Bell’s Palsy

Bell’s Palsy occurs when one side of the face is paralyzed.  Strokes will often cause one side of the face to have a palsy.  A droopy face.  Every therapist has heard this – that Bell’s Palsy can be caused by sleeping next to an open window.  They said this to us in PT school.  Uhhh, really?  I don’t know if it was said jokingly or if the professor was serious, I can’t remember, I was probably half asleep.  Anyway, if your face droops on one side, it’ll get better.  The facial muscles are the exact same as any other muscle in the body.  Eventually they will work better because the brain will work better and make better connections with those muscles, or make new connections.  You have to make this happen, it won’t just happen spontaneously.  Well, it might happen spontaneously, if it does you’re very lucky.  But in order to help make it happen, do these exercises.  At the beginning of this video there is a warning about something called synkinesis.  This can happen with facial palsies when the nerves get confused and something happens when it’s not supposed to happen, such as closing of the eyes when the mouth muscles are used.  The warning on the video says this is a permanent condition – no it’s not.  No condition resulting from damage to the nervous system is permanent.  You certainly don’t want synkinesis though.

Categories: Brain stuff, Rehab, Stroke stuff

Tags: , , , ,

2 replies

  1. I would see Bell’s Palsey from time to time as an RN in the nursery with some babies after difficult deliveries. The poor parents would be horrified, but the doctors always told them it would resolve spontaneously. I’m not sure what happened to all those kids….they would only stay for a few days. My face was paralysed after my stroke, but not due to this I would imagine. The constant drooling was especially annoying to me. Glad that’s gone!

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