Essential Tremor and Exercise

Essential Tremor and Exercise

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You might already know this, but exercise is very important for both your mental and physical health. The world as we know it is evolving and providing great things that are beneficial for mankind. However, for every action, there is a reaction which means that not everything is pitch-perfect in the world we live in. Diseases like the flu, essential tremor, dementia, and other illnesses are major issues. Fortunately, with the help of technology, we are able to find medical treatments and cures for most of these diseases.

One thing for sure is that no matter how hard we try, and how many inventions we create there are better natural ways we can use to treat our health. What we are about to discuss in this article are the causes and symptoms of essential tremors, and exercises that can help in controlling the shakes.

Essential Tremor Definition

According to the National Organization for Rare Disorders:

Essential Tremor is a disorder in the nervous system that starts off with simple and low-frequency shakes in a person’s hands. This disorder can also affect other parts of the person’s body and have him/her suffer from head nods and shaky legs. It is not a disease that affects everyone the same way. Essential Tremor’s symptoms vary from one person to another. It is the hands that are mostly affected by this disorder. Patients will be able to notice these kinds of shakes when they try to do motor-related tasks like lifting a glass of water to drink, which can cause the person to either drop the glass on the floor or spill some of it.

It is a difficult disease to come by and the shakes are uncontrollable. If patients suffer from shakes in other parts of their body, then they should see a specialist. This might mean that their ET has reached a severe stage and needs extra care. Sometimes this disease can be mistaken as Parkinson’s because those uncontrollable handshakes are often found in patients that are diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Although there are numerous ways doctors can rule out Parkinson’s, they are not able to find a specific scientific proof on providing a clear diagnosis of ET. Most of the time ET is only detectable when it reaches severe stages. To add up to this, essential tremor is not a death-defying disease, and there is still no actual cure for it.

Statistics show that essential tremor is usually diagnosed for people who are within the age range of 40 and above. It is still not definite because in some rare cases, younger people have been found to have ET at an age younger than 40. Even though the majority of people with ET are above the age of 40, there are still some exceptions and possibilities.

Essential Tremor Symptoms and Causes

In order to better understand how essential tremor affects the body and how exercise can treat it, we need to learn more about its symptoms. Note that the symptoms we are about to list for you are not necessarily found in every ET patient. Some suffer from all of them and some might suffer only from one.

  • Hand Tremors:

Uncontrollable handshakes is the first and main symptom of ET. This symptom is the first thing patients experience when having ET. Patients will find it hard to maintain their hands from constantly shaking and are unable to do a simple task like holding a glass of water or a teacup steadily. As time passes, the tremors get more intense and are triggered every time a person tries to use his/her hands.

    • Changes in Voice:

    Although voice change is not a very common symptom, it can happen to some patients. Those voice changes are accompanied by an increase or decrease in volume as patients speak. They do so unconsciously and can’t control it. Some suffer from stuttering in some areas of the speech that is also out of their hand.

      • Head Nodding:

      In this symptom, patients experience spontaneous head nodding that is in a horizontal direction. It is as if they are saying no. Those patients experience that head nodding in a vertical direction as well. It is as if they are saying yes. These kinds of nods usually come in high and fast intensity, making it very surprising when it occurs.

        • Leg Tremors:

        If these kinds of tremors occur in a person’s legs or feet, it means that they have reached a severe stage in their essential tremor. They should see a professional for delicate care. It is very rare to experience uncontrollable shakes in legs or feet but it is still possible.

          The causes of essential tremors are unclear to this day. Some researchers say that it is because of a genetic mutation that comes from exposure to toxins in the environment. Other scientists say that it has been passed on from generations. There is still no scientific proof that any of the previous theories is true or is the actual cause of a person being diagnosed with ET.

          Exercising for Your Essential Tremor

          Exercise, in general, is very important for your health. You can easily try to adopt a healthy lifestyle if you start exercising regularly. Most physical therapists advise ET patients with a series of resistance training. These are the types of exercises that increase strength and coordination in a six-week-long training program. Your therapist will focus on exercises like bicep curls, wrist flexion, and extension as they have shown great results. Other methods that are used like performing isometric loads on the index finger give the patient more control over his/her hands.

          Other than physical therapy exercises, there are relaxation exercises that help calm and relax a patient. Stress is a key factor in triggering a patient’s tremors. That is why relaxation and relieving stress can play a huge part in treating ET. Here are some of these relaxation exercises:

          • Rhythmic Breathing:

          Short and fast breaths increase a person’s stress and have them in a hasty mood and condition. It is better when a person finds himself/herself in this state to inhale slowly and exhale. They should inhale and take around five seconds before they exhale. They should also do the same thing after exhaling before they inhale. As this process takes its curse, a person should recognize how their body is going into a relaxation state because it helps calm them down.

            • Breathe Deeply:

            One of these relaxation exercises is breathing deeply until you completely fill your lungs with air. After you feel that your lungs are completely full, exhale everything until you have no more air inside you. This will slowly calm you down and decrease your stress levels.

              • Breathing and Visualizing:

              It is very important that you visualize exactly what is happening when you take those deep breaths and implement them as you close your eyes and slowly breathe the air around you. Afterward, you need to visualize how the stress is leaving your body with every exhale you make. This will definitely help you relax and calm yourself down.

                • Muscle Relaxation:

                This step is done while implementing the aforementioned breathing techniques. As you inhale and exhale focus on the parts of your body that feel sore. Make sure you rotate your head slowly a few times and your shoulders once or twice. This will help loosen up any stiffness and decrease your stress levels.

                  • Combine Them with Music:

                  Adding some relaxing music to your exercise helps you visualize and relax faster. Select the type of music that soothes you the most. Some people are used to specific kinds of music when relaxing while others choose to listen to audiotapes that provide relaxation instructions.


                    The Steadi-Two

                    There is no doubt that exercise is very important and beneficial for your body and overall health. Some of the exercises that were previously mentioned can effectively reduce and control some of your ET symptoms and tremors. These exercises do not heal your ET completely for there is no cure for essential tremors. However, they do help in making your life easier.

                    There are other remedies and ways in which ET is treated, like surgery and medical prescription drugs. Although one of our iconic ways to control your tremors is the Steadi-Two, This cutting-edge technology uses a smart fluid that stiffens & works together with a counterweight that moves in the opposite direction of your tremor. It can help you control your tremors and give you the ease you have always wished for.


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