Hand tremors are repetitive, rhythmic shaking movements of hands that are not under one’s control. It can be due to a movement disorder, brain dysfunction, or symptom of some underlying medical condition. Several types of tremors affect different body parts occur due to various pathologies. Hand tremors are of two types-Resting Tremors and Action Tremors.
Resting Tremors occur when the hands are resting with arms firmly supported and not doing any action or activity, for example, pin-rolling tremors of Parkinson’s disease. Action tremors occur when muscles are under voluntary contraction and not at rest, like when holding something or reaching for a target like a glass of water.
Causes of Hand tremors- Tremor commonly occurs when there is some malfunction in the parts of the brain that control the movement. Some of the common causes are-
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Cerebellar Disorders
- Ischaemic Stroke
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Chronic Alcoholism or Alcoholic Withdrawl.
- Side-effects of certain medications.
- Excessive stress and anxiety
Specific medications are crucial for tremor management depending upon the underlying condition. Exercises for tremors aim at improving muscle control, muscle strength, and coordination of movement.
Exercises for hand tremors–
- Wrist Flexion-Extension exercises– Place your elbow and forearm on a table. The hand should be hanging with the palm facing down. Gently bend your wrist forward (fingers pointing to the floor) then backward(fingers pointing to the ceiling). Repeat ten times. You can do the same exercise with a dumble (0.5kg) held in your hand.
- Wrist Rotations-With your arms extended in front of you at shoulder level, make a fist and rotate your wrists both clockwise and anti-clockwise. Ten reps in each direction.
- Pressing Hands against each other like in Namaste position and hold for 10-15 seconds. Repeat five times.
- Fist Making– Start with your outstretched hand with all your fingers straight. Then, slowly bend your hand into a fist, placing your thumb on the outside of your hand. Hold the position for ten seconds. Do not squeeze too tightly and repeat five times.
- Grip strengthening Exercises-Hold a softball in your hand and squeeze it tightly. Hold for 10 seconds and release. Repeat 5-10 times.
- Rubber band stretching– Wrap a rubber band around two adjacent fingers just below the fingernail and try to pull the fingers apart. This exercise will work up the interossei muscles of the hand. Repeat ten times on each finger pair.
- L-position Stretch– Slowly bend your fingers at the base keeping the knuckles straight to make an L-position. Hold for five seconds and relax. Repeat five times.
- Thumb to finger exercises-With your thumb, touch the pads(distal part of the finger) of each finger one by one, starting from the index finger to the little finger. Hold each thumb pad to finger pad grip for 2-3 seconds.
- Weight-bearing through the hands like Wall push-ups.
STAY HEALTHY! STAY FIT!