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A shake or a tremor can be described as any involuntary out of the ordinary movement of the body usually due to some kind of neurological dysfunction. The most common shakes of this kind are the tremors typically associated with Parkinson’s Disease. The shakes like those that occur from Parkinson’s disease are what are referred to as at rest tremors because they come on for no apparent reason, and not as the result of any specific movement or stimulation. Other types of shakes are called positional or postural tremors. These are the kinds of shakes that occur during a movement of a body part, like when an arm is over stressed from weightlifting and begins to shake, or any body part shakes or quivers in response to certain stimuli, such as fear, cold or sudden loud sound etc.
Most of us occasionally experience a tremor or multiple waves of tremors in various parts of our body. Such tremors can be described as a muscle twitch or barely perceptive shaking/trembling of the body parts such as the finger or the hand. Some people perceive tremors as the difficulty to hold onto objects such as pencils, glasses, and papers. Medically defined, a tremor is a rhythmic muscle movement that produces a back-and-forth motion in a hand or limb. While most tremors occur in the hands, they can also affect vocal cords, legs, facial muscles, as well as head movements…..click & see the videos
In some cases, a tremor may be a symptom of a neurological disorder; however, it also occurs very commonly in healthy people. In some cases, the tendency to exhibit tremors is genetic and may run in families. The severity of tremors may range from mild to moderate. More often that not, tremors are not generally a cause for concern until they begin to interrupt day-to-day activities. In addition, long-term alcoholism as well as sudden alcohol withdrawal may destroy nerve cells that can result in tremors, especially in the hand. Sometimes, a tremor may be caused due to an overactive thyroid gland, and may also be caused due to the use of various prescribed and over-the-counter medications.
Most tremors are felt and experienced by middle-aged people and senior citizens, although anyone may be susceptible to them. In some cases, extreme stress or emotional episodes may cause intermittent tremor symptoms in children, teenagers, as well as young adults. There are more than 20different types of tremors, and each may affect a different area of the body.
Some tremors produce a nodding type of movement; while others may produce a side-to-side type of ‘twitching’ movement. One of the most expressive tremors is the condition that is caused by the Parkinson’s disease. Such tremors are caused by damage to areas within the brain that control movement. Parkinson’s disease causes involuntary muscle contractions that produce twisting motions. The person may also have difficulty in attaining a comfortable posture or position.
Shaking is part of the body’s normal response as a defense mechanism or reaction to certain stimulation. In fact one type of uncontrollable shakes are due to this mechanism. These are so called Physiological Shakes. Physiological Shakes are shaking disorders that would be the result of physiological causes, such as a response to cold, to stress, to fever, or as a reaction to certain drugs.
However most uncontrollable shakes are the result of some kind of neurological, not physical problem. There are well over 20 different types of shakes caused by neurological or nervous disorders. Only a neurologist can properly identify which type you may have, and recommend an apropos treatment plan. Neurological shakes are broken down into several categories including:
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Essential Tremor – Is the shaking of the hands and/or head, that is most often associated with old age. It is a condition whose onset usually occurs over the age of 40. It is believed to be genetic, though no specific gene defect has yet to be identified that causes the condition. However if your parents suffer from essential tremor, there is more than a 50% likelihood that you will as well.
Parkinsonian Tremors – Are those tremors associated with and are often, but not always a precursor to, Parkinson’s Disease. The Parkinsonian tremor is a resting tremor. It is the result of damage to the parts of the brain that control movement. Parkinsonian shakes typically effect the hands, feet, legs, and can also effect the face, chin and lips. Emotional stress increases Parkinsonian shakes.
Cerebellar Tremor – Are shakes that occur upon a targeted movement, such as when reaching ones arm out to press a button. Cerebellar shakes are the result of lesions to the brain. The brain damage to the centers that coordinate body movement is due to congenital defect, disease conditions such as multiple sclerosis, or trauma such as from head injury or stroke.
There are literally dozens of other types of shakes with different causes. Again only a neurologist can properly evaluate the cause for your shaking disorder and recommend treatment options.
Tremors are a symptom of a neurological disorder. They could indicate hyperthyroidism or Parkinson’s disease. Alcoholism or sudden alcohol withdrawal could also result in tremors. If tremors affect the day to day activities, then they require medical assistance.
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, a unit of the United States‘ Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute of Health, is one of the world’s leaders in researching the neurological disorders such as tremors. Today, there is no cure for most types of tremors; however, studies are in progress.
Certain drugs may relieve some tremors, while others may be alleviated through the reduction of caffeine or other stimulants from a person’s diet. For some, physical therapy helps to reduce the severity of tremors and also helps to improve muscle control.
While most tremors are not life threatening, they do cause decreased quality of living skills, and prevent many people from enjoying an active, healthy lifestyle. In addition, such tremors may have a severe effect on the psychological well-being of any person who is experiencing them. For those suffering from unexplained tremors, diagnosis, which includes the identification of the cause as well as suggested treatments may help to provide some relief.
Tremors are one of the most difficult symptoms of MS to treat. To date, there have been no reports of consistently effective drugs to treat tremors. Varying degrees of success have been reported with agents such as the anti-tuberculosis agent, isoniazid (INH); the antihistamines Atarax and Vistaril; the beta-blocker Inderal; the anticonvulsive Mysoline; a diuretic Diamox; and anti-anxiety drugs Buspar and Klonopin.
Psychological Impact of Tremors
Tremors can have a tremendous emotional and social impact on a person. Unfortunately, people with severe tremors tend to isolate themselves to avoid embarrassment. Isolation can lead to depression and further psychological problems. A psychologist or counselor may be able to help a person with MS deal with these issues and become more comfortable in public. Talk to your doctor if you are having trouble coping with tremors.
Regardless of the cause there is no cure for body shakes. However most of the time involuntary shaking can be controlled to varying degrees. For instance treating the underlying cause can control physiological tremors. For the various types of neurological tremors there are many medications available that can reduce the shakes. Different families of drugs are used to treat the different types of tremors. Your doctor will prescribe the best one for you based on your diagnosis. In addition to medications lifestyle changes will be recommended and are often effective in reducing the shakes. Lifestyle changes can include:
*Elimination of caffeine, alcohol, or any other foods that can stimulate the shakes
*Physical therapy to strengthen muscles and enhance muscle control
*Stress management techniques such as deep breathing and yoga
*Finally in some cases of severe shaking there are surgical interventions available that can often curb the severity of the symptoms. These range from finding and excising the areas of the brain responsible for the shakes, to newer techniques that include the implantation of Deep Brain Stimulation devices. Your medical professional can discuss all surgical options that may be applicable to your particular case.
Uncontrollable shakes and tremors are not only embarrassing in social situations. In the most extreme cases shakes can have an extremely debilitating effect on lifestyle. Simple everyday tasks such as pouring a cup of tea can become impossible.
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Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.
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