Types of Tremors with Parkinson's Disease

Types of Tremors with Parkinson's Disease


Tremors are divided into two types by health and medical professionals: resting tremors and action tremors. Resting tremors occurs while the muscle is at rest, whereas action tremors occurs when the muscle is actively moving. Tremors are then further classified by experts into more than 20 distinct kinds. For example, essential, dystonic, and Parkinsonian tremors are all common types of tremors.

Parkinson's disease is a movement disorder that affects nearly 8 out of 10 people, with tremor as an identification symptom. Many individuals believe that the primary concern for patients with Parkinson's disease is uncontrollable shaking. While it is an annoying symptom that many wish to control, other aspects of the disorder can be far more severe.

In patients with Parkinson's disease, they may notice symptoms like shaky hands and feet.  This is not a willful movement, but it is called a tremor.  Around 80% of persons with Parkinson's disease experience tremors. They aren't severe, although they can be irritating.


What is a Parkinson's Tremor?


Different health conditions like essential tremors and multiple sclerosis also cause tremors. The difference between Parkinson's disease tremors and others is,

  • They happen at a resting state when muscles don't move
  • They are continuous and slow
  • They are not random
  • These tremors are asymmetric, originated from one side of the body, and travels to the other side.







Types of Tremor


Finger Twitching


In medical terms, tremors of the thumb, fingers are called 'pill-rolling.' Commonly, it affects both fingers and thumb; it depicts that an individual is rolling a pill in the fingers. Most commonly, Parkinson's tremors initiate from the thumb and fingers.

Jaw Tremors


In Parkinson's disease, tremor of the jaw is very common and a head tremor is rare. The jaw tremor resembles shivering, but it is usually slower. It vanishes with movement, so it's unnoticeable while eating. When it is severe enough to force the teeth to click together, it isn't very pleasant. It may prevent dentures from keeping in place for persons who wears them and attract attention due to the clicking sounds. The tremor is relieved by chewing gum.



Foot Tremors


Foot tremors mostly happen when most people rest their leg with the bit of heel off the ground in a specific location. Parkinson's disease does not cause these tremors. A foot tremor caused by Parkinson's disease is a resting tremor, which is most noticeable when the feet are hanging or when the individual is lying down. It mostly goes away when the individual stands up, and it doesn't stop them from walking. The tremor generally affects the feet, but it can also affect the thighs, causing the entire leg to shake.






Tongue Tremor


In almost 1% cases of Parkinson's disease, the tongue also experiences tremor that leads to shaking the head. Moreover, in some cases, tremors can be transmitted from the head to the arms. 


Parkinson’s Tremor and Essential Tremor


Parkinson's disease tremors are sometimes misunderstood with conditions or tremors called essential tremors. Sometimes doctors may also misdiagnose Parkinson's tremors despite essential tremors. Heads, hands, and voice are mainly involved in critical tremors.

Sometimes, essential tremors may lead to jaw tremors, and it may be challenging to determine whether a jaw tremor is due to Essential Tremor or Parkinson's disease.  Some experts feel there is a stronger link between both conditions, such that more patients with Parkinson's disease have Essential Tremor than would be anticipated by chance alone, but this needs more research to be approved.







  1. https://www.everydayhealth.com/parkinsons-disease/tremors-what-they-are-types-tremors-more/
  2. https://www.webmd.com/parkinsons-disease/parkinsons-tremors
  3. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/parkinsons-tremor#definition
  4. https://www.apdaparkinson.org/what-is-parkinsons/symptoms/tremor/
  5. https://parkinsonsnewstoday.com/parkinsons-disease-symptoms/motor/parkinsonian-tremor/

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