In light of March being Essential Tremor awareness month, we’ve gathered some information on tips to take control of this disease. Essential Tremor is a brain disorder that causes the body to shake uncontrollably, resulting in daily frustration, harm, and an unstable life. The most common areas that are affected by this disorder are the arms and hands, which can make simple tasks such as eating, dressing, and writing become dreaded chores.
Treatments and Coping Methods
Although there’s no cure on the horizon for Essential Tremor, there are multiple kinds of treatments and coping methods to conquer this disorder. Basic treatments consist of therapy, exercising the limb experiencing tremors can help regulate them. Because these tremors are not caused by the muscle or joint, physical therapy can only aid so much as it is a brain disorder. Medications can be taken by a doctors referral but medicating doesn’t always help daily routine.
One of the most affected daily routines in those with Essential Tremor is eating, using regular utensils can be frustrating and in certain cases, dangerous. If there is still one hand that isn’t affected by Essential Tremor, the first thing to do is to begin using that hand more often for simple tasks such as eating and writing. If both hands are affected by ET, then that’s when adaptive utensils come in. Bringing these adaptive utensils to public places such as restaurants can also be beneficial in case they don’t carry specialized items.
Utensils that counterweight whatever is on the spoon/fork are the best for this disorder, a balance spoon can make eating meals a smoother experience with its unique design to balance its weight. Other helpful items such as weighted utensils can help steady tremors as well, sometimes adding a bit more weight can work to balance the shaky limb. It’s also beneficial to use things with lids on them, like travel mugs and sealed bowls in case of an accidental spill.
For writing purposes, try writing in print instead of cursive, bigger letters instead of small ones, and take periodic breaks to rest your hand. What might work as a solution for some people might not work for others, Essential Tremor affects different limbs with different severity for each person. There are several kinds of writing aids that can be used to reduce the severity of these tremors and even relieve some of the discomfort that comes with Essential Tremor.
Just because we can learn to live with something doesn’t mean we should let it control us, there are ways to conquer this disorder even if it’s not curable. Don’t be afraid to make requests to your loved ones, asking for help can be hard, but doing it alone is harder. For more information, visit the International Essential Tremor Foundation website.
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