Are shaky hands normal or something to worry about? Dr Li Weishan, Consultant, Neurology, NNI, explains the common causes of hand tremors, how to manage them and when to seek medical treatment.

If you see your hands start to shake, thoughts of Parkinson’s disease may spring to mind, but often this is not the case. 

“Hand tremors are common in healthy people and often go away without medical treatment. However, in some cases, tremors can affect a person’s quality of life or be a sign of something more serious,” says Dr Li Weishan.

Tremors – uncontrollable shaking or trembling – usually affect the hands but can also occur in the arms, legs, head, and vocal cords. 

Tremors can be split into two groups: those that are classed as ‘normal’ and those caused by medical conditions.

‘Normal' Tremor (Physiological Tremor)

Tremor caused by medical conditions (Pathological Tremor) 
Shaking hands are a common symptom of two medical conditions: Essential Tremor and Parkinson’s disease. These conditions affect movement and are more common in the elderly, however there are key differences between their symptoms and management.