Ever felt sudden contractions in your body that you can’t stop or control? Then you’ve probably experienced a tremor. In this article, Dr. Sarbjot Dulai, our resident neurologist in Leesburg, VA provides an in-depth look at tremors and what can be done about this common movement disorder.
What are tremors?
A tremor is a rhythmic muscle contraction that can occur in the hands, head, arms, torso, vocal cords, and other parts of the body. These shaking movements and contractions are involuntary and completely out of a person’s control.
Tremors can occur on their own or intermittently. While tremors can occur at any age, it is more prevalent among older and middle-aged adults, with equal distribution among men and women.
Are tremors dangerous?
By themselves, tremors are rarely life-threatening. However, these involuntary contractions can seriously impair one’s ability to perform daily tasks. In severe cases, tremors can be disabling and embarrassing, and can significantly lower one’s quality of life.
Signs and Symptoms of Tremors
Since tremor symptoms can feel benign, a lot of people fail to see the urgency of the situation. However, if you or someone you know starts experiencing these symptoms more frequently, it might be time to consult a neurologist in Leesburg:
• A shaky voice
• Rhythmic shaking and contractions in one or more parts of the body
• Difficulty drawing, writing, or using tools
• Difficulty holding utensils
Note as well that almost everyone experiences tremors sometime in their lives. For instance, you may feel tremors during periods of extreme emotions or stress, physical exhaustion, or while making particular movements.
These may go away on their own, but to be safe, be sure to schedule an appointment with a Dulles neurologist to rule out the causes below.
Causes of Tremors
Most tremors have no known cause, but in general, they can be traced back to issues deep within areas of the brain that are responsible for movement.
Some neurological disorders can also cause tremors such as:
• Multiple Sclerosis
• Neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s disease
Other causes can be:
• Mercury poisoning
• Certain medications
• Liver or kidney failure
• Alcohol withdrawal or abuse
• Panic and anxiety
• Overactive thyroid
Since there are so many potential causes for tremors, only a skilled Dulles neurology specialist like Dr. Dulai is qualified to make a correct diagnosis.
During your visit, Dr. Dulai will conduct a comprehensive neurological and physical examination. He will also take a detailed medical history. He will assess your tremor based on factors like:
• Location of the tremor
• Tremor appearance
• Whether the tremor manifests when your muscles are in action or at rest
Dr. Dulai will also look for more neurological findings such as abnormal muscle stiffness, speech abnormalities, and impaired balance. You may be required to undergo several tests such as an electromyogram to aid in proper diagnosis.
Tremors and Quality of Life
Tremors are typically easy to manage once diagnosed. Your treatment plan can include medications, surgery, focused ultrasound, and appropriate lifestyle changes to keep symptoms at the minimum or non-existent. Over time, a patient with tremors stands to regain his quality of life fully.
The key is to have your tremors checked as soon as possible to prevent further complications. If you or your loved ones have tremor-related concerns, please don’t hesitate to call Neurology Associates at (703) 726-6393 and schedule an appointment ASAP.