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A tremor is a rhythmical, involuntary movement that affects a part of the body, for example the hand. Tremor is a well-known motor symptom of Parkinson’s, but not everybody with Parkinson’s will develop a tremor. A tremor can also be a symptom of conditions other than Parkinson’s.

Parkinson’s Tremor

A tremor related to Parkinson’s usually begins on one side of the body, in a hand or another body part. The tremor occurs at rest and when you move the affected body part it reduces or goes away. Some people can even concentrate on their tremor and make it stop while maintaining concentration. 

As Parkinson’s progresses, the tremor may spread to other body parts and cross to the other side. It may also be felt internally. Typically, it is most noticeable when a person with Parkinson’s is stressed or tired and disappears during movement and when asleep. The most typical tremor in Parkinson’s is called a ‘pill-rolling’ rest tremor, as it looks like you are trying to roll a pill between your thumb and index finger.

Managing a Parkinson’s Tremor

In the early stages of Parkinson’s you may be able to suppress a tremor by squeezing or rolling a ball, pen or similar object in your hand. Anxiety or stress can make a tremor worse, so it's important to find ways to relax. Some people find that certain medications can make their tremor worse. However, usually, a tremor can be kept under control effectively by Parkinson's medication.

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