Simple Facial Exercises for Bell’s Palsy

Facial paralysis is caused due to inflammation of the facial nerve or inflammation of the bone canal which covers the facial nerve. This inflammation is caused due to the virus Herpes Simplex 1. The virus affects maximum individuals and lies dormant in the human body surfacing only as cold sores or fever blisters. In few cases however, it may inflame the facial nerve and cause bells palsy.

Bells palsy does not require excessive medication or treatment but it does require special care and other precautionary measures that would help protect the affected sense organs, like the affected eye. Exercises for bells palsy, massages and intake of steroids have been found to be extremely effective in reducing the swelling of the facial nerve. Recovery period is ranges from a couple of weeks to months. It also depends of the patient’s will power, support from family and friends, and the body’s recovery time.

Exercises for bells palsy can include trying to wrinkle your nose, trying to smile, blink the eye, frown etc. Massage of the face and the surrounding area is also known to help. The idea behind this is not to gain instant mobility of the muscles but to make sure that the muscles are being used. It is important to be patient during the entire procedure. In the beginning you will not notice any movement as you stand in front of the mirror trying to exercise the muscles. But steadily they will reap benefits. Always exercise one muscle at a time. If you are trying to smile, concentrate on the smile and not on the frown. Do not over exhaust yourself. Repeat the same set of exercises as number of times that you are comfortable with.

Any general physiotherapist would not be able to help you out. You would need the skills of a specialised physiotherapist who has had experience and training in treating facial paralysis before. He would be able to instruct and guide you regarding exercises for bells palsy and how they should be done.

Bells palsy is a condition where the nerves are inflamed. This has to be always kept in mind while exercising. Over stressing the muscles in trying to see a facial movement can traumatise the nerves further. Along with the prescribed exercises for bells palsy, intake of steroids and anti virals consumption should not be stopped.

Another important aspect of exercises for bells palsy is trying to get some movement in the affected eye of the patient. Since, the eye remains open all the time it is extremely important to voluntarily blink the eye with the help of your finger. But since muscle movement is disabled, the eye does not blink to spread the moisture evenly in the eye. In such a situation, eye drops should be used to moisten the affected eye. Eye care should include protecting the eye from debris and keeping it moist. The tear glands produce tears and thus the eyes always appear too teary. A cotton pad should be used to cover the eye when the patient is asleep. Also tinted glasses should be used to prevent any debris to make contact with the eye and damage the cornea

On maximum occasions, it is self cured since it is caused by an inflamed nerve. As the swelling reduces, the nerve begins to transmit signals to the facial muscles which respond accordingly.  Any negligence in treatment can lead to impaired sense organs. Special care need to be taken for the patients affected eye and his sensitive ear. Lack of proper care and medical attention may lead to catastrophes like a damaged cornea.

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