Bell’s palsy is a form of paralysis of the facial muscles on one or both sides from damage to the facial nerve. Damage is usually caused by diseases such as the flu, measles, mumps, or chickenpox. Symptoms are usually temporary and last only about 6 months.
- Facial drooping on one or both sides
- Mild to severe paralysis
- Increased sensitivity to sound
- Decreased saliva and tear production
Facial drooping is a key symptom but if it does occur, seek help immediately because it is also a key feature of strokes. Diagnosis is usually made with MRI or x-ray and EMG nerve conduction tests. Physical therapy is one of the most common treatments for Bell’s Palsy. Most treatments for this condition in physical therapy focus on facial massage and exercise to prevent the muscles from becoming permanently shortened and decreasing any pain present. Your therapist can talk to you more about specific treatments and exercises that you can perform at home as well.
We treat Bell’s Palsy in the 34711 area!