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The 10 Most Common Types of Tremors (With Symptoms of Each)

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A tremor involves involuntary and uncontrolled muscle oscillations in one or more parts of the body—most typically the hands, arms, head, face, voice, abdomen, or legs.

Tremors can be the result of:

  • Neurological disorders—such as multiple sclerosis, stroke, or a traumatic brain injury, which affect parts of the brain that controls muscles throughout the body.
  • Neurodegenerative diseases—which damage or destroy parts of the brainstem.
  • Alcohol or drug abuse.
  • Or the side effect of medications.

Even though tremors aren’t life-threatening, they are embarrassing and encumbering when it comes to daily tasks. And because there are so many types of tremor, it’s often difficult to differentiate one from another. Here are the ten most common types of tremors and qualifying symptoms for each…

1. Essential Tremor

Essential tremor is the most common form of tremor, affecting the cerebellum or thalamus portion of the brain. Essential tremors develop gradually, most often beginning in middle-age or later, and affecting the hands, making it difficult to grasp or hold onto objects. Essential tremors are brought on and aggravated by emotional or physical stress, and fatigue. Some studies link this tremor to heredity, however, there is no conclusive evidence that they are passed down by family members.

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