There are a wide variety of treatment options for MS tremor, including occupational and physical therapy, medications, and surgery.
A physical therapist (PT) assesses problems with body movement and function, and offers ways to manage them. An occupational therapist (OT) helps make it easier for people to perform their usual daily activities. Both of these professionals can suggest ways to help manage tremor to minimize its effects on your life.
One method that may be recommended by your PT or OT is bracing, which uses a solid brace to support your affected limbs. Bracing can make it easier to do your usual activities, but it must be used with caution. In some cases, it may increase spasticity, so do not use braces unless recommended by your PT or OT.
Sometimes, applying weight to an affected limb can help minimize tremor. Your PT or OT may recommend weighted boots, ankle weights, or wrist weights. They may also recommend weighting the objects that you use, such as cutlery, canes, or walkers, to make them easier to handle. However, this may also increase fatigue, so check with your PT or OT first.
Other strategies that your PT or OT may recommend include:
- exercises to improve balance and coordination and balance
- exercises to "train your brain" to do certain movements with ease despite a tremor
- adaptive devices, such as plates with lips to prevent food from spilling
- biofeedback – using a computer to help people recognize and compensate for balance problems related to tremor
- limb-cooling devices – some studies have shown that cooling affected limbs can provide short-term (about 30-45 minutes) relief from tremor
Your PT and OT are excellent resources for exercises, devices, and other strategies to manage life with tremor. To learn more, speak to your OT or PT.
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