static tremor

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Related to static tremor: action tremor, head tremors

pos·tur·al trem·or

tremor present when the limbs or trunk are kept in certain positions and when they are moved actively, usually due to near-synchronous rhythmic bursts in opposing muscle groups.
Synonym(s): static tremor

static tremor

irregular involuntary muscle contractions that occur when a patient makes an effort to hold the trunk or limbs in certain positions.

static tremor

(1) Resting tremor, see there.  
(2) Postural tremor, see there.


(trem'or) (tre'mor) [L. tremor, a shaking]
1. A quivering, esp. a continuous quivering of a convulsive nature.
2. An involuntary movement of a part or parts of the body resulting from alternate contractions of opposing muscles. See: subsultus

Tremors may be classified as involuntary, static, dynamic, kinetic, or hereditary. Pathological tremors are independent of the will. The trembling may be fine or coarse, rapid or slow, and may appear on movement (intention tremor) or improve when the part is voluntarily exercised. It is often caused by organic disease; trembling may also express an emotion (e.g., fear). All abnormal tremors except palatal and ocular myoclonus disappear during sleep.

action tremor

Intention tremor.

alcoholic tremor

The visible tremor exhibited by alcoholics.

cerebellar tremor

An intention tremor of 3 to 5 Hz frequency, associated with cerebellar disease.

coarse tremor

A tremor in which oscillations are relatively slow.

continuous tremor

A tremor that resembles tremors of paralysis agitans.

enhanced physiological tremor

An action tremor associated with catecholamine excess (e.g., in association with anxiety, thyrotoxicosis, hypoglycemia, or alcohol withdrawal). It may occur as a side effect of drugs (e.g., epinephrine, caffeine, theophylline, amphetamines, levodopa, tricyclic antidepressants, lithium, and corticosteroids).

essential tremor

A benign tremor, usually of the head, chin, outstretched hands, and occasionally the voice, that is to be differentiated from the tremor of Parkinson's disease. Unlike Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor does not cause or presage other neurological complications. Essential tremor, which is made worse by anxiety or action, is usually 8 to 10 cycles per second and that of parkinsonism 4 to 5. Postural tremors occur when the patient tries to hold his hands in a particular position (e.g., when the hands are outstretched). Kinetic tremors occur during purposeful movement (e.g., during finger-to-nose testing). Essential tremor affects 5 to 10 million adults and some children in the U.S. and is probably the most common movement disorder. Its incidence increases with age. In essential tremor, there is usually a family history. The medicines effective in treating parkinsonism have no effect on essential tremor.

Patient care

Patients with essential tremor often require no treatment other than reassurance. They should avoid stimulants, like caffeine or pseudoephrine, which make trembling worse, and they should rest when tremors are especially prominent. Medications commonly used to treat essential tremor include beta blockers, anticonvulsants, benzodiazepines, and botulinum toxin injections. Tremors that are exceptionally troubling to patients can also be suppressed by thalamic stimulation or surgical excision of the thalamus.

familial tremor

A tremor indistinguishable from essential tremor in its clinical manifestation. Unlike essential tremor, it is inherited as an autosomal dominant trait.

fibrillary tremor

A tremor caused by consecutive contractions of separate muscular fibrillae rather than of a muscle or muscles.

fine tremor

A rapid tremor.

flapping tremor


forced tremor

A tremor continuing after voluntary motion has ceased.

Hunt's tremor

See: Hunt's tremor

hysterical tremor

A fine tremor occurring in hysteria. It may be limited to one extremity or generalized.

intention tremor

A tremor exhibited or intensified when attempting coordinated movements. Synonym: action tremor

intermittent tremor

A tremor common to paralyzed muscles in hemoplegia when attempting voluntary movement.

muscular tremor

Slight oscillating muscular contractions in rhythmical order.

parkinsonian tremor

A resting tremor of the fingers and hands, often called a pill-rolling tremor, that is suppressed briefly during voluntary activity. The tremor disappears during all but the lightest phases of sleep.

physiological tremor

A tremor occurring in normal individuals. It may be transient and occur in association with excessive physical exertion, excitement, hunger, fatigue, or other causes.
See: enhanced physiological tremor

rest tremor

A tremor present when the involved part is at rest but absent or diminished when active movements are attempted. Synonym: static tremor

senile tremor

A form of benign essential tremor found in individuals older than 60, marked by rapid, alternating movements of the upper extremities that occur at a frequency of about 6 cycles/sec.

static tremor

Rest tremor.

volitional tremor

Trembling of the limbs or of the body when making a voluntary effort. It is seen in many cerebellar diseases.