Essential tremor (ET) is a relatively common neurological condition that causes an involuntary shaking of the hands or other body parts. ET can affect anyone, although it is more common among older adults. ET that occurs on its own is considered an isolated finding and is not associated with other neurological problems. While this type of movement disorder is not life threatening, it can get worse with age.
Those with essential tremor in the Sacramento region can find exceptional, full-service treatment at Dignity Health Neurological Institute of Northern California. Our fellowship-trained movement disorder specialist can work with you to find ways to treatment and manage your condition. If you would like more information about our expert neurological care, Find a Doctor near you to schedule a consultation.
Symptoms of Essential Tremor
Shaking of the hands is usually the first and most obvious signs of essential tremor. These shaking symptoms can affect your ability to eat, hold a cup, write, or complete other fine motor tasks. Symptoms can also include shaking of the head or arms and sometimes a quiver in the voice.
ET can be confused with Parkinson’s disease, but it has several distinct differences. For example, the shaking related to essential tremor is most likely to be seen when you try to use your hands. A Parkinson’s-related tremor usually occurs when the hands are at rest. Parkinson’s also results in several other health problems, unlike ET.
How We Treat Essential Tremor at Dignity Health
Doctors do not know the exact cause of ET, but they suspect genetics may be a factor. Familial tremor is a type of essential tremor that is due to a gene mutation passed down through families.
Treatment is not always necessary for mild cases of ET. However, if the shaking interferes with your job or everyday tasks, you may want to treat the condition. Your options for treating essential tremor at Dignity Health may include:
- Behavioral and lifestyle modifications such as eliminating caffeine from your diet, managing your stress level, and getting enough sleep
- Physical therapy to improve coordination and control over your hands
- Occupational therapy, including adaptive techniques and devices
- Prescription medication to reduce your tremor symptoms, although these do not work for everyone
- Surgery, including deep brain stimulation (radiosurgery) for severe ET
Rely on us to use the latest methods and technologies for the highest quality care possible. Dignity Health Neurological Institute of Northern California provides expert neurological care, including treatment for essential tremor, in Sacramento, CA and surrounding areas.