January 10th, 2022 | Updated on January 23rd, 2023
The older you get, the more likely you are to experience certain medical problems. Essential tremor is one such condition that often appears after the age of 40, making simple daily tasks difficult. If you’re looking for relief from essential tremors, here are 5 treatment options.
1. Wrist Weights
For people who only have minor tremors, wrist weights are one way to get relief and improve stability. These weights are mainly designed to reduce shaking, which makes it easier to write, eat and perform other daily tasks.
Choosing the right weights is also important. Ideally, you want weights that have a comfortable lining so they don’t cause irritation when you wear them. Several brands sell weights specifically designed for essential tremor.
As an alternative, you can use weighted utensils or pens and pencils for a similar effect. However, these devices are simply meant to make writing or eating soup easier, so they’re better suited for mild cases.
2. Oral Medication
In more advanced cases of essential tremor, oral medication may be used to reduce shaking. The beta-blocker propranolol has been one of the most commonly used medications for tremor treatment for more than four decades.
Metoprolol is another beta-blocker that’s sometimes used as an essential tremor medication, but it may not be as effective.
It’s important to understand that there are several side effects that may come with using beta-blockers. Some of these side effects include:
- Slow heart rate
- Low blood pressure
- Erectile dysfunction
Before taking beta-blockers to treat essential tremors, make sure you talk with a doctor about whether your blood pressure is an issue.
Another oral medicine used to treat essential tremor is primidone which is an anti seizure medication. A common side effect is sleepiness.
Because oral medications can cause so many side effects, some people choose injections as an alternative treatment method. Botulinum toxin (also known as botox) injections have been shown to improve tremors in seniors for a period of time.
Of course, you have to be comfortable with needles if you’re going to get botox injections as a treatment method. These injections tend to improve tremors for about three months at a time, which means it’s important to get regular injections to keep tremors at bay.
As is the case with anything you put in your body, these injections aren’t free of side effects. Botox injections can weaken your fingers, so you have to decide if that trade-off is worth it for you.
Biofeedback is a process that teaches you how to control bodily functions that you can’t normally control. This includes things like your heart rate, muscle tension and blood pressure.
Because biofeedback helps you relax and have more control over your body, it can be an effective treatment method for essential tremors.
While biofeedback doesn’t reverse the effects of tremors, it can help you resume exercising, traveling and living a normal life.
If the above methods don’t work, surgery may also be an option when it comes to essential tremor treatment. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a procedure that can help treat the neurological symptoms that are associated with tremors.
DBS involves using a device to send electric pulses to your brain, which impacts activity in the parts of the brain that cause essential tremor symptoms.
Living with essential tremor is difficult, but finding the best treatment option for your needs can be tough as well. It’s important to start with less invasive treatment options just in case that’s all you need.
If wrist weights and biofeedback don’t work, talk to your doctor about oral medication, injections or surgery to treat essential tremor.
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