You wake up one day and feel different. But not in a god way.
You notice that it’s not possible to blink or to close your eye. Maybe you notice a droop on one side of your face.
Perhaps you discover something is wrong when you take your first sip of morning coffee, only to drool and remain unable to seal your lips around your cup.
Just diagnosed with Bell's palsy? Here is the first thing you should know. The good thing? It is not a death sentence. No matter how bad you feel or it looks right now.
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‼️This post is for informational and educational purpose only. It is not tailored medical advice to your specific condition.
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This post is for informational and educational purpose only. It is not tailored medical advice to your specific condition.
Techniques to stretch muscles surrounding the eye
And It Does Not Work!
Most people that suffer from Bell’s Palsy will read about or hear about electrical stimulation for treatment of BP
The chance is that they will think of a TENS unit as viable in treating facial paralysis... And IT IS NOT.
TENS unit is for treatment of pain only, NOT to activate and strengthen muscles
The user manuals clearly say to never apply on the face ( that should be your first clue )
The size of the electrode, as with 95% of other type of electrical stimulation units, is not appropriate as it would stimulate too many muscles at once>>>> hence the risk of developing synkinesis since you would be contracting several muscles at once instead of one.
So, all in all, TENS is not a modality that has any benefits in treating BP. And possibly negative effects in reality.
DO NOT USE TENS UNIT TO TREAT BELL’S PALSY!
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What healthcare professionals can help me when I am dealing with Bell’s Palsy?
First and foremost, you should be evaluated by a physician. Most people will see their primary care physician/family doctor, or an Emergency or urgent care department physician. The goal here should be for a correct Bell’s Palsy diagnosis and prescription of steroids and antivirals.
Consulting with a facial specialist within the first 3 weeks after onset, especially if there are no signs of improvement, should be the next step. You can consult with:
An Otolaryngologist, or ENT( for ear, nose and throat doctor).
An Opthalmologist, especially if your eye is involved, you cannot blink, your eyes is irritated, itchy, red and painful. If your condition goes on for too long, an oculopastic surgeon ophtalmologist should be helpul
Neurologist: there exist many different type of neurologist and subspecialty and of course, I would recommend one with extra facial paralysis and conditions training
Physical / Physio Therapist ( that’s me , ).
I would be particularly picky in finding a PT with experience and training in treating Bell’s Palsy. A normal university PT curriculum does not teach facial muscles rehab to their student. Just ask when you contact them.
If you failed to progress after several months and still suffer with severe paralysis, consulting with a facial plastic surgeon would be helpful as they can help with recovery of facial movements and expressions
Top Bell's Palsy Fact Answered: How Long To Recover? Incidence Of Bell's Palsy In The USA, Lagophthalmos.
You are unsure what is causing this and become concerned.
You see a doctor shortly after who after assessing you, prescribes you with corticosteroids and an antiviral to treat the diagnosis of Bell’s Palsy.
As a healthcare provider that has worked and helped Bell's palsy patients for the past 18 years, I can't say I am surprised anymore when a patient or prospective patient mentions they feel lost, alone... Feel like they have not been given much guidance besides, and even not always, been prescribed steroids and antivirals....
They mention how they don't know what they should be doing to work on improving their condition. Should they take vitamin? Should they have massage? Should they use electrical stimulation? Should they continue exercise? Can they continue jogging? Should they just rest, and lie down for the next months crossing their fingers their face will start moving again?
Bell's Palsy is considered a rare condition but it still affects over 40,000 Americans between the age of 16 and 60.
A lot of the research and best course action to treat it remain a source of debate and disagreement.
It is a neuromuskuloskeletal condition since it affects both the facial nerve and muscles of the face it innervates.
I may be be biased, but as a physical therapist (physio for anyone living outside of the USA), and as a fully recovered Bell's palsy patient myself, I believe it is my duty to educate the population with what physical therapy can do when suffering from this rapid, debilitating, physically and socially, condition.
Let's chat about a topic that is often overlooked and has potential of affecting someone's life and could be resulting in life changing injuries.
Over my 17 years career, I have treated patients in hospitals, outpatient clinics, private homes, skilled nursing facilities and rehab centers and hundreds of them for injuries resulting after a fall. Fractures of the hip and pelvis are the most common but hands, wrist, forearm, ankle and feet fractures are not too far behind.
And today, I 'd like to offer some insight and topics regarding balance and falls with....
In early August 2017, while I was blowing my nose, I started experiencing the first symptoms of a diagnosis most people know really little about. My goal with this post is to shed the light and educate on how to recognize and what to do when you suffer from the neurological condition known as Bell’s Palsy.
Bell’s Palsy is the acute paralysis of several muscles of one side of the face that are innervated by the facial nerve, one of the twelve cranial nerves. The origin of this condition are believed to be viral in origin(herpes simplex and zoster, flu, mononucleosis, german measles…) . Some studies show one is at higher risk of contracting Bell’s Palsy if they are diabetic, pregnant, or having recently experiencing an upper respiratory tract infection.
40 years of age is the prime decade to contract the disease.
Pierre-Yves Butheau, MPT, CMP has been a physiotherapist for 19 years and has a passion for helping people move better, return from and prevent injuries, as well as improve their function and quality of life. He has a strong interest in addressing the root cause of and treating neuro-musculoskeletal conditions while educating his patients with the knowledge to manage their conditions and prevent recurrence. Pierre also has a niche in treating Bell's palsy and temporomandibular joint dysfunctions.