Tremor

For nearly two decades, the team at Henry Ford’s Movement Disorders Center has been a national leader in high quality and compassionate care for those who suffer from movement disorders, including tremor. We offer a variety of treatment options for managing this frustrating and sometimes disabling condition, including surgical treatments.

What is tremor?

Tremor refers to rhythmic shaking of a body part. Essential tremor (ET) is the most common type of tremor. If you suffer from this condition, you may be frustrated or tired of hearing that you seem “nervous.” Simple acts such as signing a check in public may cause you anxiety.

ET usually affects the hands, but it may also affect your:

  • Head and neck
  • Face
  • Jaw
  • Tongue
  • Voice (causing a tremulous or quavering sound)
  • Trunk
  • Legs (rare)

Severity of the tremors can vary greatly from hour to hour and day to day. Stressful situations, hunger, or exercise can make the tremor worse.

Essential tremor (ET): Expert diagnosis at Henry Ford

ET is one of the most common movement disorders, but it can be difficult to diagnose. Doctors must distinguish ET from several other causes of tremor in order to treat it effectively. Unfortunately, only a small fraction of people with ET receives the proper diagnosis and gets the help they need. The movement disorders specialists at Henry Ford are experts at diagnosing this condition.

How is essential tremor treated?

We offer several effective treatments for tremor that can provide you with relief.

  • Medications: Propranolol and primidone, among other medications, are commonly prescribed to help treat or reduce the symptoms of tremor. Other medications include topiramate, gabapentin and clonazepam. Botulinum (Botox®) injections are helpful for head tremor.
  • Deep brain stimulation: If medications are ineffective or cause unpleasant side effects, deep brain stimulation is an established, FDA-approved neurosurgical procedure that has provided many patients with significant relief from their symptoms.
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