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Josiah

Left hand, ring and pinky finger tremor

6 posts in this topic

I am a 22 year old, caucasion Male. I was discharged from the military about a year ago and since then I have had a few problems with my left hand, and prehaps some new issues pretaining to the left side of my body.

 

I am ambidextrous. But prodominantly use my right hand for most things unless I'm multitasking with my hands.

Dominate left eye (if that matters).

 

Family history of diabetes and heart disease. Nothing I could find on nerve disorders.

  • I have a hand tremor in my left ring and pinky finger. The ring finger being the most frantic of the two.

It happens pretty much any time I lift my hand into the air, aswell as just the ring finger has had some spasms while at rest just sitting on my lap.. seemingly happening more and more these days. Or at least I never noticed it last year.

  • I also have a problem with my left hand "locking up" at random times. This happens far less than it used to, but still a problem.

When the hand locks up the thumb crosses the palm, bent at the joint, and locks there. I can't move it and it is quite painful. Some times the pointer finger locks aswell at the same time, but in a straight out position.

The locking and the pain, when it first started, usually lasted about 10-15 seconds. Then persisted to 1-2 minutes. Really dangerous when I was driving, as my left hand was my steering hand since I drive a manual and keep my right down.

 

I went to the doctor about 2 months after my symptoms started bothering me and making me think about disorders.

My doctor did some strength test and asked a bunch of questions.. afterwards pointing me towards a neurologist.

With the neurologist I did the strength test again, some hand eye cordination and lastly a EMG.

My neurologist said that there were signs of nerve damage in my upper left arm, but also stated that the nerves affected wouldn't be the ones causing my tremor, spasms and locking.

After some talking, my doctor felt it best to prescribe me some anti depressants. I was told that perhaps I had a serotonin deficiency.. and the anti depressants could possibly help. Basically another test.

After a month I was to come back for a follow-up.

 

So I went to the follow up. The locking up had seemed to not be happening as often, so I figured we were on the right track. Tremors and spasms persisted. The doctor said that the anti depressants would not stop the tremor, and could even cause one. But that she just wanted to fix the locking up. While my priorities was to find out what was wrong with my hand, the cause and how to go about fixing it. She told me to give it some time and told me to come back in 6 months.. which made my next appointment in last May.

 

By the time May came around I had ran out of insurance and have been on and off of temporary jobs.

The medicine, I suppose, has still helped with the locking up. But the spasms have definitely gotten worst over time.

 

Sometimes (at least once a week) I will wake up and go to get out of bed and I want have control over my hand. It will do random moments as I try to focus on control. Sometimes opening and closing and extending fingers.. usually having problems with the pink and ring. It's radical movement and quite scary. Nothing about the hand seems numb really, like if I had been sleeping on it. And I've never really had problems with sleeping on my limbs and causing them to "go to sleep" or be numb. So I don't really know what to think of it.

 

I have also been having some, what seems to be, lower spine issues lately.

Where my back dimples are, about where the left one is, sometimes I will have a severe pain there and will not even be able to stand up straight (I've tried.. thinking maybe it was a cramp.. but could handly stand.. and when I went I was severely hunched over - could not straighten my back or my legs all the way). This would last for a few minutes in the least.

 

For the most of the period that this has all happened, I've been on a strict no soda diet, straight out of the military. Mainly drinking water, some milk in the mornings and maybe a glass of orange juice every once in awhile. I do have a soda every once in awhile now though.

 

I just recorded a short video of my hand. It doesn't really show much of my tremor/ spasm at rest, but it has been twitching and having spasms quite a bit at rest.. usually when I'm not thinking about it; watching TV or just laying in bed.

 

I would go back to my doctor.. try to get at least an MRI or something. But until I can find a steady job and possibly get some insurance I am afraid I can't do that. I've been paying for my prescription of the anti depressants from my last visit out of pocket. That prescription is good until the end of the year.

 

If anyone good give any opinions or insight on what this might be, I encourage you to reply. I would much appreciate it. I've just been waiting it out but with the symptoms more reoccuring and at an increased matter, I am growing quite anxious and curious.

 

Thank you!

 

Here is the video. Sorry for the quality and poor lighting!

 

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First, that is very creative and a great job at posting the video.

 

The tremor is very fast, a very fine in character. It worsens at posture of fingers and may be present at rest. I teach a movement disorders course to residents and I always teach them to never try to diagnose a disease based on the speed or characteristics of the tremor. The whole picture needs to come to light including finger tapping (bradykinesia), rigidity, gait, balance, facial expression, other features etc.

 

This could be parkinsonian, could be ET, could dystonic or something else.

 

I would recommend getting insurance as this is definitely not just stress. I would also recommend a full exam by a movement disorders trained neurologist. In some cases a DAT scan is helpful. Also a trial of sine met may give you your answer.

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Thank you Dr. Okun! I really appreciate the compliment and you taking your time to review and reply to my fairly long post.

 

I am definitely in the works of obtaining some insurance, hopefully the sooner the better. Maybe after reading your reply I will be a bit more motivated to see what this shaking is all about instead of persistantly trying to right it off.

 

After doing some further research online over the past day I have also come to realize that sleep walking/talking could be signs of a nerve disorder? When I was in the military and slept in the barracks I had some fellows tell me they believed I had been sleep walking a few times. I do sleep talk at times, and I've grinded my teeth quite a bit too. Along with a history of sleep walking as a child aswell.

 

Seeing as you believe that this is more than a stress issue I will stop trying to convience myself that it's just normal in some people.

You mentioned seeing a movement disorders trained neurologist and possibly having a DAT scan. But is there any sort of test/scan that you would recommend to me to see about doing first.. seeing as I'll be in the process of trying to get insurance, I may have enough in savings to go ahead and try one or two test before securing the insurance.

 

Again, I appreciate your time and opinions Dr. Okun

Thank you

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An examination and medication trial with an expert is better than any blood test or scan.

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This is a 5yrold post with no follow-up posts.   I have tremor in one hand.  A doctor prescribed a dopa but it didn't do anything so I quit after a month.   My left hand has the same sort of tremor filmed by Josiah.  I feel it mainly in the ring finger and pinky finger.  If I stop motion on those fingers then it seems to spill over into the index finger and thumb.  My next step may be to find a neurologist.   The tremor doesn't affect my work but lately it seems to be more noticeable by others.    Doctor Google suggests propranolol or botox injections. 

 

kaypeeoh

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Definitely see a neurologist....also in many cases a very low dose of Sinemet was used and simply increasing the dose captures the tremor.

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