5 Ways to Reduce Tremors
By Dr. Sarah Somers and Dr. Tricia O’Driscoll
Tremors are a common symptom associated with Parkinson’s disease, a chronic progressive neurological disorder. Medical management may or may not help with reducing tremors so it is imperative to help patients find a specific way to combat tremors. Therefore, we are going to share with you tips that we’ve seen improve quality of life with patients, large groups of individuals, and our community. How great would it be for you to feel more confident in a crowd, eating in public, and attend family/grandchild/sporting events?
Each one of these tips can be individualized to you, because everyone has different symptoms. Maybe all, or just one with help you feel better, move better, and look better.
Tip 1: Flicks – putting maximum range of motion and opening through the hands, acting as if you are throwing away your tremors with tons of effort. How to do this: close your hands and squeeze tightly, followed by throwing your hands out sideways and opening them maximally. This can be performed with just the hands, or with total arm involvement.
Tip 2: Punching – with hands squeezed tightly and in a fist, throw a few punches in front of you giving them your best effort. How to do this: close your hands and squeeze tightly, raise your arms and straighten your elbows as you punch in front of you. Repeat with both arms.
Tip 3: Postural Reset – taking a deep breath and sitting up as tall as possible while pushing the chest out can help with fine motor tasks (writing, buttoning, tying, cutting meat) by improving awareness and support. How to do this: whenever you find yourself sitting slouched over, take a deep breath and sit up as tall as possible, as if someone is pulling your head to the ceiling.
Tip 4: Approximation/ Grounding – with a deep breath, apply pressure through the arms with open hands into the knees. How to do this: whenever you find yourself sitting/standing slouched over, take a deep breath and push your hands into your legs and push your legs into the ground.
Tip 5: Take a Timeout – stop what you are trying to do and take a quick break. How to do this: if you are trying to put your earrings in, button up your shirt, or bring food to your mouth, take a pause. Stop and have a LOUD conversation, go for a BIG walk, then tackle what you were originally doing.
That concludes our tips for reducing tremors. Take the time to try each of these tips. We hope one, or all of these can make a significant change in your mobility, safety, function, and quality of life. If none of these seem to help don’t worry, we are all different and unique. Seek out a medical professional to find that one trick to combat these tremors!!