Familial tremor, a hereditary condition that causes involuntary shaking of certain parts of the body such as the limbs, making everyday routine cumbersome.
Tremors are defined as recurring involuntary jerks that can occur in any part of the body such as the hands or the legs and last for a short time. These repetitive movements of the body are not controlled by the brain, hence the term ‘involuntary’ is used to describe tremors, that bring the shaking effect to the affected body part. This unintentional movements are often the result of neurological disorders that cause damage to the nerve. These involuntary repetitive movements can occur at any time, even during rest but usually worsen when performing mundane tasks.
Many times, it is observed that this neurological disorder is inherited and prevalent in families. In such cases, this involuntary action is classified as familial tremors. For instance, if the parent, either the father or the mother is suffering from this neurological disorder, the child too will experience episodes of involuntary shaking movement at some point of time. Also referred to as essential tremors, familial tremors are commonly observed in the hands and the legs but can also affect the head and the tongue. The intensity of the tremors increases when the person is subjected to mental and physical strain. Stress, anger and fatigue are the other factors that can aggravate this condition.
As we all know, the brain controls the muscle movement. It does this by sending signals that are carried by the nerves. These brain signals are nothing but messages that stimulate muscle movement. However, when the area of the brain controlling muscle movement is affected or damaged, the signals released become weak, thereby leading to disturbances in smooth movement.
Although, this condition is not worrisome, it can interfere with daily routine tasks, if the frequency of occurrence is high. Patients often notice involuntary movements of the hand when holding objects such as the pen, the razor for shaving, or doing activities like tying a shoe lace. In such cases, writing words properly in an understandable manner or getting a smooth shave can be slightly difficult. It is observed people with familial tremors sometimes take the assistance of their family members to do these tasks properly.
There are quite a few medications that have proved useful to manage this condition effectively. All these are prescription medications and have to be taken in the recommended dosage as instructed by the doctor. A person diagnosed with familial tremors is given medications like beta-blockers (propranolol), anti-seizure medicines and even botox injections. Severe cases of familial tremors may require a surgery to reduce the occurrence and intensity of these involuntary movements. Surgical procedure involves implanting a device, known as brain pacemaker to coordinate muscle movements effectively.
Essential tremor natural remedies involve exclusion of certain foods from the diet. Caffeinated beverages like tea and coffee have to be avoided as regular consumption can lead to frequent episodes of familial tremors. People who have too much consumption of coffee or alcohol are likely to experience tremors. Stress is another factor that can aggravate this condition. Too much stress can lead to sudden onset of tremors. Hence, it is advisable to avoid stressful situations and follow relaxation techniques like meditation to manage stress effectively. Certain herbs such as Wood Bentony, too can help to reduce occurrence of familial tremors.
Many patients diagnosed with familial tremor take the help of a physical therapists to reduce symptoms of familial tremors. Physical therapy involves doing certain exercises to decrease shakiness and increase the patient’s confidence to do daily tasks independently.