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Causes of Shaky Hands

Causes of Shaky Hands

Hand tremors or involuntary shaking of hands could be caused due to a wide range of reasons. This write-up provides the causes and treatment options.
Smita Pandit
Tremors are characterized by involuntary and oscillating movement of any part of the body that occurs in isolation. When one's hands start shaking or trembling involuntarily, one is said to be affected by hand tremors. Sometimes, the trembling is so severe, that one might not be able to write or even hold an object. At times, such movements might even be brought on by stress, fear, heightened anxiety, fatigue, or nervousness. Fear of public speaking or examinations might cause your hands to tremble. These could also occur due to an underlying medical condition.


Tremors can be classified into three types: static/resting, kinetic/intensional, and action/postural. Static type occur while the affected body part is not moving, and the muscles are at rest. The kinetic type is said to occur, when the body part trembles while you move it for performing an act or an intended movement, and the shaking movement ends as soon as the activity is over and the body part is at rest. For instance, one's hands might shake while reaching out for a pen or pressing a button. In action/postural type, the shaking movements begin when the body part stays in a particular position for some time. So, involuntary shaking of hands could be task-specific, and might occur when you perform particular tasks.

Contributing Factors

Shaky hands might be observed in people affected by the following conditions:
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Wilson's disease
  • Neuropathy
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Metabolic disorders such as hypoglycemia and thyrotoxicosis
Heavy drinkers are also susceptible. In case of people affected by low blood sugar, excessive intake of coffee and tea might worsen the situation.Fear, stress, heightened anxiety, and thyroid disorders could also cause shaky hands in children. Individuals who are genetically predisposed are said to be affected by familial tremors.

Treatment Options

Since this condition can sometimes be attributed to an underlying disease, the underlying cause must be ascertained and treated soon. Besides pharmacologic therapy that involves use of medicines such as primidone and propranolol, deep brain stimulation methods might also prove beneficial. One can also follow some self-care measures. Since muscle fatigue can also trigger them, one must not tire out the muscles and take ample rest.

Stress and anxiety, which are often seen as potential triggers, can be managed with the help of relaxation techniques. Meditating and performing deep breathing exercises will also help in calming the frayed nerves. One must also refrain from smoking and excessive consumption of alcohol, tea, and coffee. You can also go for physical therapy sessions in order to improve muscle control.

Since uncontrollable shaking of hands can affect one's ability to perform daily activities, a person affected by this condition must seek medical help. Drug therapy combined with relaxation techniques and physical therapy will surely prove beneficial in the treatment of shaky hands.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.