The other day, while lighting the birthday candles on her birthday cake, my friend’s hands trembled terribly. Perhaps, her chain smoking caused it, I thought. Often when our ageing folks grasp the cellphone to talk, you notice their shaky hands. People often talk about their limbs going numb after a long spell of driving, squatting, working at the desk or simply lying on their side. Sometimes, when you talk while holding your mobile phone for too long, that hand turns numb. When you wake up after a nap, a hand feels is numb. When you board long-distance flights, or keep driving for long, your legs fall asleep.
If any of the above is happening to you, and you are wondering what the trigger is — whether it is a vitamin deficiency, a genetic development, or an age-related disorder — look no further, as experts and doctors give a low-down on its causes and treatment:
Dr Pavan Pai, consultant interventional neurologist, Wockhardt Hospitals, Mira Road, Mumbai, says, “The most common reason behind experiencing pins and needles in your limbs include multiple sclerosis, hyperthyroidism, alcohol withdrawal, excess caffeine intake, high levels of stress, low blood sugar count, insufficient sleep, aggressive smoking, liver disorders, and insufficient vitamin B 12 levels in the body.” “It could also be due to anxiety, fatigue, vigorous exercise, and the side effect of certain medications,” adds Dr Ravindra Srivastava, director of neurosciences, Primus Super Speciality Hospital, Delhi NCR.
But are slight tremors normal? All of us experience a tiny bit of natural tremor called the physiological tremor. You can experience and identify it when you stretch your hands out in front of you, and realise they do not stay completely still. This physiological tremor is usually unnoticeable, unless it gains an enlarged, prominent dimension. Essential tremor (ET) is a neurological disruption that can cause your limbs, or voice to shake rhythmically. Sometimes, this is mistaken to be a Parkinson’s affliction.
Shilpi Madan for Moneycontrol.com