Tremors are extremely rare, but they can result from spinal compression and not necessarily a brain condition like Parkinson’s disease. Tremors are abnormal, involuntary body movements with various causes, most of which are connected to the brain and not the spine. A study reports that more than 75% of individuals with Parkinson’s experienced a resting tremor, and about 60% experience tremors while moving. Sometimes the spine is the contributor caused by compression of the spinal cord.
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A 90-year-old man was hospitalized after having tremors, with Parkinson’s being the initial diagnosis. The tremors progressed to the point where the man could not feed himself or walk without support. The case became the focus of a medical report published by physicians in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Division of the Spine, Singapore Tan Tock Seng Hospital. Along with the tremors, symptoms progressed to:
Causes of cervical spondylotic myelopathy include:
Common symptoms include:
Tremors as a symptom are rare.
There are cases where cervical spondylotic myelopathy and Parkinson’s disease symptoms can overlap. Studies have shown difficulties between the two diagnoses, as well as, individuals with Parkinson’s may exhibit symptoms similar to cervical spondylotic myelopathy that can include:
For individuals with cervical spondylotic myelopathy tremors, surgery can be used to help the condition. However, with cervical myelopathy, there is often some permanent damage. Individuals have shown that post-surgery and decompression, symptoms still present, maybe not as much, but there will be a need for a symptom management plan.
The best way to prevent tremors associated with cervical spondylotic myelopathy is to minimize the strain on the spine that can lead to herniated discs and/or other spinal injuries. The discs in the spine degenerate, dry out and start cracking with age, increasing the risk of rupture. If a tremor develops, contact a doctor, spine specialist, or chiropractor to help diagnose the condition. These doctors can perform physical and neurological tests to determine the cause and treatment options.
Steady weight gain throughout life can lead to adult-onset diabetes. This is partly caused by having more body fat and progressive muscle loss. Loss of skeletal muscle mass is linked to insulin resistance that involves:
Both men and women can experience decreased muscle mass that can lead to:
To help prevent these issues, it is recommended to:
Heusinkveld, Lauren E et al. “Impact of Tremor on Patients With Early Stage Parkinson’s Disease.” Frontiers in neurology vol. 9 628. 3 Aug. 2018, doi:10.3389/fneur.2018.00628
Jancso, Z et al. “Differences in weight gain in hypertensive and diabetic elderly patients primary care study.” The Journal of nutrition, health & aging vol. 16,6 (2012): 592-6. doi:10.1007/s12603-011-0360-6
Srikanthan, Preethi, and Arun S Karlamangla. “Relative muscle mass is inversely associated with insulin resistance and prediabetes. Findings from the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.” The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism vol. 96,9 (2011): 2898-903. doi:10.1210/jc.2011-0435
Tapia Perez, Jorge Humberto et al. “Treatment of Spinal Myoclonus Due to Degenerative Compression Myelopathy with Cervical Spinal Cord Stimulation: A Report of 2 Cases.” World neurosurgery vol. 136 (2020): 44-48. doi:10.1016/j.wneu.2019.12.170
The information herein on "Tremors and Spinal Cord Compression" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
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