I was working with a female client doing seated leg curls when her feet started to shake. She did not bring this condition up during our initial interview and was not concerned about it. She said the condition runs in her family, it is called "tremors," and it very seldom happens to her. The incident lasted about five minutes. What do you know about this?
Thanks for your question and client concern! The orthopedic dictionary defines a tremor as “involuntary trembling or quivering; shaking,” though without the benefit of personal assessment, it is very difficult to know the source or cause of this shaking. Not knowing a lot about your client's specific function, I will do my best to hopefully spark a thought process for you to resolve or at least “tweak” her program in attempts to help her situation. Questions I would start with include:
- Is this common? If no, start to think of the position followed by movement. For example, in a seated leg curl, there is a tremendous amount of pressure placed behind the leg in most positions – behind the knee there is a nerve, artery, vein complex that potentially may be experiencing abnormal pressures. Please note: In this NON-functional position, you are placing a high level of pressure on the calve complex (perpendicular to the tissues = compression) while the foot is left “dangling.” In function, the foot contacts the ground and the ground pushes back up, which usually creates a favorable reaction (proprioceptors are stimulated and force distribution is shared).
- Do both legs shake? Or does one shake more than the other?
- Is there a position “tweak” you can make to reduce shaking?
In closing, I would stay away from this exercise and concentrate on movements that have greater similarity to everyday activities. With this approach, you will be safe and create a better carry-over to your client’s life.