Trembling, twitching or tremor is usually an unconscious trembling or swinging motor movement of body parts. Especially trembling hands are often an unambiguous sign of the symptom.

What is trembling?

Especially trembling hands are often an unambiguous sign of the symptom.

As already noted, tremor is usually an unconscious or involuntary motor action in which the body, as a whole or individual parts of the body, trembles or is slightly swinging or shivering. The tremor itself has its origin mostly in the opposite action of muscle groups (antagonists). Hands, jaws, heads, feet and voice are often known for their tremendous tremors.

Trembling can occur in different forms. For example, it can be shaky or shivering, with strong freezing or rather swinging and rhythmic, as in Parkinson's. The trembling can happen at rest or in motion.

One can further differentiate the following forms of trembling:

1. Trembling during the movement of a body part

2. Trembling while resting or holding a body part

3. Trembling when fixated on a target

4. Trembling while holding an object

5. Trembling at specific motor actions, such as making music


Shivering in cold or freezing is usually harmless unless frostbite occurs in a row. Freezing is even a protective mechanism to provide the body with more heat through muscle contraction. However, tremors can also be a symptom of a disease. Typical of these are Parkinson's, hyperthyroidism, epilepsy, stroke and multiple sclerosis.

But also the excessive consumption of alcohol, nicotine, drugs, coffee, tea and various medications can cause tremors. Likewise, mental illnesses such as anxiety disorder or panic attacks are a possible cause. A rare cause of trembling is hereditary predispositions that have not been thoroughly researched yet.

Diseases with this symptom

  • Parkinson
  • multiple sclerosis
  • anxiety disorder
  • alcoholism
  • frostbite
  • stroke
  • Dumping syndrome
  • Wilson's disease
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • epilepsy
  • dystonia
  • Graves' disease


Trembling is an ordinary reaction of the body to cold. In most cases, the tremor always disappears when the body can warm up again. If the cold is not treated directly, hypothermia may occur in the case of very long-lasting tremors. However, this is not bad if the patient is treated immediately with heat.

However, the tremor can also occur in conjunction with muscle diseases and is often a result of alcohol abuse. In such cases, a doctor must be consulted to examine the symptom and to treat it if necessary. Often a frequent tremor also indicates an overactive thyroid.

This can be treated with the help of medication. Parkinson is also a cause of trembling, unfortunately can not be treated directly. Here are different forms of the disease distinguished, which differ in the frequency of the tremor.

If there is still pain in the wrist when trembling, this may indicate a pinched nerve, a doctor must be called urgently. It can also arise due to stress or nervousness and is normal in such situations. After the situation, the tremor disappears again by itself.

When should you go to the doctor?

Usually, a tremor of individual extremities or of the entire body is a defense reaction of the body. Excessive cold causes individual muscle regions to tremble, maintaining temperature. However, a trembling of certain body regions can also be caused by an unfamiliar load. However, the tremor should disappear after a few hours by itself.

If this is not the case, a doctor should be consulted as soon as possible. Only in this way can serious underlying diseases be avoided or detected early and treated. If the shaking of individual parts of the body disappears after a few hours, it is very likely to be a harmless sore muscle. The shaking of individual parts of the body at short intervals can occur due to a serious underlying disease. Thus, a visit to the doctor should not wait long, because only by early treatment serious complications can be avoided.

For this reason: Affected persons who suffer from unusual physical activity under a tremor in the muscles, by no means need to see a doctor. After a few hours, the tremor should disappear by itself. It looks different, however, if the tremor occurs for no apparent reason. In such a case, the visit to the doctor is absolutely inevitable. Only a medical examination can detect possible underlying diseases early enough.

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Treatment & Therapy

Normally, no doctor is visited with shivers. Nevertheless, in the context of another disease, this symptom can be diagnosed by a physician and a diagnosis included. Depending on the cause then, in addition to the underlying disease, a treatment of trembling possible.

Possible therapies include the use of drugs such as beta-blockers or botulinum toxin. In addition, motor techniques and forms of training have been used successfully against trembling in the past. Trembling as part of an epilepsy or Parkinson's disease can not be cured yet. Only the relief of the symptoms is guaranteed by the doctors.

Outlook & Forecast

In most cases, trembling is not a serious symptom that must be treated by a doctor. If the shivering occurs due to cold, the symptom disappears again when the patient warms up. In this case, however, hypothermia may occur if the person concerned is exposed to cold temperatures over a long period of time.

Should the patient consume alcohol or other drugs on a regular basis, the tremor can also result from it. Here, withdrawal helps to limit and treat the symptom.

If the tremor suddenly occurs, it may be another underlying condition. In this case, the further course of the disease depends on the exact cause. In the case of Parkinson's only a very limited treatment is possible in which the tremor can not be completely eliminated.

Often it comes in stressful situations and nervousness trembling, which is a common symptom. In this case, a psychotherapeutic treatment can also be initiated to reduce the complaint. A cold or flu can also cause a tremor, which, however, disappears together with the underlying disease.


In order to avoid or prevent trembling you should try to lead a stress-free and relaxed life. In addition, regular exercise and exercise helps in nature and in the fresh air. Likewise, a healthy diet should be sought. Should be waived on too much alcohol, smoking and drug use. Reducing coffee can also be helpful.

You can do that yourself

Trembling can have various causes and should therefore always be clarified by a doctor. Depending on the cause, various home remedies and measures can relieve the symptoms. With nervous trembling create breathing exercises and relaxation techniques (yoga, physiotherapy, massages, etc.) remedy. On stimulating drinks with caffeine should be waived meanwhile. Better are herbal teas (such as lemon balm, fennel or chamomile), juice spritzers or buttermilk.

A warm bath relaxes and triggers the tremor quickly. Suitable remedies from nature are chamomile, valerian, hops or lavender. When taken in the form of tablets, tea or drops, these remedies reduce the tremor and improve overall health. Trembling in the hands can be reduced by cooling hand cuffs and avoiding alcohol, nicotine and coffee.

Often the trembling is based on fatigue, which can be alleviated by relaxation and bed rest. If the symptoms are based on psychological stress, they must be worked up to achieve a long-term improvement. Patients with a pre-existing condition should always have abnormal tremors checked with the attending physician to avoid serious complications.

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