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Do cervical problems lead to hand tremors?



  • superdecooperssuperdecooper Posts: 16
    edited 09/22/2017 - 1:03 PM

    Just came back from the spine doctor again. Asked her about the nerve damage and weakness. It's a wait and see thing/live with it as best you can thing.

    Again, no connection between spine issues and hand tremor. Not the same systems, or whatever.  

    So I'm back to waiting for the neurologist to finish his battery of tests to tell me the deal. 


  • superdecooperssuperdecooper Posts: 16
    edited 09/25/2017 - 2:35 PM

    Well guys,

    Just got back from the neurologist for a second round of tests. his diagnosis: benign essential tremor. 

    He ruled out Parkinsons Disease based on Clinical observation plus relatively normal tests for everything, including thyroid, brain scans, nerves and circulation. 

    No meds necessary at this point for essential tremor unless the tremor starts to interfere with daily activities more. So just watching and waiting for the time being  

    He did find that I have nerves in my cspine that are worrisome, lots of osteoarthritis in my lumbar spine,  and some bone spurs that are bulging discs in L5S1 and affecting nerves in my legs. 

    I'm relieved. 

    And now, I have yet another medical issue to deal with.  My interesting life continues. 



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  • Sorry to read of your symptoms but glad to read I’m not alone. 

    I too having arm/hand tremors prior to ACDF C/C7 with severe cord compression. Symptoms went crazy post surgery. Doctors said wait a year perhaps it will resolve. It has not. 

     It’s now been a year with no change. Local neurology said to try Parkinson’s med just to see if it would work. Lost faith in that situation. Like you stressing out of my mind trying to find an answer. Hoping all’s going well for you. 

  • hey medx108,

    Sorry took me so long to get back to you. Did you try the Parkinson's meds and they didn't work? Is that what happened?

    As for me, it turns out I do have very early Parkinson's Disease. The medicine I'm on hasn't affected the tremor yet, but it is taking care of some of the other symptoms.


  • Super decooper, just know your not alone. I started having severe hand and finger tremors shortly after my unsuccessful C-5 through C-7 fusion done Sept 2014. I’m fixing to have to make a appt to have the hardware checked due to the increasing pain and like you, I have some new issues going on. Tremors come and go with some days no tremors at all and then other days I look like a person going through withdrawal! Keep us posted and I’ll do the same. Maybe it’s a common issue??


    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

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  • I’m in the same boat. Long story short I had acdf at c5-7 a year ago. Bones spurs caused spinal stenosis. I also had 2 ruptured discs(due to car accident) I’ve been told the following: I have bilateral double crush carpal tunnel, permanent nerve damage at c5-6 & c6-7, I have essential tremors (neck, arms & hands mostly) and was also told I have cerebellar ataxia. I’m 45 but feel like I’m 85. Oh I take Propranolol for the tremors. It helps me most of the time. But it lowers my bp too much so I can’t take it unless my bp is at least 100/80+ My neuro also mentioned the possibility of Parkinson’s. At the moment I’m so over drs and tests that I’m sort of taking a break for a bit. I’m curious how they diagnosed you with early Parkinson’s? Thanks for your post and updates btw. It helps so much knowing we’re not alone on our ever changing journey!

  • superdecooperssuperdecooper Posts: 16
    edited 02/20/2018 - 5:24 AM

    Hi DavidG and l.b.,

    I was first diagnosed with Essential Tremor by a general practice neurologist, not a specialist in movement disorders. I went to the neurlogist in august 2017 because the tremor had become worse over a two year period and I was dropping things. My wife was starting to notice and I was tired of hiding it from her. My handwriting was unreadable on most days.

    Like you, i have a variety of chronic spinal/joint problems following a cervical fusion. But I wasn't comfortble with the ET diagnosis because during the testing phase to get to the diagnosis, I was noticing other symptoms - including a resting tremor in my right index finger. The neurlogist ignored that. I also did some reading about parkinson's and noticed that other symptoms that I've ignored seemed to be more in line with parkinsons, rather than ET or spinal nerve problems. For example, I was only able to sleep about three hours a night and I'd have terrible vivid dreams and I'd wake up drenched in sweat. I have a vitamin D deficiency, sleep apnea, hypogonadism, loss of smell, apathy, etc. I'd been treating those as separate problems, but they all are common with Parkinsons.

    Since I couldn't get the first neurologist to pay attention, I got an appointment with a MDS, motion disorder specialist at the local university hospital. Thats a doc that specializes in Et, Parkinsons, Alzehemiers, ADD, ADHD, etc. He pretty quickly ruled out ET, did a bunch of tests, and asked for my previous MRI, etc. He determined that I needed something called a Datscan, which is a special brain scan used to test the dopamine receptors in your brain to determine if there is a shortage of dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical that controls movement and also registers pleasure and reward. If it comes back with a shortage, then you are dealing with some type of parkinsonism, if not then you're dealing with ET.  I also developed painful dystonia in my right hand, which is like a terrible version of writers cramp, plus intermitent rotator cuff pain, right side body stiffness, reduced arm swing and slow movements. If it seems sudden, please remember that I had been dealing with most of this for a while and just ignored it or said, it must be my neck, shoulder and SI joint problems. 

    My test came back positive for Parkinsons, but the MDS sugggested it may have been skewed a little since I was taking opiates for spinal pain. However, enough of the symptoms are present so he determined i have a dopamine deficiency and lots of symptoms pointing to early parkinsons disease. So, he prescribed a Parkinson's medicine called Azilect (Ragasaline) which causes your brain to keep it's dopamine active for longer periods. It's has partially worked to stop the night sweats and dreams. I say partially, because I've been up since 3 am this morning. I had a wicked dream that I was being shot at by a sniper and I woke up drenched in sweat. But most nights I get about 6 hours of sleep.

    My tremor in my right dominant hand is still bothersome. I have to go back next month, and will likely get a second parkinson's medication. I'm taking baclofen for the dystonia, but it's only partially effective. I've also started swimming every day, rain or shine, because exercise is supposed to slow progression - I'm in the early stages of this and I'm all about not having this progress into me taking buckets of medicine each day.

    So, that's my story in a nutshell. Hope you find this helpful. As for me, I'm cycling through the five stages of grief dealing with parkinson's. It's not a death sentence and people die with this disease not from it. I'm stuck between anger, frustration, worry, guilt, bargaining, but not acceptance yet.


  • Thank you for this post Suoerdecooper.  I have both cervical and lumbar issues and began experiencing tremors mostly in my left leg when sitting and sometimes in my left arm only in certain positions about three months ago.  I also think I have a subtle foot drop?   My orthopedic doctor just shrugs and says he has no idea why they are happening.  He doesn’t think it’s related to spine but then offers no other explanation. I’m trying to get into a neurologist but my appt isn’t until sept.  :-(.  I’m worried about Parkinsons too but wonder if it could be related to my spine.  This site is helpful!

    Thank you

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