What are leg tremors?
- Neurological disorders, such as multiple sclerosis, stroke, or traumatic brain injury, affect brain parts that control muscles throughout the body.
- Neurodegenerative diseases damage or destroy parts of the brainstem.
- Alcohol or drug abuse.
- Medication side effects.
- Parkinson’s disease
Types of tremors in the elderly
Essential tremor is a nervous system (neurological) disorder that causes involuntary and rhythmic shaking. It can affect almost any part of your body, but the trembling often occurs in your hands — especially when you do simple tasks, such as drinking from a glass or tying shoelaces. Essential tremor is usually not dangerous, but it worsens over time and can be severe in some people. Other conditions don’t cause essential tremor, although essential tremor is sometimes confused with Parkinson’s disease.
If you have Parkinsonian tremors, you may find a common symptom: shaky hands and feet. This isn’t a voluntary movement — it’s a tremor. About 80% of people with Parkinson’s have them. While tremors can be annoying, they aren’t disabling. Earthquakes can also be caused by health issues such as multiple sclerosis or essential tremors. The body parts affected are the hands, feet, jaw, and tongue. There are some differences between Parkinson’s tremors and other kinds of earthquakes, however, including:
Resting. Parkinson’s tremors happen when your muscles are still. They go away when you move. They also subside while you sleep. For example, sitting in a chair with relaxed arms, you may notice that your fingers twitch. But if you’re using your hand, the tremor eases or stops when you shake someone else’s hand.
Rhythmic. Parkinson’s tremors are slow and continuous. They aren’t random tics, jerks, or spasms.
Asymmetric. They tend to start on one side of your body. But they can spread to both sides of the body.
They are also known as intention tremors. They occur due to stroke, damage to the cerebellum, or alcohol abuse. Cerebellar tremors can affect any part of the body. A classic cerebellar tremor is an intentional tremor, most prominent during coordinated movements, such as pushing a button. The earthquake will be the most pronounced when the finger is about to meet its target. Cerebellar tremor results from damage to the cerebellum or its pathways in the brain stem.
Dystonia is a movement disorder in which muscles contract involuntarily, causing abnormal postures that may be painful. An attempt to correct eccentric muscle contractions that repeatedly fail may lead to tremors. In addition, specific movements or body holding may worsen dystonic tremor2. However, it may improve with rest or by touching a part of the body (typically, but not always, the region affected by dystonia).
Orthostatic tremors make the legs and trunk tremble after standing up. A person with orthostatic tremors may not notice a tremor as much as unsteadiness after standing up. The feeling gets better as soon as someone sits down. You can take clonazepam or primidone for treatment.
Psychogenic tremor is an exclusion diagnosis, which means other forms of tremor must be ruled out. Tremors caused by psychological factors are also known as functional tremors. Suppose a tremor disappears when you’re distracted, if it suddenly appears after a stressful incident, or if it frequently changes for no apparent reason; it may be psychological. In addition to psychogenic tremor, conversion disorder or psychiatric illness can help diagnose it.
Most individuals visually experience them. They occur due to fatigue, emotional outburst, anger, or withdrawal symptom. Physiological tremors are typical, but they’re usually not noticeable. Holding your hand with extended fingers might have made you notice this tremor. Some things might make a tremor more noticeable (thus making it an “enhanced physiological tremor” ): anxiety, fatigue, caffeine, fever, alcohol withdrawal, low blood sugar, some medications, etc. It goes away when you fix the underlying cause of enhanced physiological tremor.
Causes of leg tremors in the elderly
People can get shaky because of various medical conditions, prescription drugs, and other consumption. In many cases, shaking hands is caused by a benign, temporary condition that’s easy to fix. However, sometimes, shaky hands in the elderly indicate an underlying health problem. Here are some various causes of leg tremors in the elderly.
- Diseases affecting the central nervous system, such as Parkinson’s disease
- Several medications, like lithium, anti-seizure, and antidepressants.
- Leg tremors can pass on from one generation to another.
- Problem with the thyroid gland.
Risk factors for leg tremors
Factors that do not cause tremors but worsen the existing condition. Shaking legs can be uncomfortable and make you worry that something is wrong. There are a lot of cases where the underlying condition isn’t severe. However, if other symptoms accompany leg shaking, it could signify something serious. You can make the problem worse by delaying treatment. Getting prompt medical care can help alleviate shaking legs, even though it’s not a medical emergency. Here are some factors that may make things worse.
- Cigarette smoking
Steps to cope with the problem of leg tremors in the elderly
These act as very good relaxants and relieve anxiety. Some types of herbal teas are lavender, chamomile, and thyme. Consuming this tea regularly brings down stress levels. And ultimately helps in keeping the tremors under control.
Say goodbye to coffee.
Coffee and caffeinated beverages can trigger leg tremors. It is, therefore, necessary to avoid all kinds of drinks and desserts containing coffee. Limiting or preventing caffeine-containing drinks and products may reduce the severity of leg tremors. In the same way, we need nutrients. We need water. You can stop tremors by drinking three liters of water daily since water reduces physical and emotional stress and stimulates the body.
Smoking tobacco can worsen the existing condition of leg tremors. It is, therefore, necessary to convince your elderly parents to stop smoking if they are in the habit of it. Excessive smoking can lead to a smoker’s leg. This circulatory disease has a narrowing of blood vessels and blood flow restriction to the lower limbs. People with a smoker’s leg may feel pain or cramps when walking because of reduced blood flow.
Avoid over-the-counter medications
Certain over-the-counter medications are meant for allergies, depression, and asthma. Unfortunately, it can worsen leg tremors. Always consult a doctor before offering any medicine to your elderly loved ones.
Follow a healthy diet.
A diet rich in vitamins, low in refined sugars, and simple carbohydrates can help tremors. B vitamins are essentially known to treat neurological conditions. This is the basis for the onset of leg tremors. In addition, practice yoga and other stress-relieving techniques. Yoga is a powerful stress buster. And practicing it can do wonders in decreasing anxiety and stress levels.
Practice yoga and other stress-relieving techniques.
Yoga and other stress-relieving techniques can significantly reduce stress and improve overall well-being. Yoga can help you become more mindful of your body, making you more aware of physical tension and slowly release it. Stress-relieving techniques like deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and guided imagery can also help reduce stress and anxiety. Taking time to focus on your mental and physical health is essential to self-care and can benefit your overall well-being.