Hand tremors are a common condition among older people. It also occurs as a result of different reasons. Diseases like Essential tremor, multiple sclerosis, hyperthyroidism, and stress can all lead to hand tremors. The tremors occur while the hand is at rest or when the hand is in a certain position for a long period.
Tremors are a sign of an abnormality in the proper functioning of the central nervous system, which affects the muscles and nerves. Hence, it’s important to seek help immediately if you notice that your hands shake involuntarily.
Though hand tremors are not life-threatening, they can be discomforting and inconvenient and may make the performance of daily activities like drinking, writing, or eating a chore. Treating hand tremors is also largely dependent on the underlying cause of your condition, so it’s essential to find the right cure for it. However, aside from medications and surgery, some hand and wrist exercises may reduce your symptoms.
This blog post addresses the hand or wrist exercises for tremors, how to do them and what the best exercise for hand tremors is for you.
Types of Exercises for Hand Tremors
Exercising can help relieve hand tremors by reducing muscle tension and promoting overall body relaxation. Not all exercises are beneficial; only a few help reduce tremors. Your doctor may recommend an exercise regimen that you can do at home or recommend physical or occupational therapy to reduce the symptoms of tremors. A studyhas shown that increased resistance training of the arms helps patients suffering from essential tremors to improve their motor skills. Yoga asanas for hand tremors also help reduce stress and improve concentration.
Below are some exercises for hand tremors and how they can be beneficial:
Exercises for General Condition
Participation in regular physical activity and exercise is great. It increases dopamine levels, reduces stress, and improves general health. The 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee Scientific Report advises that individuals should engage in moderate to intense physical activity for 150 to 300 minutes weekly. This physical activity can be running, jogging, going to the gym, doing yoga, or whatever activity you choose. All that matters is that you move your body in a certain way regularly.
It has been proven that stress contributes to and worsens hand tremors, and exercise helps relieves stress. If you have hand tremors, make it a habit of exercising regularly. It will improve your overall health condition and decrease your hand tremors.
Exercises that involve bearing weight with your hands strengthen the upper extremities and improve a person’s steadiness. Some weight-bearing exercises that improve hand tremors include planks, push-ups, shoulder lifts, and biceps curls.
Regular weight-bearing exercises temporarily reduce symptoms of essential tremors.
Exercise With Adaptive Equipment and Tools
Various types of adaptive tools or equipment target hand tremors, and the exact type an individual can use depends on the severity of the condition. Most people struggle with writing or using utensils because of hand tremors, which can increase the weight and diameter of writing tools or utensils. Weighted tools can be strapped to your hand to improve stability.
If weighted tools are not working or are not convenient, you can opt for adaptive equipment to make tasks easier. Examples include elastic shoelaces to eliminate the need for tying, long-haired combs for hair grooming with elbows tucked to the side, automatic jar openers to open tight jars, etc.
See a physical therapist for a more personal recommendation on the most effective way to reduce hand tremors. They have better knowledge and can incorporate these hand exercise equipment with physical therapy.
Exercises for Hand Tremor
Here are some exercises that help to reduce hand tremors. They include the following:
1. Finger Tap
This is a simple-to-do hand exercise that can be done anywhere. It helps to build control over your hand and finger movement. Finger tap exercise keeps you engaged and focuses on controlling movement.
It involves tapping your index finger to the top of your thumbs on both hands. Next, tap your middle finger on the upper part of your thumb on both hands. Next, do the same formation for your ring finger and small finger. Finish up by doing a reversal of the motion on both hands. Shake your hands and repeat the process.
2. Finger Bend
Bending your fingers is another simple exercise that can help reduce hand tremors. Simply bend your fingers on a flat surface until you can feel the stretch. Also, you can bend your fingers to the bottom of your palm, one after the other, or at once.
3. Wrist Flexion and Supination
This is another effective method to control hand tremors. There are several ways to flex the wrist. You can simply place your hand on the edge of a table, with only the wrist hanging outside, and bend your wrist up and down repeatedly. Another method is to rotate your wrists in a circular motion simply. You can add other exercises to the mix, like incorporating wrist weights or using a lightweight dumbbell to practice moving your wrists up and down slowly.
4. Thumb Bend and Extension
Both exercises help to increase the range of motion of the thumb. In the thumb bend exercise, you simply bend your thumb across your palm to reach the bottom of your small finger. Hold the position for 30 to 60 secs and repeat four times on both hands.
The thumb extension exercise involves the use of a rubber band. You simply wrap it around your hand towards the ends of all the finger joints. Next, move the thumb slowly as far away from the rest of your fingers as far as it can go and hold the position for up to 60 seconds. Repeat the exercise up to 10 times on both hands.
5. Supination and Pronation
Supination involves rotating the muscles towards the outside circle so that the palms face upwards. Pronation is the opposite and involves rotating the limb muscles towards the inside so that the palms face downwards.
6. Tight Fist
Clench and unclench your fists at intervals during the day to reduce hand tremors. You can do it ordinarily or make use of s stress ball. All you need do is make a tighter fist, hold and then release for about 10 seconds and repeat about 10 times on both hands. This is a simple exercise you can do any time of the day, regardless of where you are.
7. Rubber Ball Exercise
This is a highly underrated means of controlling hand tremors. By squeezing a rubber ball, your nerves learn to control responses appropriately. To do this exercise, hold a tiny rubber ball as tightly as possible. Maintain your position for five seconds, release and repeat 10 times.
8. Hand Dumbbell Exercise
Though last on the list, the hand dumbbell exercise is one of the most effective exercises for reducing hand tremors. It’s very effective for essential tremors patients. It helps the nerves relieve fatigue and stress caused by tremors or any disease condition.
Simply spread your hand with your palm facing upwards and take the dumbbell 1 to 3 pounds. Next, position your hand and wrists over the table's edge and place the weights on your hands as you slowly move your wrists up and down. Do this repeatedly for about 20 times.
Physiotherapy can also be done to reduce the intensity of hand tremors. A licensed physiotherapist can prescribe the right exercise regimen and utmost care to manage hand tremors. Some of the techniques include:
- Biceps curls
- Shoulder shrugs
Frequently Asked Questions About Exercises for Hand Tremors
How Do You Stop Hand Tremors Naturally?
Various conditions usually cause hand tremors, from brain injury to essential tremors and extreme hypoglycemia. You can reduce the tremors by reducing caffeine intake, using adaptive devices, making lifestyle changes, and practicing hand and wrist exercises. Physiotherapy also offers a way out by employing hydrotherapy, tissue mobilization exercises, and acupuncture.
Can Shaky Hands Be Fixed?
Though there is no permanent cure for shaky hands or hand tremors, medications, exercises, and lifestyle changes can manage it.
What Is the Best Exercise for Hand Tremors?
Hand tremors are involuntary and may be caused by stress or a serious medical condition. Doctors recommend engaging in regular hand and wrist exercises to reduce the occurrence of tremors. The best exercises are shoulder shrugs, wrist flexion, tight fist, and rubber ball exercise.