According to experts like Joon Faii Ong, a common problem in patients with Parkinson’s disease is tremors. Tremors are involuntary movements of the hands, fingers, face, and sometimes other parts of the body. They can be dramatic or barely visible to an observer. For example, some may notice that your hands shake when you hold them outstretched rather than by your side. Severe tremors can make it difficult to do everyday activities like writing, drinking, or eating.
A few techniques are recommended for managing tremors in patients with Parkinson’s disease. Here are a few of them:
1) Keep Muscles Active and Strong
Keeping muscles active and strong can help to control tremors. You can do this by exercising regularly and doing strength-training exercises. Physical therapists recommend exercises like weightlifting, squats, and push-ups. Other methods include using a weighted blanket, wearing a weighted vest, or using wrist and ankle weights.
2) Practice Tai Chi
Tai chi is a form of martial arts that can help to control tremors. It is a gentle exercise that involves a series of slow, graceful movements. Research has shown that tai chi can help to improve balance and reduce the severity of tremors in patients with Parkinson’s disease. Tai chi has also been shown to reduce stress and improve mood, both of which can help manage tremors.
3) Avoid Drugs that Cause Tremor
To avoid drugs that cause tremors, it is important to talk to your doctor about the medications you are taking. Some may actually be causing you to be more likely to tremble when you do not want tremors. For example, some drugs that can cause tremors in patients with Parkinson’s disease include anti-depressants and blood pressure medications like Clonidine and Guanfacine.
4) Avoid Alcohol and Stimulants
Alcohol can increase your risk for falling and falling injuries, which is another reason to avoid it if you have Parkinson’s disease and tremors. Stimulants like caffeine and nicotine can also worsen tremors, so it is best to avoid them as well.
5) Use a Supportive Device
If tremors are severe, you may find using a supportive device like a cane or walker helpful. This will help you to maintain your balance and stability.
6) See a Physical Therapist
Physical therapists can help you to develop an individualized exercise plan to improve muscle strength and control tremors. They can also teach you strategies to help you manage tremors in your everyday life. If tremors are causing you difficulty with daily activities, physical therapy may be the best option for you.
7) Take Your Medication as Prescribed by your Doctor
Typically, medications such as carbidopa-levodopa and dopamine agonists are prescribed to patients with Parkinson’s disease to help control tremors. Make sure that you discuss any questions or concerns you have with your doctor about these medications and take them as prescribed.
8) Use a Tremor-Specific App
There are a few apps that are designed specifically to help people with tremors. These apps can be helpful for tracking your symptoms, learning about different exercises and therapies to manage tremors, and connecting with other people who have tremors.
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