There are a myriad of reasons why someone may develop hand tremors. Health conditions like Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, hyperthyroidism, hypoglycemia, and even stress and anxiety can all lead to hand tremors.
So, what exactly are hand tremors, you ask? A hand tremor is an involuntary rhythmic shaking of the hands. Hand tremors are usually caused by a problem with the part of the brain that controls movement. This involuntary shaking can occur when your hands are at rest, or if you hold your hands in a specific position for a long period of time.
Hand tremors can be a symptom of neurological issues or a degenerative disease, so it’s important to seek medical attention if you begin to notice this involuntary shaking of your hands.
Hand tremors alone aren’t life-threatening, but they can be quite difficult and annoying to deal with. Tremors can make doing simple daily tasks more difficult, like writing or drinking from glass, which is why it’s imperative to find the proper treatment for your tremors. There are various essential tremor treatments, like medication and surgery, but one of the best ways to mitigate the effects of hand tremors is through exercise.
In this blog post, we’ll be discussing the various types of exercises for essential tremors in hands and how to do them. Continue reading, or use the links below to skip to a section of your choice, so you can find out what the best exercise for hand tremors is for you.
Types of Exercises for Hand Tremors
Relaxation is a great way to reduce the symptoms of hand tremors. And a great way to relax is by exercising. Exercise helps us release muscle tension and relax the body, thus relieving tremor symptoms.
Certain exercises are especially helpful at reducing tremors. For example, there are many benefits of doing yoga asanas for hand tremors as it improves concentration and reduces stress. You can also specifically target hand tremors by practicing resistance training of the arms. Resistance training increases muscle strength, tone, and endurance. Some studies have also shown that increased resistance training of the arms has helped essential tremor patients with their fine motor skills.
Below, we’ll get into the various types of exercises for essential tremors in hands and how they are beneficial:
Exercise to Improve Overall Condition
Exercise is part of living a healthy life, but exercising looks different to everyone. Some people run. Some people go to the gym. Some people do yoga. It doesn’t really matter what you do, as long as you make an effort to move your body in some way on a regular basis. Exercise is important for everyone, but especially those who suffer from hand tremors.
Stress can contribute to and worsen hand tremors, and exercise helps to relieve stress. If you suffer from tremors, you should make it a goal to exercise regularly to improve your overall health, and your hand tremors will likely decrease as a result.
A great exercise for hand tremors is weight-bearing. Weight-bearing exercises force you to work against gravity and include various weight lifting exercises like planks, push-ups, bicep curls, and shoulder lifts. These strength training exercises can help improve a person’s steadiness and reduce the involuntary shaking that occurs with a tremor.
Bearing weight through your hands with these various exercises can strengthen your upper extremities, which may help with tremors.
Exercise with Adaptive Equipment and Tools
Another effective exercise for hand tremors involves using adaptive equipment and tools. This can mean various things depending on the location and severity of your tremors, but one common way is with weighted tools. For example, many people with hand tremors struggle with using utensils and writing, so, you can increase the weight and diameter of your utensils and writing tools in order to reduce tremors.
There are also various other adaptive tools available that can help make doing daily life tasks easier. For instance, you can use elastic shoelaces if you struggle tying your shoes or an automatic jar opener if you’re not able to open tight jars.
Wearing wrist-weights for essential tremors is another effective way to reduce symptoms while performing certain tasks. You can incorporate these hand exercise equipment with physical therapy, as a physical therapist will likely have the most knowledge about what equipment is best for you.
Exercises for Hand Tremors
So now that you know the various types of exercises for hand tremors, let’s discuss how you can actually do them. Most of these exercises are actually quite simple and can be done right from the comfort of your own home.
These are some of the most common exercises for hand tremors:
A great exercise to reduce hand tremors is to repeatedly form a tight fist. You can do this on your own, or you can use a stress ball. All you have to do is make a tight fist, hold for 10 seconds, release, and then repeat 10 times on either hand. This is a simple movement that you can incorporate into your daily life, no matter where you are.
Bending your fingers is another simple yet effective way to improve hand tremors. There are a few ways you can do this movement. You can bend your fingers down on the surface of a table until you feel the stretch. You can bend all your fingers down and try to touch the bottom of your palm. Or, you can just bend your fingers down one by one.
The finger tap exercise is another great exercise you can do anywhere. Start by tapping your index finger to the top of your thumb on both hands. Next, tap your middle finger to the top of your thumb on both hands. Then do your ring finger and your pinky in the same formation and finish by reversing the motion on both hands.
The thumb bend exercise is an easy way to increase the range of motion in your thumbs. Start by bending your thumb across your palm on one hand so that it reaches the base of your small finger. Hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds and repeat up to four times on both hands.
There are various ways you can stretch your wrists to keep your tendons and ligaments flexible and reduce tremors. One way is to simply rotate both wrists in a circular motion. Another way is to place your hand on the edge of a table with only your wrist hanging off and then bending your wrist down and up repeatedly. You can also incorporate weights into a wrist stretch. Use a lightweight dumbbell and practice slowly moving your wrist up and down with it in your hand.
In addition to moving your fingers and hands, it’s also important to exercise your forearms in order to reduce tremor symptoms. And a good way to do this is with a forearm rotation. You can do this with a lightweight dumbbell as well. Place the weight into your hands and rotate your forearms so your palms are facing up. Slowly bring the weight to your shoulder and back down. Repeat this on either side for 3 sets of 10.
Thumb extension helps to strengthen the muscles in your thumb so you can easily grab and lift heavy items. For this movement, you’ll want to wrap a rubber band around your hand towards the end of your finger joints. Slowly move your thumb as far away from the rest of your fingers as possible and hold for up to 60 seconds. Repeat this 10 to 15 times on either hand.
Talk to Your Doctor Before Deciding to Try Exercise for Essential Tremor of The Hands
Whether you suffer from essential tremor, anxiety tremors or tremors from Parkinson’s disease—all types of hand tremors are undeniably frustrating to deal with. While tremors themselves are not life-threatening, they can become embarrassing and seriously affect an individual’s quality of life. No one should have to be embarrassed to leave their house in fear of not being able to tie their shoelaces if they become undone. If you suffer from hand tremors, a great essential tremor treatment is exercise.
While hand exercises can be very effective at reducing hand tremors, it’s still crucial to talk to your doctor first before deciding to try them out. Different exercises work for different types of tremors, so you’ll want to consult with your doctor beforehand so you can figure out what the best exercise for hand tremors is for you.