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What are the causes of hand trembling?

Updated February 21, 2017

Hand trembling is the involuntary shaking of the fingers and hands. Trembling of any part of the body is also known as having a tremor, though hand trembling is one of the most common types of tremors. Tremors of the hands can occur as a result of many different factors, and often become a recurring problem.

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Hand trembling can sometimes be caused by strong emotions and psychological factors. High levels of stress and anxiety or feeling very nervous or embarrassed can lead to hand trembling. Experiencing excitement and anger may also cause the hands to tremble. Unlike many other causes of hand trembling, mood oriented causes can often affect normally healthy people.

Neurological Issues

Several neurological conditions can lead to frequent and recurring hand trembling. Multiple sclerosis or any event that causes injury to the brain, such as blunt trauma or a stroke can also lead to hand trembling. When the nerves or brain become damaged, they can lose the ability to properly control the body. This can cause tremors when a person attempts to use their hands.

Drug use

Many different types of drugs can lead to hand trembling. Consuming too much caffeine is a common cause of mild hand trembling. Some people can experience trembling as the result of alcohol consumption. Trembling can sometimes be caused by withdrawal from drug use as well.

Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson's disease is perhaps the most well known disorder associated with tremors. Tremors from Parkinson's disease often affect the hands, but can also impact the entire body. Parkinson's disease is characterised by a loss of motor control, which usually increases in severity over time.


One of the primary risk factors for developing tremors is age. Many of the causes of tremors, such as neurological disorders increase in likelihood as a person ages. Events which impact the head and brain early in life can also have an effect on the likelihood of developing tremors later in life. For example, people that experience head injuries earlier in life are far more likely to develop Parkinson's Disease.

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About the Author

Gregory Hamel

Gregory Hamel has been a writer since September 2008 and has also authored three novels. He has a Bachelor of Arts in economics from St. Olaf College. Hamel maintains a blog focused on massive open online courses and computer programming.

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