Tremors are unintentional trembling or shaking movements in one or more parts of your body. Most tremors occur in the hands. You can also have arm, head, face, vocal cord, trunk, and leg tremors. Tremors are most common in middle-aged and older people, but anyone can have them.
The cause of tremors is a problem in the parts of the brain that control muscles in the body or in specific parts of the body, such as the hands. They commonly occur in otherwise healthy people. They may also be caused by problems such as
- Parkinson's disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Traumatic brain injury
- Alcohol abuse and withdrawal
- Certain medicines
Some forms are inherited and run in families. Others have no known cause.
There is no cure for most tremors. Treatment to relieve them depends on their cause. In many cases, medicines and sometimes surgical procedures can reduce or stop tremors and improve muscle control. Tremors are not life threatening. However, they can be embarrassing and make it hard to perform daily tasks.
NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
- Essential Tremor (American Academy of Family Physicians) Available in Spanish
- Essential Tremor (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Essential Tremor (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke) - Short Summary
- Tremor (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke) Available in Spanish
- Tremor (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke) - Short Summary
- Tremor (Beyond the Basics) (UpToDate)
- Essential Tremor (ET): Coping Tips for Everyday Living (International Essential Tremor Foundation) - PDF
- Essential Tremor vs. Parkinson's Disease: How Do They Differ? (International Essential Tremor Foundation) - PDF
- Genetics Home Reference: Essential tremor (National Library of Medicine)
Journal ArticlesReferences and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
Find an Expert
- Find a Neurologist (American Academy of Neurology)
- National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Available in Spanish
- Children with Essential Tremor (International Essential Tremor Foundation) - PDF