How to control hand tremors

Updated May 10, 2017

A hand tremor, also known as an essential tremor, is a condition that can occur at any age. Your hands can shake when you are writing, tying your shoes or holding a glass. A hand tremor begins slowly and can get worse when you move. The Mayo Clinic states that 14 per cent of people over the age of 65 have hand tremors. There are specific medications and therapies available to control this condition.

First, avoid caffeine and alcohol as these beverages can aggravate hand tremors.

Get at least 8 hours of sleep. By getting enough rest, you can decrease the frequency of hand tremors.

Go to your family doctor and obtain a prescription for a beta blocker, anti-seizure medication, tranquilliser or Botulism toxin type A. According to the Mayo Clinic, beta blockers such as Propanolol are normally used to reduce blood pressure, but they can also be used to reduce hand tremors. Anti-seizure medications such as Gabapentin can decrease hand tremors when beta blockers prove ineffective. Tranquillisers such as Diazepam treat people whose hand tremors are caused by anxiety. Botulism toxin type A can treat your hand tremors for up to 3 months. Discuss with your doctor which treatment is best for you.

Obtain physical or occupational therapy. Physical therapists can help strengthen your muscles and improve your hand coordination. Occupational therapists will make use of wrist weights to help decrease your hand tremors.

Consider deep brain stimulation surgery. According to the Cleveland Clinic, this is a procedure reserved for people whose hand tremors cannot be controlled by a trial of medications. In this procedure, your surgeon will insert a probe into your brain to stimulate that portion causing the tremors. A device is implanted into your chest like a pacemaker to continually send electrical impulses to prevent your hands from shaking. Because this is a surgical procedure involving your brain, risks of paralysis and loss of vision do exist, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Discuss with your surgeon or neurologist to determine whether you can benefit from deep brain stimulation.

Things You'll Need

  • Beta blocker such as Propanolol
  • Anti-seizure medication
  • Tranquilliser such as Diazepam
  • Botulism toxin type A
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About the Author

Lisabetta Divita is a physician whose love for writing flourished while she was exposed to all facets of the medical field during her training. Her writings are currently featured in prominent medical magazines and various online publications. She holds a doctorate in medicine, a master's in biomedicine, and a Bachelor of Science in biology from Boston College.