Recently I have been treating several patients with facial disorders. They are not considered to be facial paralysis you typically see in people who have had strokes. Instead, these patients still have nerve sensations and limited amount of movements on their face muscles. This condition I am referring to is Bell’s Palsy. I will first explain what it is, the cause, the signs and symptoms, and how acupuncture can help restore muscle strength to the weakened areas and restore normal functions of the face.
What is Bell’s Palsy and what causes it?
Bell’s Palsy is a sudden weakness in the facial muscles causing half of affected face to droop or drop. An example of this is a one-sided smile along with the eye on the same side resisting closing. Typically, the weakness is short lived and improves over weeks.
While the specific cause of Bell’s Palsy is unknown, it can occur at any age. From my professional experience in treating this condition, it can be caused by a wide array of things such as a viral infection, someone enduring a traumatic experience in their life, or even physical trauma. Regardless of the cause, it is important to understand and note that this is a weakness of the facial nerve which its normal functions can be restored. If it is a paralysis, the task becomes more difficult.
Signs & Symptoms
According to the Mayo Clinic, signs and symptoms of Bell's palsy come on suddenly and include:
- Sudden, quick onset of mild weakness to total paralysis on one side of the face — occurring within hours to days
- Facial droop and having difficulty making facial expressions, such as closing the eye or smiling
- Pain around the jaw or in or behind your ear on the affected side
- Increased sensitivity to sound on the affected side
- A loss of taste
- Changes in the amounts of tears and saliva you produce
In rare cases, Bell's palsy can affect the nerves on both sides of your face.
How can we help?
For most people, Bell's palsy is short lived and usually starts to improve within a few weeks. Most have a complete recovery in about six months. A very small percentage of people have some Bell's palsy symptoms for life and rarely does it recur.
Typical treatment for Bell’s Palsy are prescription anti-viral or corticosteroid medications. Physical therapy is also prescribed to help re- strengthen the facial muscles and, in rare, severe cases, surgery may be used an option for treatment.
Acupuncture is one of the best options for treating Bell’s Palsy! It is a safe and effective treatment method in restoring and re- strengthening the affected facial muscles with the insertion of the fine needles along with gentle electrical stimulation. If treated early on, the facial muscle can be fully restored. Recent studies have shown that utilizing acupuncture to treat Bell’s Palsy yielded 70-80% improvement overall in the muscle strength and tone. It is well documented that celebrities such as Angelina Jolie and George Clooney have utilized acupuncture initially to treat their Bell’s Palsy conditions with much success.
Fast Relief Acupuncture has developed a unique treatment system to effectively treat Bell’s Palsy with long lasting effects! With the main goal of re-strengthening the weakened facial muscle, we incorporate a variety of proven techniques to alleviate the problem with minimal invasiveness. With a specialized combination of modern treatment modalities along with diagnostic precision, our goal is to help improve your condition to both yours and our satisfaction. Call today to get the relief you deserve!