How To Help With Leg Tremors In The Elderly

Listen to this blog post
Voiced by Amazon Polly

Leg Tremors|Answers to Your Caregiving Questions

What are leg tremors?

Leg tremors are shaking usually caused by a physical weakness, emotional stress or disease.  This is a common problem among the elderly population. Leg tremors are involuntary and involve muscle contractions.  Causing shaking movements in the legs and other parts of the body. Leg tremors often show a major underlying medical condition. If the condition occurs, one should consult a doctor immediately. It is the result of various conditions such as: 
  • Essential tremor
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Orthostatic tremor

Types of tremors in the elderly

There are various types of tremors that do not affect only the legs but can also affect other parts of the body.
  • Essential tremors

The most common forms of tremors. They affect the hands, but most times, it can also affect the legs, tongue, voice, trunk, and head.

  • Parkinsonian tremors

Individuals suffering from Parkinson’s disease suffer from such a tremor.

  • Cerebellar tremors  

Also known as intention tremors. They occur due to stroke, damage to the cerebellar, or alcohol abuse. Cerebellar tremors can affect any part of the body.

  • Dystonic tremors

Are tremors that occur in individuals suffering from dystonia.

  • Orthostatic tremors  

These affect the legs and trunk and occur when an individual stands up quick after a long time. These type of tremors are difficult to diagnose due to the lack of other signs and symptoms.

  • Psychogenic tremors

They occur suddenly and can affect any part of the body. A tremor of such type is a mixture of 2–3 other types of tremors such as postural, action and resting tremors.

  • Physiologic tremors  

Experienced by most individuals and are visible to the eye. They occur due to fatigue, emotional outburst, anger, or a withdrawal symptom.

 

Causes of leg tremors in the elderly

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 which do not cause tremors but worsen the existing condition.
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Cigarette smoking

Steps to cope with the problem of leg tremors in the elderly

Suffering from leg tremors is not a pleasant experience.  And can make life miserable for our elderly parents. From diseases of the central nervous system to anxiety and stress. Many factors are the cause for the onset of leg tremors. However, There are natural remedies which you can try to put leg tremors to rest.
  •  Herbal teas

These act as very good relaxants and relieve anxiety. Some types of herbal teas are lavender, chamomile, and thyme. Consuming this tea on a regular basis brings down the 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 that contain coffee in them.

  • Avoid smoking

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.

  • Avoid over the counter medications  

Certain over the counter medications, meant for allergies, depression, and asthma. Can worsen leg tremors. Always consult a doctor before offering any medicine to your elderly loved ones.

  • Follow a healthy diet  

A diet that is 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. Practice yoga and other stress relieving techniques.  Yoga is a powerful stress buster. And practicing it can do wonders in decreasing the anxiety and stress levels.

  • Practice yoga and other stress relieving techniques  

Yoga is a powerful stress buster. And practicing it can do wonders in decreasing the anxiety and stress levels.

Treatment of tremor

Doctors will map out an appropriate treatment plan based on the diagnosis. Medications are often the first line of treatment for leg tremors. In addition, some elderly patients may also benefit from occupational and physical therapy. Therapy will help reduce the incidence of tremors. They improving muscle strength, muscle coordination as well as muscle control. Depending on the nature and type of leg tremor, the therapist will decide on the specific type of therapy. Surgery is often the last resort. And opted for when medications and therapies do not bring about any positive effect. Surgical procedures include deep brain stimulation and thalamotomy. They have a very positive outcome in most severe cases.

Conclusion

Living with tremors can be really difficult. And can drastically affect the quality of life of our senior parents. Recognizing the symptoms and addressing the problem will help in the treatment. With treatment and several coping strategies, we can expect a positive outcome.  For more information check out this site.
Also, check out some of my latest post to help.
Leg tremors

Leave a Comment