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Overview of tremor

Daniel Tarsy, MD
Section Editor
Howard I Hurtig, MD
Deputy Editor
John F Dashe, MD, PhD


Tremor is defined as a rhythmic and oscillatory movement of a body part with a relatively constant frequency and variable amplitude. It is caused by either alternating or synchronous contractions of antagonistic muscles. Tremor is the most common of all movement disorders, occurring from time to time in most normal individuals in the form of exaggerated physiologic tremor [1].

This topic will cover the classification, clinical features, diagnostic evaluation, and treatment of tremor. The treatment of essential tremor (ET) is discussed separately. (See "Treatment and prognosis of essential tremor" and "Surgical treatment of essential tremor".)


Tremors may be broadly classified into resting, postural, action, postural-action, and intention tremors (table 1 and table 2).

Resting tremors occur with the affected body part fully supported and completely at rest.

Postural tremors occur with the body part suspended against gravity.


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Literature review current through: Nov 2016. | This topic last updated: Thu Jul 07 00:00:00 GMT+00:00 2016.
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