FROM OUR EXPERTS
Tremor, or uncontrolled shaking, is a highly disabling symptom of multiple sclerosis which is often associated with a more advanced disease course. Tremor, an involuntary, rhythmic, muscle movement caused by repetitive contraction and relaxation of paired muscle groups, has long been recognized as a feature of MS. The French neurologist Dr. Jean-Martin Charcot (1825-1893) categorized it with nystagmus and scanning speech (Rascol, 1982).
A study published in the open-access journal Tremor and Other Hyperkinetic Movements reviewed recent advancements in the understanding of tremors in MS. The review explores the prevalence and clinical features of tremors in MS, including physical cause of tremors, and treatment methods, including surgery and/or prescription medications.
Reviewers searched MEDLINE with the terms “multiple sclerosis” and “tremor,” published between January 1966 and May 2012. My own search revealed articles dati...
May be occasional (sporadic), temporary (episodic) or occurring at intervals (intermittent)
May affect the head, hands, arms, eyelids, or other muscles
May not affect both sides of the body equally
A shaking or quivering sound to voice
Tremors that worsen with voluntary movement or emotional stress
Tremors that disappear during sleep
Signs and tests
Tests depend on the suspected cause of the tremor. However, a neurologic examination should be conducted in most cases.
Tremor - hand; Hand tremor; Tremor - arms; Kinetic tremor; Intention tremor; Postural tremor
For tremors caused by stress, try relaxation techniques like meditation, deep relaxation, or breathing exercises. For tremors of any cause, avoid caffeine and get enough sleep.
For tremors caused by a medication, talk to your doctor about stopping the drug, reducing the dosage, or switching medications. Do NOT change or stop medications on your own.
For tremors caused by alcohol abuse, seek treatment and support to help you avoid alcohol.
Severe tremors may interfere with your ability to perform daily activities. You may need assistance with these activities. Take precautions to avoid injury during activities such as walking or eating.
Assistive devices may help with everyday activities, including:
Buying clothes with Velcro fasteners, using button hooks
Cooking or eating with utensils that have a larger handle
You should know
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