Essential Tremor Treatments

Essential Tremor Treatments and Advice

Essential tremor (ET) is a disorder that causes the involuntary sharking of a particular body part. Common body parts affected by the neurological disorder include:

  • Hands
  • Head
  • Arms

It’s even possible for the lower body to be affected. However, tremors are typically worse in the hands when they’re being used. Essential tremor slowly gets worse over time without proper treatment, which can cause decreased function in day-to-day activities like tying shoes or drinking coffee. Essential tremor is typically diagnosed using several tests, medical history, physical exams, and more.

Treatments and Advice for Essential Tremor

Essential tremor has no cure, but there are many different types of treatment, including holistic and medical treatments. A neurologist will help patients understand their treatment options and choose the best treatment for them. Medical treatments include:


There are some medications available to help with the management and treatment of essential tremor, including:


Beta-blockers are most commonly used by physicians to treat high blood pressure, but they can relieve tremors in some patients. Beta-blockers are typically used for mild cases of essential tremor.

Anti-seizure medication

Drugs used for epilepsy have been proven effective for some people who may not respond to beta-blockers. Unfortunately, there are some mild side effects, including drowsiness and nausea, but they will fade over time.


Tranquilizers such a Klonopin may be used to treat individuals with essential tremor that worsens with anxiety or tension. These medications are typically used for more severe cases of essential tremor and come with higher risks than beta-blockers or anti-seizure medications because they can be habit-forming.

Botox Injections

Botox might be useful for treating some types of tremors, especially those in the voice. However, it can also cause weakness near the injection site.


Physical and occupational therapy can help patients learn exercises that improve muscle strength to make performing daily tasks easier. These exercises can improve strength, control, and coordination.

Therapists can also help you learn how to manage your life with essential tremors by teaching you how to do things differently so your disorder can’t impact your way of life or happiness. These trained individuals can also give you advice for what types of devices or products might help give you some relief, including heavier utensils or drinkware, wrist weights, and utensils with grips so you can hold things without your essential tremor getting in the way.


Surgery is another option for patients who have tremors that are disabling and don’t respond to medication. There are two different surgeries you might qualify for:

Deep Brain Stimulation

Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) is the most common surgery for patients with essential tremors and is the preferred treatment in surgical medical centers. DBS requires surgeons to insert an electrical probe into the area of the brain responsible for tremors. Next, a wire runs under the skin to a neurostimulator implanted in the chest. This device is similar to a pacemaker, but it transmits electrical pulses to block signals from the brain to stop tremors before they begin.

DBS is effective, but it has side effects, such as equipment malfunction, imbalance, headaches, and weakness. These side effects typically go away on their own after an adjustment period.

Focused Ultrasound Thalamotomy

Focused ultrasound thalamotomy is a non-invasive procedure that uses sound waves. Sound waves travel through the skin and skull to destroy brain tissue in the area of the brain responsible for the tremors.

Even though this treatment is non-invasive, it is still performed by a surgeon who uses imaging to target the right area of the brain and ensure the sound waves are doing what they’re supposed to. Even though this treatment can be effective, it can also cause permanent changes to brain function, and some people have experienced trouble walking. However, most of these complications go away or are very mild.

Non-Invasive Devices

Non-invasive devices, such as an essential tremor bracelet, use electrical stimulation to the nerves to block the central neural network from causing tremors. While these devices show promise, they are only short-term treatments. You’ll have to continue doing the treatments every day to get results.

Non-invasive devices can help you perform everyday tasks, including tying your shoes, writing, making life more comfortable and enjoyable.

Home Remedies

Home remedies can help supplement medical treatment, allowing patients with essential tremors to live happy, healthier lives. Here are a few home remedies that might help.

Avoiding Stimulants

Stimulants, such as caffeine and nicotine, can make tremors worse, so it’s important to avoid them no matter what.

Avoid Alcohol

Alcohol should also be avoided, especially if you’re on medication.

Stress Management

Stress can increase tremor severity, but being relaxed may help improve tremors. Learning stress management techniques, such as yoga breathing, can help you keep your tremors under control.

Lifestyle Changes

When we think of lifestyle changes, we typically think of weight loss. However, lifestyle changes are any changes in your routine that can improve your life. Even small lifestyle changes can help you manage your tremors. While you won’t be able to avoid some activities, you can find ways to do things differently. For example, you can use a hand that’s less affected by essential tremors and learn how to write and do other activities with that hand.


Living with essential tremors can make you feel isolated and alone even when you’re surrounded by loved ones. A counselor can help you find ways to manage stress and deal with periods of loneliness so your tremor doesn’t impact your mental health. A therapist can also provide you with an outlet for your emotions when you are feeling overwhelmed.

Have a Support System

Having a support system can help you get through the difficulties of living with essential tremors. Your support system can help you feel calm in stressful situations so your tremor doesn’t worsen. Not only that, but the people who love you will be willing to help you out with tasks you can’t do on your own. For example, your spouse might tie your shoes for you so you don’t have to worry about what you can’t do and only have to focus on what’s important.

authorMarné Amoguis holds a B.A. in International Business from UC San Diego. She is a contributing writer at where she loves sharing her passion for digital marketing. Outside of writing, she loves traveling, playing music, and hiking.