Tremors

A tremor is an involuntary, somewhat rhythmic, muscle contraction and relaxation involving oscillations or twitching movements of one or more body parts. It is the most common of all involuntary movements and can affect the hands, arms, eyes, face, head, vocal folds, trunk, and legs. Most tremors occur in the hands. In some people, a tremor is a symptom of another neurological disorder. A very common tremor is the teeth chattering, usually induced by cold temperatures or by fear.

  • Essential tremor: An essential tremor is a nervous system (neurological) disorder that causes involuntary and rhythmic shaking. It can affect almost any part of your body, but the trembling occurs most often in your hands — especially when you do simple tasks, such as drinking from a glass or tying shoelaces.
  • Dystonic tremor: Dystonic tremor occurs in people who are affected by dystonia— a movement disorder where incorrect messages from the brain cause muscles to be overactive, resulting in abnormal postures or sustained, unwanted movements. Dystonic tremor usually appears in young or middle-aged adults and can affect any muscle in the body.
  • Myoclonic tremor: Myoclonus refers to sudden, brief involuntary twitching or jerking of a muscle or group of muscles.  It describes a clinical sign and is not itself a disease.  The twitching cannot be stopped or controlled by the person experiencing it.
  • Functional tremor: In functional tremor there is uncontrollable shaking of part of the body usually an arm or a leg. This is due to the nervous system not working properly but not due to an underlying neurological disease.

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