What Are the Treatments for Benign Essential Tremor?

Treatment for essential tremor is not always necessary if the symptoms the patient experiences are mild. However, if the essential tremor condition makes it challenging to perform routine activities or work, treatment options are likely available through your doctor.

Essential tremor (ET) is a progressive movement disorder that is often inherited. The effects of it usually appear during later adulthood. Benign essential tremor is often recognized when holding the arms up, like reading a magazine, or when writing, drinking or eating. In some cases, the essential tremor can affect the tongue, voice, head and legs. Often times, the condition becomes worse when the body is fatigued, stressed, or when the patient is taking stimulant medications.

Essential Tremor Causes

Research indicates that ET is brought on by electrical brain fluctuations sending abnormal signals to the body’s muscles. In fact, the signals often travel through numerous brain regions before arriving at the muscles. These different regions in the brain include the cortex, thalamus, globus pallidus, red nucleus and the cerebellum.

Individuals that suffer extensive functional impairment are usually treated for the condition. Patients experiencing minimal impairment of the condition often forgo medication treatments. Typically, there are two specific avenues for treating the condition – medication and non-medical therapy.

Medication

Even though beta-blockers are effective for treating high blood pressure, they are also used as a common treatment for ET. However, beta-blockers might not be a possible solution for patients that suffer with certain heart conditions or asthma. Side effects from taking beta-blockers include heart issues and lightheadedness.

Anti-seizure medications have been proven effective at treating benign essential tumors. In addition, doctors often prescribe tranquilizing medications, for patients who experience tremors when anxious or tense.

Finally, doctors will prescribe Botox injections to treat a variety of tremors, especially those affecting the voice and head. A series of Botox injections are known to improve the tremor condition for three months or more at a time. However, Botox used for treating hand tremors can cause extensive weakness in the muscles of the fingers.

Therapy

Doctors often prescribe occupational or physical therapy as a way to improve benign essential tumors. This is because it can improve muscle coordination, control and strength. Sometimes, the patient adapts to different living modalities, such as wearing wrist weights, and using heavier, wider writing tools and thicker utensils and glasses.

Doctors often diagnose benign essential tumors through the patient’s involuntary shaking, and only prescribe harsh medical treatments for more severe cases.

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