Why there is a tremor of the limbs and head: causes, types, diagnosis and prognosis of treatment


However, why a person is shaking, this phenomenon is associated with pathology, age or temporary discomfort, only a doctor can say. It is more often observed in older people, but it also occurs in young people with hypothermia, fever, certain diseases.

The reasons

Causes to the occurrence of tremor causes associated with the disease, the peculiarities of human response to certain situations and environmental conditions.

The basis of a whole group of causes is intoxication. It is caused by , drugs, large doses of drugs, chemical poisoning.

Temporary tremor occurs with hypothermia, fever associated with .

Another group of provoking factors includes psychogenic: , phobias, increased anxiety, a tendency to depression. In this case, it is customary to speak of nervous tremor.

Constant manifestations of tremor are associated with pathologies that develop in the human body. These are the occurrence of neoplasms, endocrine diseases, increased intracranial pressure, disturbances in the cardiovascular system, and craniocerebral injuries. Tremor causes disorders of the functions of the trunk, cerebellum, spinal cord, the process of transmission of nerve impulses.

One of the reasons that lead to the appearance of involuntary jitter, include hereditary diseases. A typical manifestation is essential tremor due to gene mutations or hereditary predisposition. According to statistics, in one generation of relatives may be more than half of the patients.


A large variety of manifestations and characteristics of tremor allows you to select several reasons for its classification:

  1. The nature of the process. With a strong emotional excitement, overwork, often tremble hands, chin. When hypothermia, fever occurs chills. However, very few people would think of this phenomenon as a manifestation of pathology. Such a shiver is a normal physiological process. Unlike pathological tremor caused by various disorders.
  2. The frequency of muscle contraction. Instrumental methods allow us to estimate how often muscle contraction occurs. Weak, rare muscle tremor is characterized by a frequency of up to 5 Hertz, intense – 6-12 Hertz.
  3. Localization. This factor allows you to talk about a separate lesion of the limbs, face, whole body, eyes.
  4. Severity Light does not lead to disturbances in everyday life, but it causes emotional discomfort. With the average person able to cope with the affairs and take care of themselves. Heavy is associated with limitations of self-service and requires constant attention and help from others.
  5. Age of defeat. Depending on when the first symptoms appear, they talk about childish, youthful, adult forms. In the latter, it is customary to single out the tremor of mature age (21-44), presenile (45-64 years) and senile (after 65 years).

These types of tremors are more properties that allow more accurate description of the tremor. Important from the point of view of the characteristics of the pathology, determine its causes and consequences is a condition in which there is a tremor. Sometimes it manifests itself in rest, in other cases – when making movements. In the first case, it is passive tremor, in the second – active. At the same time, a shiver can be intentional, occur when a person purposefully tries to make a movement. Separately distinguish postural tremor associated with the shaking of the body during the occupation of a certain position.

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Passive tremor

This type of tremor includes disturbances that increase in a state of rest, as well as in those moments when a person is distracted by any phenomena and does not take care of himself. Manifestations can be intensified during movement. The weakening of the symptoms occurs at the beginning of the movement.

Shivering affects the lower part of the face, shaking limbs, and sometimes asymmetrically. For a long time, only one side is affected.

Pathology often occurs in Parkinson’s disease.

Postural tremor

Attempting to hold a limb in a certain position is sometimes accompanied by its tremor. Under stress, it occurs as a physiological phenomenon. In other cases, is a manifestation of endocrine disorders and diseases of internal organs. Often inherent in the disease Minor.

Postural tremor, accompanied by passive tremor, characterizes the rubral syndrome that occurs in multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injuries, strokes, and tumors.

Intentional tremor

This type of shake occurs when a person makes a planned movement, for example, when trying to pick up an object or touch it. Often this disturbance is accompanied by a gait disturbance or other signs of loss or weakening of the coordination of movements.

The basis of the pathology is the defeat of the brain: cerebellum and stem. There is also a violation of the relationship of nerve cells in the spinal cord. At the same time, the connection between the frontal lobes, in which the formation of intention takes place, and the motor centers remains intact. There are dysfunctions in alcoholism, kidney failure, stroke, tumors, aneurysms, intoxications. Frequent causes are encephalitis, increased intracranial pressure, atherosclerosis, and head injuries.

At first, intentional tremor appears only when trying to make a targeted movement. Later observed when trying to maintain body position, especially vertical, while in some cases trembling of the head or limb does not occur. Movements become slow, rough, lose accuracy. Characterized by the vibration of the voice, speech disorders.

The appearance of cerebellar tremor leads to psycho-emotional disorders, increased anxiety, signs of depression, apathy, self-contempt. The intellect suffers with deeper brain lesions, so the person is fully aware of his pathology and begins to be ashamed of himself.

There are no age-related manifestations. The time of occurrence depends on the rate of development of the underlying pathology and damage to the central .

Essential tremor

At certain stages of development, one of the manifestations of the essential syndrome is intentional tremor. However, this pathology is much deeper, has clearly expressed symptoms, is defined as a disease and is included in ICD-10. It is also called Minor’s syndrome. The main reason is considered to be a genetic factor that is inherited or caused by a mutation in an individual.

The disease occurs with different frequency, in some regions affects almost 13% of the population. Appears equally in men and women.

The main and first symptom of essential tremor is shaking hands. They appear as a result of dystonia – alternate reduction of muscle fibers responsible for flexion and extension. Tremor accompanies any movement that a person wants to make. Increases when performing continuous action, especially when approaching the desired object. At the same time, targeted movements remain intact for a long time.

In contrast to intentional tremor, essential tremor has a small-scale character.

Later, often several years after the appearance of the first signs, head tremor occurs. The person involuntarily nods or shakes her, sometimes tilts to the side and holds in that position. Rarely makes movements in a circle or diagonal. With movement disorders of mimic muscles that accompany a smile, a conversation, trembling of the lips is detected. Appear involuntary grimaces, opening the mouth, imitation of chewing. Tremor affects the tongue, eyelids.

The development of the disease leads to a pronounced vibration of the voice, impaired speech, timbre, respiration. Later, other muscles are affected. Shivering appears throughout the body, accompanied by weakness in the legs and arms.

In the future, the pathology causes a loss of self-care skills and working capacity. Symptoms increase in a state of emotional stress, during physical exertion, in conditions of low ambient temperature.

The disease may be accompanied by Parkinson’s disease. For life is not dangerous.

Accompanying symptoms

Tremor does not occur by itself. There are always signs that accompany him. They have both physiological and mental manifestation. At the physiological level, there is often an increase in heartbeat, increased . On the mental – irritability, a sense of danger, increased anxiety, suspiciousness.

Many researchers talk about decreased attention, impaired memory, and poor hearing. However, there is no reliable evidence that these symptoms accompany tremor. Rather, these are signs characteristic of old age.


To clarify the cause of the disease, differentiation from diseases with similar symptoms, determine the exact diagnosis requires a series of studies. These include:

  1. Blood tests. Assign general biochemistry, the definition of sugar, cholesterol.
  2. Hormonal studies. Aimed at studying the work of the thyroid gland.
  3. Electroencephalography. Allows you to determine the characteristics of the bioelectric activity of the brain.
  4. MRI Aimed at obtaining an accurate picture of organic brain lesions. Allows you to detect tumors, signs of vascular damage. In some cases, assigned to CT.
  5. Genetic analysis. Necessary to confirm the genetic nature of pathology.

It is necessary to have a conversation, the purpose of which is to understand when the first signs of pathology appeared and whether any of the relatives have similar violations. This will determine the hereditary factor of the disease.

A neurologist assesses the frequency of shudders, their amplitude, checks muscle tone, posture, clarifies the signs of alcohol or drug addiction.


When tremor symptoms manifest, complex treatment is indicated, including medication, psychotherapy, and traditional medicine. When detected during the diagnosis of tumors, cysts, vascular spasms, surgical treatment is indicated.

Drug therapy

Depending on the nature of the disease and symptoms, it is recommended to take medicines that have a different effect on the body. If shivering starts from a high temperature, rubbing, taking Panadol, Nurofen is shown.

Anticonvulsant drugs will help reduce the intensity of tremor. This is Nerontin, Primidon. To reduce the effects of adrenaline, which causes vasoconstriction, tachycardia, and increased blood pressure, beta-blockers are prescribed (Anapralin, Sotahexyl).

To block the nerve ending in order to stop the tremor injected Botox. The effect lasts about 2.5 months, then a new procedure is shown. Conduct this procedure mainly for dystonic tremor.

They soothe, help to relax, restore sleep and reduce the manifestations of convulsions benzodiazepines (Nitrazepam, Loprazolam).

Sedative effect possess tincture of motherwort, valerian. They help when it starts to shake with nerves.

Additionally, take anti-sclerosis. They reduce the concentration of lipoproteins and prevent the development of atherosclerosis. In this group – Lovastatin, Holemtiramin.

If the factor provoking a tremor is avitaminosis, vitamin therapy is indicated.


Appointed when detecting tumors, pathological vasoconstriction, the formation of cholesterol plaques. The removal of tumors, the installation of stents, dilating the vascular wall. In the presence of blood clots, they are removed through incisions of the vessels by suction or the introduction of a softening substance.

Essential tremor, accompanied by significant impairment of life, is an indication for implantation in the brain of electrodes that produce impulses aimed at reducing jitter.


The main goal of physiotherapy is to relax and reduce muscle tone. Shown holding massage, acupuncture.


With psychogenic tremor caused by emotional stress, phobias, psychotherapy methods are prescribed. They allow the patient to detect cause-and-effect relationships of the pathology, calm down, build ways of protection against traumatic circumstances, remove the body trembling that appeared during neurosis.

Depending on the characteristics, causes of pathology, the patient’s age, family therapy, art therapy, and other techniques are carried out.

Folk remedies

Recipes, created on the basis of the beneficial properties of plants, help calm down, less keenly perceive what is happening.

The collection of motherwort grass (3 parts), chamomile flowers, dried stalks, mint leaves one by one is mixed with valerian roots, hawthorn fruit, taken in 2 parts. Boil everything for five minutes, then insist one and a half hours in a thermos. The resulting infusion is taken in 100 ml three times a day, half an hour before meals. The duration of treatment is a month. Repeat the course after 10 days.

Nervousness will remove the beet juice. It is placed in a dark place for three hours, honey is added in the same amount and stirred. On the day, drink 160 ml of the drug thirty minutes before meals. Take this juice for a week.


Slow down the pace of development of tremor contributes to the diet. Drinks containing caffeine and alcohol are excluded from the diet. It is recommended to quit smoking.

It is useful to walk in the fresh air, do exercises, relax every day. This is important to do both when the first symptoms appear and when the disease progresses. Constant exercises stretch the muscles, increase their elasticity.

Why there is a tremor of the limbs and head: causes, types, diagnosis and prognosis of treatment

If possible, avoid situations that cause stress. If this cannot be done, it is recommended to learn the principles and basic exercises of breathing exercises.

Fully stop the development of pathology, especially if it is an essential tremor, today is impossible.

Depending on the conditions and characteristics of the manifestation of tremor of the head, limbs arises as a normal physiological reaction or is one of the symptoms of serious diseases. At the initial stages you can cope with it with the help of breathing exercises, yoga, and charging. Severe symptoms serve as the basis for medical or surgical treatment.

The following sources were used to prepare the article:

Ivanova E. O., Ivanova-Smolenskaya I. A., Illarioshkin S. N. Tremor: pathogenesis, clinical features and treatment // Neurological Journal – 2013.

Zakharov D.V., Yarygina Yu.V., Mikhailov V.A., Bogacheva V.A., Khublarova L.A. Study of the effectiveness of treatment of essential tremor using tremorography // Clinical Medicine Almanac – 2016.

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