Can Stress Cause Tremors? Essential Tremor And Stress Guide
Anxiety is an emotion that can affect people in different ways. Many individuals experience anxiety as a result of physical symptoms, such as tremors.
Tremors and anxiety can be related, but understanding the relationship between the two can help people manage their symptoms and cope more effectively.
In this article, we will explore the link between tremors and feelings of anxiety, discuss how to recognize them, and provide helpful tips on how to manage both conditions.
✅ Symptoms of Tremors
Tremors are one of the most common neurological disorders, characterized by rhythmic and involuntary shaking or trembling in any part of the body. This condition can be caused by several factors such as physical injury, stress, and even some medications.
The most common signs and symptoms associated with tremors include shaking of hands or arms when performing activities that require fine motor skills, difficulty maintaining balance while walking or standing still for long periods of time, head nodding or bobbing without control, and even vocal tremors which cause speech difficulties.
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✅ Types of Tremors
The different types of tremor are:
⚫ Psychogenic Tremor
Tremors can be a serious issue, both physically and mentally. A tremor is an involuntary shaking of the body that can be caused by various medical conditions such as Parkinson's disease or multiple sclerosis. While these types of tremors are more common, there is another type known as psychogenic tremor that affects our bodies differently.
Psychogenic tremors are neurological disorders characterized by uncontrolled convulsions of the limbs, head, or other parts of the body. This type of tremor does not have any known underlying cause but instead originates from psychological issues such as stress, anxiety, or depression. Symptoms usually include shaking in different areas of the body and range from mild to severe depending on how much psychological distress the patient is experiencing at any given time.
⚫ Intention Tremor
An intention tremor is one which worsens when attempting to target an object with movement, such as when trying to reach for an object or writing with a pen. This type of tremor is often described as feeling like quivering or shaking and makes it difficult to perform activities that require fine motor control skills such as buttoning shirts or handwriting legibly.
⚫ Physiologic Tremor
Physiological tremor causes muscles to twitch or shake due to stress or fatigue, or side effects from certain medications like thyroid medication or antidepressants. These types of tremors usually manifest as rhythmic shaking in the hands, arms, head, and face.
Physiologic tremors can be caused by either physical or psychological factors. Physical causes may include an increase in adrenaline levels due to stress or anxiety, fatigue, low blood sugar levels, or a reaction to certain medications.
Psychological causes could include fear or anxiety related to a specific situation or task. In some cases, physiologic tremors may also be caused by neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and shaky hands.
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⚫ Action Tremor
Action tremors, for example, are involuntary movements caused by muscle contractions or spasms. These tremors typically affect the arms and hands, resulting in shaking when attempting to perform everyday activities such as writing or eating. This type of tremor is commonly seen in those who suffer from neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s Disease or Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
⚫ Orthostatic Tremor
It occurs when standing upright for an extended period of time. People with this condition experience rapid shaking in their legs which can lead to difficulty walking or standing up straight.
Orthostatic tremor is still not fully understood but it is believed to be caused by abnormalities in the communication between certain areas of the brain and spinal cord that control muscle movements. This disorder affects mainly older adults and those with existing medical conditions such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, or stroke.
⚫ Task-specific Tremor
Task-specific tremor affects specific muscles when performing particular activities like writing or speaking in public. This type of tremor is often associated with Parkinson's disease but not every person with a task-specific tremor has this condition. People with this type of tremor will experience rhythmic shaking in certain parts of their body such as their hands, legs, head, or voice box when attempting to do tasks like signing their name or giving presentations.
⚫ Hand Tremors
Hand tremors have been classified into two main types: essential tremors and Parkinsonian tremors. Essential tremor is usually caused by an inherited neurological disorder, while Parkinsonian tremor is caused by damage to certain areas of the brain due to diseases such as Parkinson's disease or multiple sclerosis. It is important for patients to get an accurate diagnosis in order to determine the cause of their tremors and receive appropriate treatment.
⚫ Familial Tremor
Familial tremor is an inherited disorder that causes muscles to contract involuntarily, leading to shaking. It usually affects arms and hands but can affect other parts of the body as well. This type of tremor is often milder than other types and does not worsen over time.
✅ How Stress and Anxiety can Cause Trembling
Stress and anxiety can cause a variety of physical symptoms, including tremors. While tremors may be associated with certain medical conditions, stress is one of the most common causes. Tremors are uncontrollable shaking that usually occurs in the hands and arms but can also affect other parts of the body.
When we experience high levels of stress hormones, our muscles become tensed up for long periods of time which can lead to quivering. This could result from feeling overwhelmed and not being able to cope with the situation at hand, or it could be due to fear or anticipation in response to panic attacks, stressful events, or situations. In addition, when we experience strong emotions such as anger or sadness these can also trigger tremors as our bodies try to expel this energy through physical movement.
Stress and anxiety cause involuntary shaking of the body. Tremors are a common symptom of both physical and psychological ailments, and it is thought that anxiety and stress may be the underlying mechanism. How exactly these overall health issues and mental illness cause this trembling sensation is still being studied, but evidence suggests that hormones released during times of distress may contribute to tremors.
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The body’s stress response is activated through its “fight or flight” mechanism, which releases adrenaline. This hormone triggers certain physiological changes in the body, such as increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, faster breathing rate, and tightened muscles – all of which can lead to shaking in some individuals.
✅ Symptoms of Anxiety and Warning Signs of Stress
Common symptoms of an anxiety disorder include:
- Feeling restless or on edge
- Having difficulty concentrating
- Easily becoming irritable or frustrated
- Experiencing muscle tension, headaches, or stomachaches
- Sweating or having a rapid heart rate
- Feeling overwhelmed or out of control is an anxiety symptom.
Warning signs of stress may include:
- Avoiding social situations
- Trouble sleeping
- Poor performance at work/school
- Irregular eating habits
✅ 15 Ways How to Treat Anxiety Tremors to Stop Shaking
The major ways to cope with tremors and shaking due to depression and anxiety are:
1. If the cause of the tremor is due to alcohol withdrawal, reducing or abstaining from alcohol consumption can also help reduce symptoms. So, reduce caffeine and alcohol use.
2. Exercise regularly
3. Practice stress management techniques such as yoga, meditation, mindfulness, or deep breathing exercises
4. Get adequate sleep
5. Eat a healthy diet with plenty of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins
6. Avoid triggers that worsen anxiety shaking such as bright or flickering lights or loud noises which also lead to high blood pressure.
7. Take medications to manage other underlying health conditions that may be causing the quivering due to a stressful situation.
8. Try relaxation techniques like progressive muscle relaxation or guided imagery. Deep breaths and progressive muscle relaxation techniques may also help relieve symptoms. For physical tremors, maintaining muscle strength is important for managing them.
9. Use assistive devices to help manage shaking hands and fingers when performing activities such as typing or writing
10. Participate in physical therapy exercises to reduce tension in your body and improve coordination of the affected muscles
11. Correcting any vitamin deficiencies can help reduce tremors. Try vitamin B12 supplements if low levels are causing tremors
12. Seek out alternative treatments like acupuncture and chiropractic care for additional relief from twitching
13. Ask your doctor about botox injections (in some cases) which can relax the twitching muscles
14. Use weighted gloves to help reduce hand shakiness.
15. Consider taking medication specifically designed to treat tremors such as alprazolam prescribed by your doctor.
One of the most common treatments is taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, which reduce involuntary movements.
Cognitive behavioral therapy may also be beneficial for those who experience emotional tremors by providing coping mechanisms and relaxation strategies. All in all, with a combination of medications and lifestyle changes, it is possible to find relief from tremors.
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✅ Bottom Line
It is important to recognize the relationship between tremors and anxiety in order to properly manage both conditions. It may be helpful to track symptoms or speak with a medical professional about the best treatment options for both tremors and anxiety. Patients should not be afraid to take proactive steps like exercising, journaling, or talking about their concerns with family or friends. Treatment should also involve lifestyle modifications like getting enough sleep and avoiding excessive caffeine consumption.