cold, Parkinson's disease, body tremors. Sometimes a patient's muscles will move, either voluntarily or involuntarily , which can produce somatic tremor, also known as body tremor. Movement of the muscles of the body is controlled by electrical voltages. These voltages are erratic, unlike the cardiac voltage, which is consistent. Somatic tremor appears as large erratic spikes on the EKG tracing. Voluntary muscle movements are due to tension, fear, gum chewing, talking, uncomfortable position, or pain.
They may also be due to shivering or tense muscles. You should identify the correct cause before proceeding with the EKG. Knowing the cause will help you eliminate the artifact. Warm or reassure the patient if he or she is cold or frightened.