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How to Help Manage Parkinson’s Tremors

By Mary-Frances Walsh, 8:00 am on

Tremors are among the most noticeable of the motor symptoms associated with Parkinson’s. Since symptoms can vary in patients, it’s not unusual for tremors to affect one hand or leg and not the other. Often occurring during the early stages of Parkinson’s and increasing in intensity as the disease progresses, tremors can often be managed to the point of not being so disruptive.

Counteracting Tremors with Movement

Tremors frequently disappear or become less noticeable when patients move the affected area, especially at a stage when tremors are still relatively mild. Light-to-moderate exercise may also help some patients maintain their mobility and manage tremors. For this reason, doctors often recommend an appropriate level of physical therapy and regular exercise for patients diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

Improving Physical Dexterity

Some patients benefit from exercises to improve physical dexterity when tremors affect the hands and fingers. For instance, practicing writing, drawing or taking a hands-on art class can, in some cases, get the blood flowing in the hands and fingers to help reduce the intensity of tremors.

Controlling Tremors with Medication

Parkinson’s patients whose primary symptom is tremors are often treated with oral medications and injections before resorting to neurosurgical options. Fortunately, studies suggest that so-called first-line medications, often having fewer side effects, tend to be highly effective when it comes to managing tremors. Second-line medications, such as clozapine and amantadine, are often used to treat patients experiencing tremors not responding to over-the-counter or first-line prescription medications.

Additional Tips

Sonoma County senior care professionals and geriatric care specialists also recommend that seniors with Parkinson’s:

  • Get more recuperative and productive sleep (reduce naps)
  • Learn relaxation techniques (such as yoga and tai chi)
  • Get evaluated to determine if it’s an essential tremor (a non-Parkinson’s tremor is often mistaken as a symptom of Parkinson’s that’s entirely treatable)

If you have an aging parent or loved one who is living with Parkinson’s and you are interested in learning more about care options or need help with caregiving, reach out to Home Care Assistance Sonoma County. We proudly provide flexible hourly and live-in Parkinson’s care in Sonoma County and have a team of highly trained and professional caregivers available 24/7. To learn more about our care options or to request a complimentary, Parkinson’s care consultation, call 707-843-4368.