Avatar universal

Head Shaking

Hello, I've been having this head shaking for two years now as far as I know. And it has not been going away, It's strange because it just came out of no where and I don't think I know the cause for it. I have no history of drug abuse or addictions, nor any health problems. I've done some research and I believe that this may be a movement disorder of some type and am sure that it may be Essential Tremor (for head) or cervical dystonia which can result in head shaking either horizontally or vertically. I've had this for a while, and this has greatly limited me and I can only imagine how joyful I would be if I get rid of this. But I'm not sure if this is anxiety either, my head usually starts shaking if I get nervous as well but it also shakes when there is no 'threat'. I spend most of my thinking on trying to avoid shaking and it makes it worse, the area in the back of my neck is so tense. It appears that the shaking starts when I make eye contact with someone and I usually can't maintain eye contact because I start to shake but I try so hard not to. Is there anyone else that has this, I read that some other people have it but there is very little info on what it may be.

If anyone has any idea of what this may be, though I suspect it is Essential Tremor or Cervical Dystonia, is there any way to treat this? I'm going to great depths to try to treat this, I have heard people who have had this for several decades and I have only had it for two years, I need to work now to fix it. I read propanal therapy and Botulinium A injections can help after reading this article but I don't know what I should do yet. I want to help treat this asap as this is 'too heavy' for me to keep on carrying. Here are links for where I did the research:

Propanal Therapy: http://www.neurology.org/cgi/content/abstract/34/8/1077
Treatments for Essential Tremor (Look at Head section): http://www.aan.com/professionals/practice/pdfs/ET_patients.pdf
More info on Essential Tremor: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/461397_4
Spasmodic torticollis (aka Cervical Dystonia): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cervical_dystonia
Essential Tremor: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Essential_tremor
People with similar expierences: http://www.wemove.org/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/19/1265.html

I read a lot and noticed a lot of people talking about MSG's (monosodium glutamate) and aspartame which is something used to enhance the taste of food and can be toxic in large amounts. MSG's are found in Fast Food chains such As Burger King or McDonalds or any other major junk food chain. MSG is also found in school food. Excitatory neurotransmitters affect your emotions in a way where you can't control it. I mention this because I heard that once a severley autistic child stopped consuming aspartame (nutrisweet) and MSG, the autistic child was able to speak again. I read this article where it talks about Essential Head Tremor and nutrients and chemicals: http://www.earthclinic.com/CURES/essential-tremor_questions.html . I remember when I was a child that I ate a lot of fast food.

Note: I read up on the Wikipedia essential Tremor article and found this: "ET does sometimes occur in combination with other neurological disorders such as dystonia." I'd also like to note that when my tremor first started it was different, I only had tremors around certain people then It eventually came to a point when I have a tremor for no reason, even if I step up and public speak I might have a tremor/shake and can't look at the audience. My main fear is that people will see my head tremor when I look at them, it is like a phobia in a way.

Please help me, if theres anything I can change in my life it's this. I can see a world of freedom and happiness after I fix this, thank you.
48 Responses
Avatar universal
Haven't you seen a neurologist for an evaluation at all?
I have ET, I have seen a neurologist ,an they have made an appointment to have a brain scan , the bottom line they do not know what causes et  yet,  .I have this over ten years now , Not that sever but hampers my social life some what. I think it could be the the position
i sleep in , But its a long shot,
Hope this helps.
Avatar universal
No I haven't, I'm quite embarrassed to do so. But I am pretty sure that this may be Essential Tremor because I have no control over it when it happens. What I can do is try to avoid it but that puts me in a lot of tension. If anyone can help me out, thank you very much.
Avatar universal
Please go get assessed by a physician.  It sounds like something with the cervical spine.  
Taking you to a physician is the BEST way someone can help you.  Two years is a long time to be suffering from something a physician could possibly help you with.  Most of us on this site are NOT medical professionals and even if a medical professional anwsers your questions you are still encouraged to see a physician before doing any recommendations on this site.  

Avatar universal
I have the same thing I have been to a Neurologist he thinks essential tremor but none in my family or dystonia, he wants me to have an MRI but I cant afford this just now.
I dont have it all the time , and I feel I get it when I am stressed or upset about something..
You should go to a neurologist though to get an opinion, I hate people seeing me shake my head also and feel very embarrassed I am 69 what is your age
Avatar universal
I am 16 and this just started to appear two years ago. It's good to see that there are other people with the same problem as me. Few people even know about essential tremor even though its the *most common* movement disorder. I have not yet gone to check it out because my head shaking alone is embarrasing and am always trying to hide it, trying to talk to my paranets about it will be even more embaressing. I really do not know what to do, I feel alone in this. All I want is for this to go away, I don't know where it came from but it just came without warning. I might also mention that it get's even worse when I'm nervous so I can't handle situations which make me nervous witout the tremor in my head.

I heard that stem stell research may be the answer into finding the cure, but quite frankly I don't think that there is going to be much research unless we push it. If we get our voice heard then they will see it worthwhile to start doing research into the cure. I've never been on medication and I don't want to, I believe that they are just poisoinging the body. If Essential Tremor started for a reason, then there must be a way to get rid of it. If people have cured cancer, then there is no doubt that you can cure Essential Tremor, it's just that the demand for curing cancer is higher because it is life threatening while the demand for curing essential tremor is not because A) few people know about it and B) it's not life threatening but it's just socially awkward. The only way I see that progress in a cure for this is being made is if we get our voice heard like I said and if there is a petition we can sign. That's when a difference will be made and this can be cured, I'm confident of that. I'm going to see what I can do, people may say that it will never happen but I can't rest until I cure this. That's the bottom line.
Avatar universal
i have just read this+really,really want to know how you have got on with this problem now.the same head tremor started out of the blue with myself a few month ago.everything is that identical to what you wrote that it sounds like i wrote it myself.it bothers me that much that i am avoiding even leaving the house now(which i know is a bad thing to to).please let me know how you are now,if you got a diagnosis or found anything that helps it.thanks
Avatar universal
Hi, I'm also curious to see how you have got on. I also experienced this head shaking. I remember it started when I was concentrating intensely, and then it cane quite frequently, and many times randomly, when speaking to people, when alone, when trying to concentrate etc.. A freind of mine had mentioned that alot of our diet is deficient of magnesium chloride, and that this essential mineral can also help with the nervous system. I got some magnesium chloride in crystal form, and made the solution. I must say it really helped me! After a few weeks I felt the difference, and soon the twitching was gone. I then stopped taking the magnesium chloride, and it seems to have returned slightly, though not as severe, but it often accompanies a foggy, cloudy head feeling, not being able to concentrate etc. I've started taking magnesium again, and it seems to be helping somewhat. Since it's an essential mineral, then there's no harm in trying it out, unlike these prescribed medicines that often create more harm than good. If you can get it in liquid form it's much better. Please stay in touch and let us know how you get on.
Avatar universal
If the tremor starts when you make eye contact with someone, it could also be social anxiety disorder.  I have the same issue.
Avatar universal
Hi everyone,my name is Sean. I live in England,i'm not sure where all of you are. I have had my head tremor for nearly eight years. It was diagnosed as Dystonia. I too find it becomes worse in social situations but when i get a bad bout it can be just as violent when i am on my own. I too get the foggy feeling in my head. I was sent for Botox treatment some years ago but that didnt help. I have also been prescribed Propanal however i found that this made me extremely tired. I am going to try the Magnesium Chloride and i will report back.  Also i appear to be getting more and more nervous and anxious as the years go by and i am going to ask my doctor to refer me to a specialist,again,i will report back. Good luck to you all and hopefully we can find something that helps us all.
Avatar universal
When I was a boy I developed a head shaking or  head shudder. Needless to say my folks were concerned. They took me to a neurologist who really couldn't figure it out and evaluated all kinds of things. Meanwhile my parents still were dismayed so they took me to a new family doctor, he listened and did a once over and said, "he has worms" which my parents confirmed with testing at home that night.
Turns out it was pinworms which was cured with two pills, take one once you know and another one or two weeks later.
Never had the problem again.
Not saying any of you guys have this but it's a place to look. Pimworms are relatively harmless and 100% curable. Other parasites can cause issues similar to some mentioned here.
I didn't know all this had happened until I was older as I was young and don't really remember it much.
In hearing the story my parents were like" We spent all this money with a neurologist only to have a Pediatrician say, calmly and matter of factually "He has worms"  
Avatar universal
Wondering how you are now?  I have been diagnosed with ET.  It all started around your age but I am now 39 and it has gotten worse.  Mine is worse when I am nervous or feel like someone is watching me and may notice it (like having my picture taken).  Have tried antiseizure medicine but did not like the way it made me feel :(
Avatar universal
Hi there,
I'm in England and had this start last summer, im 29 and female. I thought as i have other health problems that this could be to do with them. My neurologist didn't seem in any way concerned and a scan to check for brain lesions was fine.
I wondered if mine was caused by anxiety, but even when im totally chilled and quite happy it still happens. Sometimes it's barely there and other times i'm like a nodding dog! It's embarrassing. I know people look at me when its bad.
Last week at the drs i asked and he said it was a type of tremor and a very common one at that.
I just wondered how people on here have got on or if they have had any treatment?
All the best xx
Avatar universal
My head shakes also. It seems to slow if I try real hard not to shake, otherwise, it just goes on by itself. I remember watching my Granny's head shake from side to side when I was real young. I believe mine is a tremor also. It doesn't happen all the time but it happens every day, especially in the morning, first thing.  One time I went on an outing and my head got jerked back(while we were mud riding ) and I couldn't move my head for a little more than a week. I think that may have been when mine started, but I am not sure.
Avatar universal
All of the above sound oh so familiar. I was diagnosed with cervical dystonia almost 7 years ago. My head shaking left to right (strongly pulling to the right) is very embarrasing. I am so self-conscious of this, I too, have become a home-bound woman. I still have to work though, (I'm 61). Luckily, my work mates understand. I also had excruciating headaches and sore neck muscles (again, mostly my right side of my neck). A neurologist implanted a neuro-stimulator in my upper right chest. The wire runs from the unit up and across the top of my shoulder, up the right side of my neck and into by brain someplace. It helped with the headaches by blocking the pain so my brain didn't recognize it. It did this with an electrical current, something like a tens unit. That was 6 years ago, but now the neck pain and headaches are coming back. Just not sure what to do now. And the head shakes did not slow down at all. I think the one of the most annoying thing about the shakes now is trying to fall asleep. The "sound" of my hair rubbing on my pillow while shaking is very annoying. I too, am going to try the magnesium chloride. It may not help with the pain but it may help with the pain of the embarassing head shakes. I will let you all know how it works for me. Thank you. It's nice to hear from folks going through the same predicament. I'm not alone.
Avatar universal
I put a tens unit on my temples and the top of my four head and turn up the amps until I fill  electricity getting in my brain and hold it there while I watch a t.v show and then take it off, it seems to be working for my  tremors.
Avatar universal
Good day every1.... i am 22 yrs of age and i am just curious to know if there is any record of any1 being fully cured from this neurological condition? i unfortunately been suffering with all the symptoms you all described plus more since i was 18 yrs old
Avatar universal
Hi, My name is Inx, I'm from Melbourne, Australia. I have the same problem here, it appears when I tried to concentrate and stare on something. Just want to try the magnesium chloride, it would be great if you could tell me where to get the magnesium chloride. Thanks alot.
Avatar universal
hiya im 29 and have all the symptons talked about here I have been suffering for 10 years but it comes and goes all very random, its so annoying. im seeing my doctor in 2 weeks but buy the sounds of it theres probably no point :(
Avatar universal
hiya im 29 and have all the symptons talked about here I have been suffering for 10 years but it comes and goes all very random, its so annoying. im seeing my doctor in 2 weeks but buy the sounds of it theres probably no point :(
Avatar universal
Hi there I got exactly same problem, did magnesium chloride helped you?thanks
Avatar universal
I have essential tremor also, but can't seem to get it under control with propranolol.  I've been seeing a neurologist for this. I also purchased a natural treatment called Tremadone.  So far, that's not helping, but I only started it a week ago.  This is getting worse and it's actually bothering my neck.  Magnesium chloride?  What's that?  How do you get it?
Avatar universal
Hi im rony from india. I am having the exact same problem as u described for last 2  years. Pls help me  if u have found any cure...

Avatar universal
I am 32 with cervical dystonia. Commenced 3 years ago. I would love to hear if any treatments assist anyone as for me nothing including botox has helped.
Avatar universal
This might not apply to some of you, but for those who are getting neck shakes and tremors around other people, especially when people are looking at you, there is an explanation.

What's going on is you are resisting your natural urge to bow your head. Everything is explained in this book:

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