observing the tremors and by ruling out other causes. Your doctor may perform a physical exam to evaluate your tremors. There are also treatments that may help relieve your symptoms.
You may not need treatment if your symptoms are minor. Your doctor will advise treatment if your symptoms are severe and interfering with your normal activities. Treatment options include:. You can go to physical therapy to improve coordination and muscle control. Botox injections can also be done in your hands to weaken the muscles and minimize or stop shaking. Surgery is performed when other treatments fail to provide relief. Surgical options include deep brain stimulation and stereotactic radiosurgery.
With deep brain stimulation, small electrodes are placed in the area of your brain that controls movement. These electrodes block the nerve als that cause tremors. With stereotactic radiosurgery, high-powered X-rays are pinpointed on a small area of the brain to correct tremors. Many people with essential tremor live normal lives.
The famous actress Katharine Hepburn led a successful career despite essential tremor that affected her head and voice. The severity of your tremors may stay relatively the same or may get worse over time. The tremors might also spread to other areas of your body. However, these associations are still being investigated.
Titubation is a type of involuntary tremor that occurs in the head, neck, and trunk area. Having shaky hands is commonly referred to as a hand tremor.
Shaking can be caused…. Uncoordinated movement may be a of disrupted communication between the brain and body. Learn more about this condition and how to treat it. The symptoms are similar to those of OCD or a tic disorder….
A nerve conduction velocity NCV test is used to assess nerve damage and dysfunction. The terms "stuttering" and "stammering" both refer to the same group of symptoms. Learn more about them, plus helpful resources. Can dermaplaning give you smooth, supple facial skin?
Some say yes. Essential Tremor. Medically reviewed by Heidi Moawad, M. Symptoms Causes Risk factors Diagnosis Treatments Outlook Essential tremor is a brain condition that causes a part of your body to shake uncontrollably. But the following parts of your body can also be affected: head face tongue neck torso In rare cases, tremors can occur in the legs and feet. What are the symptoms of essential tremor? What causes essential tremor? What are the risk factors for essential tremor? How is essential tremor diagnosed? Is essential tremor treatable? Read this next. Medically reviewed by Stacy Sampson, D.
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