Physical Therapy Can Help Resolve Bell’s Palsy
Bell’s palsy afflicts approximately 40,000 Americans each year. Worldwide statistics show that 1 in 65people will experience Bell’s palsy during their lifetime. Bell’s Palsy affects men and women equally and can occur at any age, but it is less common before age 15 or after age 60. Bell’s palsy is a form of temporary paralysis of the muscles of the face resulting from damage or trauma to the seventh cranial nerve (Facial Nerve). The Facial nerve supply the muscles of the face. When Bell’s palsy occurs, the function of the facial nerve is disrupted, causing an interruption in the messages the brain sends to the facial muscles. A diagnosis of Bell’s palsy is made based on clinical presentation — including a distorted facial appearance and the inability to move muscles on the affected side of the face. This interferes with normal fascial functions such as speaking, drinking, chewing, eating and closing the eyes.
Studies have shown that physical therapy may provide improvement in facial nerve function and pain with generally good prognosis. Physical therapy treatment includes but not limited to, facial muscles exercises, facial muscles re-education, biofeedback, electrical stimulation of the facial muscles and the nerve. Physical Therapy has been shown to help reverse facial muscles distortion. Our staff physical therapists have helped many people restore their facial symmetry.
Do you or someone you know have Bell’s Palsy?
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- Farreira et al. Physical Therapy with drug Treatment in Bell’s Palsy. American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation: April 2015 – Volume 94 – Issue 4 – p 331-340
- Landingham et al. Physical Therapy for Facial nerve palsy: applications for the physician. Current Opinion in Ophthalmology. 29(5):469–475, SEPTEMBER 2018: