Parkinson's Movement
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Tremors 101

TREMORS AND PARKINSONS? What types of tremor do people with PD have?

Tremor is the repetitive, involuntary shaking of a body part, most commonly the hands or head. It can be a disorder in its own right, or it can be a sign of another health problem.

There are several different types of tremor, all of which fall into one of three main categories:

Resting tremors — Resting tremors happen while you are sitting or lying down and relaxed. People who have a resting tremor can usually stop the tremor by deliberately moving the affected body part.

Postural tremors — Postural tremors happen when you try to hold a body part still, against the force of gravity. If you have a postural tremor, your arms might shake if you hold them out in front of you.

Action tremors — Action tremors happen when you move deliberately.

Learning whether you have a resting, postural, or action tremor is the first step in discovering the cause of your tremor and its potential treatment. The different categories of tremor usually have very different causes.


Parkinson disease — The most common cause of resting tremor is Parkinson disease. If that is the cause of your tremor, your healthcare provider will probably focus on treating the Parkinson disease in the hopes that doing so will also alleviate the tremor.

In a few instances, people with Parkinson disease who have a resting tremor also have an action tremor.

Other causes — Other possible causes of resting tremor include:

●Rubral tremor, caused by conditions that damage part of the brainstem

●Wilson disease, a rare inherited disease that causes copper to build up in the body

10 Replies

I have resting tremors and posture tremors. I also have noticed my tremors r worse around people as well as when I'm standing. My body keeps wanting to go backwards and it's very frustrating.


Thanks for the link. That's interesting.


I appreciate this information. Thank you. I have resting and postural tremors. It gets to be quite embarrassingly aggravated at times.


Well written and to the point articles. Thank you for posting.

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My tremor is induced by anxiety. I had a chance to experiment this weekend and I still will start shaking if any type of stress even if I have no reason to be stressed.

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Mental stress also affects my tremor and it may be due to just 'pleasant' stress, frustration, physical, etc.

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Started GF diet 12 months ago resting tremor disappeared


My resting tremor ceased, or nearly so, several years ago, but I still have an action tremor. I have heard this type referred to as a "cogwheel tremor" or as "ratcheting". This occurs when an opposing muscle "fires" during movement initiated by a working muscle. It can be demonstrated by doing a bicep curl with one arm and providing resistance with the other. The result is a weakened, jerky, "ratchety" bicep curl which is very similar to that of a resting tremor. Hikoi, please correct if this information is no longer valid



I have never heard this terminology - cog wheel tremor. I do know that diagnosing tremor type isnt always easy. To be diagnosed with pd a person tremor will be a resting tremor. An action tremor is not diagnostic of pd. ratcheting or cogwheel movement is one of the tests done. I doubt that your medic would call your tremor an action tremor. This link may explain more.’s-disease/

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Another good over view of PD tremors. Again it is quite clear that action tremor is not diagnostic of pd. people with parkinsons can get an action tremor as well but that is not the parkinson tremor we read about.


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