Health Care

What Causes Tremors?

A Senior Patient Speaks to His Physician is an Exam Room

Choose the health content that’s right for you, and get it delivered right in your inbox.

Tremors are unintentional, uncontrollable rhythmic movements of a limb or part of your body.

Tremors can occur in any part of the body at any time. They’re usually the result of a problem in the cerebellum, the part of your brain that controls your muscles’ movement.

Most tremors can’t be treated easily, but it’s common for them to resolve on their own.

Tremors are not the same as muscle spasms and muscle twitches. A muscle spasm is the involuntary contraction of a muscle. A muscle twitch is an uncontrolled fine movement of a small portion of a larger muscle, which can be visible under the skin.

Keep reading to learn about the different types of tremors, what causes tremors and how to find relief.

Types of Tremors

There are more than 20 types of tremors. They are defined by their origin, cause and appearance. The most common types of tremors include:

  • Essential tremor: This type of tremor is the most common movement disorder. Primary symptoms include uncontrolled shaking and a quivering voice
  • Dystonic tremor: This tremor occurs in people with dystonia, a condition in which uncontrollable muscle contractions cause abnormal postures or repetitive movements, such as twisting of the neck
  • Cerebellar tremor: This type of tremor is caused by lesions or damage to the cerebellum (which helps maintain balance and posture) from a stroke or a tumor. Cerebellar tremors can directly affect a person’s balance
  • Functional tremor: This tremor is defined by its sudden onset and abatement of uncontrollable shaking. Physical injury, medication side effects, or panic attacks are usually the cause rather than a neurological disorder
  • Physiologic tremor: This kind of tremor is slight and sometimes imperceptible. It presents as a small shaking in both hands and the fingers. It is not a symptom of a disease
  • Enhanced physiologic tremor: This type of tremor is a more visible version of physiologic tremor, typically caused by alcohol withdrawal, drug reactions, an overactive thyroid or hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
  • Orthostatic tremor: This is a rare disorder in which the leg muscles rapidly contract when standing, causing unsteadiness or imbalance

What Causes Tremors?

Tremors can be caused by a variety of things. Nonmedical causes of tremors include:

Medical causes of tremors include:

Find Relief With Expert, Compassionate Care for Your Whole Nervous System

At AdventHealth, we don’t just treat neurological disorders and diseases; we want to fix them — and if it’s early enough, prevent them.

Whether it’s through leading-edge technology like brain imaging, or the most foundational health habits like rest and exercise, there’s always hope to be found here.

Your collaborative team will be at your side throughout your journey to whole health to calm your nerves, ease your mind and lift your spirits. Our world-class experts are committed to your neurological care, whether you have tremors, Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, ALS or another neurological disease. We’re happy to care for you.

Learn more about how we can help regain your whole health by visiting us here.

Recent Blogs

A Physician Checks a Smiling Baby's Breathing with a Stethoscope
Identifying and Caring for Hernias in Children
A Therapist Speaks to His Patient and Put's his Hand on His Shoulder
What to Talk About in Therapy
Osteoporosis and Bone Density: Who Needs the Screening and When?
Senior man sitting on a couch at home placing hands on chest and abdomen.
What You Need to Know About Pulmonary Hypertension
Protecting Your Ears While Listening to Music
View More Articles