Researchers prove resistance training benefits dexterity in ET patients

hand_weights_on_workout_matA recent IETF-funded study shows resistance training to be a possible therapy for individuals with ET. A team of researchers from Griffith University and Bond University in Australia identified that a generalized resistance training program for the upper limb is capable of improving manual dexterity in individuals with ET, and to a lesser degree, reduce abduction force tremor.

“Given that resistance training (RT) can reduce tremor amplitude and improve upper limb fine motor control in older adults, it is surprising that few studies have explored RT as a therapy for older adults with ET,” said Dr. Justin Keogh, Faculty of Health Sciences and Medicine of Bond University.

The lack of existing research inspired Keogh and his research team to compare healthy, older adults living with ET to those without ET through function tests. The function tests were used to assess activities common to everyday life. After a six-week resistance training program involving dumbbell bicep curls, wrist flexion and wrist extension exercises, functions test results significantly improved.

Results show that a simple dumbbell-based resistance training program had many significant benefits for older adults, with and without essential tremor. This indicated that both groups of older adults can significantly improve many real-world measures of manual dexterity. The greatest benefits following resistance training were gained for the limb most affected due to the disorder. This study is great news for individuals with ET to further explore the use resistance training as a viable therapy for improving upper
limb-function and ultimately, improving their quality of life.

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2 thoughts on “Researchers prove resistance training benefits dexterity in ET patients

  1. I have had mild ET in my left hand since the age of 40. At the age of about 55, it had progressed to the point that high stress situations would make the tremor so bad I could not type on a keyboard. I started taking Propranolol and it helped, but the tremor was still present.
    About one year ago at the age of 70, I started a regular and consistent program of Resistance Training for my full body, of course including dumbbell and barbell exercises to improve strength in my arms. A short while ago, I noticed my ET was greatly reduced. I wondered if there was a connection to the weight-lifting. Through reading on the internet, I found that there had been several studies that showed Resistance Training had improved ET. It appears that this has happened for me.

  2. 86 years of age, I have been participating in a one-hour exercise class thrice weekly for about 15 years. I use 10-pound dumbbells, a 15-pound body bar and red (strongest) bands.

    I have had hand ET for about 40 years, and it has been getting worse, but I am convinced it would be much worse but for the exercise. My only trouble is when eating and drinking.

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