Essential Tremors – How Chiropractic can Help

There are many types of tremors that vary in origin and severity. The most common type is known as an essential tremor (ET) or benign tremor which occurs in approximately 3 to 4 people for every 100 and targets individuals that are 60 years of age and older. ET is characterized by postural and/or kinetic tremors which, over time, decrease in amplitude and increase in frequency.

ET treatments are extremely limited for several reasons. The epidemiology and pathology of ET requires deeper investigation considering that ET is misdiagnosed up to 50% of the time and only one pharmaceutical drug has been FDA approved as of 2009. Moreover, some medications that are available for individuals with ETs are used to treat other conditions such as seizures and hypertension and only 30% to 50% of these patients respond to them.

Researchers are seeking alternative interventions in the treatment of ET of which one is chiropractic care. Take this case study for example: A 38 year old male with tremors in his upper extremity sought chiropractic help. The patient explained that the tremors began 15 years prior and had no distinct origin. These tremors were impeding everyday life activities such as writing and lifting beverages which diminished his quality of life. In an effort to relieve symptoms, the patient underwent chiropractic evaluation which revealed the presence nerve interference and a subsequent need for chiropractic intervention.

The patient’s treatment plan consisted of 21 visits over the course of 5 and a half months that utilized various hand instruments, pressure adjustments, and a maneuver known as the ‘toggle set.’ After merely one adjustment, the patient reported improvements in his symptoms. More specifically, he was able to move his right hand in a ‘cup raising’ motion towards his mouth with minimal display of tremors. The completion of his treatment plan resulted in the following improvements: 75% improvement in tremors in both arms, 99% improvement in tremors in the head, 90% improvement his low back pain, and 60% improvement in his quality of life.

Berner, N., & Kustarz, K. (2013). Reduction of Essential Tremors in a 38 Year Old Male
Undergoing Chiropractic Care for the Reduction of Vertebral Subluxation: A Case Report.

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