Bell’s Palsy is typically seen as the rapid onset of one sided facial paralysis or weakness, frequently without history of trauma or mechanical injury.
Physical therapy treatments have been shown to lessen anxiety related to cosmetic facial appearances, as well as reduce key functional impairments, particularly involving the eye, nose, and mouth.
Symptoms of Bell’s Palsy often include:
- Inability to close the affected eyelid
- Dryness or excessive tearing of the eye
- Muscular drooping, particularly of the eyelid and/or upper lip
- Lack of facial expression, difficulty drinking, speaking and tasting
- Hypersensetivity and pain to the face, jaw, ear complex and scalp
Most patients with Bell’s Palsy improve rapidly with Physical Therapy. At Western Berks Physical Therapy, the early focus of physical therapy is to help the patient re-educate or re-learn how to use these muscles of facial expression again through applying specific exercises, therapeutic modalities (electrical stimulation), and targeting manual techniques. Your therapist will guide the sequencing of the relearning process through initiation exercises to begin movement, then through facilitation drills to improve the speed and control, to finally coordination routines for combined complex facial motions. Your therapist may also employ pain management strategies to lessen the irritability and hyper-sensitivity of local nerve endings and surrounding tissues designed to improve sleep and normalize daily activity.