T Nation

Bells Palsy


It's been a long time since I posted on here, but I need to rack the brains of some of the bright minds that visit here I suffered a case of Bells Palsy some four months ago and have regained a lot of the muscle control of the right side of my face, however I am still struggling with getting my lips working on the right side. I am attempting to massage the area very regularly and forcing the lips into positions whilst visualising (smiling etc), and it is very slow progress (virtually none on the lips), I was wondering if any one had any ideas or directions they could send me in, I was even thinking a tens machine might help but I am not sure it is a good idea on the face.
I know it's not a major muscle group but it still works on the same principles.
Any and all input would be appreciated
Kindest Regards


I had Bells Palsy several years back. It came on overnight (although there were some weird indicators. I do remember having a metallic taste in my mouth). Mine went away on its own with nowork on my part at all. From what I was told there really isn't anything that you can do for it aside from steriods or surgery.

How severe is your case? How often do you bite your cheek? My mouth was torn up from me trying to eat. I remember when I first got it and everyone thought I was having a stroke. Hopefully it clears up soon for you. Mine took a handful of months to go away but it did go away and from what I understand it does go away for the vast majority of people.



Thanks James,

Had the steroids Prednisolone, it cut ten kilo's of muscle from my body in the blink of an eye (headslap)

just can't get the lips going food has been all soft squishy stuff(even then it get's stuck in my cheek) and no eating in public


How severe,

well it started with being run down, then an ear infection, which dropped the immune system and a virus hit me swelling the nerve 4 months later I can finally close my right eye but only if my left eye is closed, so the blink reflex is finally back and I no longer have to fill my eye with sterile petroleum jelly at night, but I am still using eye drops regularly, vision is still a slight problem as the same nerve bunch controls focus, I'm working on that though.

But I really want my lips back so I don't smile like this :confused:


I remember a case similar to this in my dad's chiropractic office many years ago. Unfortunately, I don't remember the outcome. He did use electrical stim. on the patient's face. I don't know if it helped, but I do remember that it did no harm. Sorry this info is so vague, but I just wanted to say that the electrical stim. may be worth a shot.


Thanks Dr J,

I'm thinking of tens but there is always warnings about putting them on your face so I'm a bit hesitant


I'd like to consider myself an expert since I have had a virus a lot more severe than the one that causes Bell's Palsy. I had Ramsay Hunt Syndrome which is caused by the herpes complex virus. Bell's Palsy is caused by the herpes simplex virus. My sickness was caused by shingles in my ear. I did have facial paralysis for a few months, but had vertigo, dizziness and all that other fun stuff. The dizziness still lingers a year and a half later, it sucks.

But anyways. I use to frequent a message board about the stuff and this is what someone's doctor told them. "I was able to see Lisa Massa, a Duke Physical Therapist who is an expert on facial therapy.
Lisa said that electrical stimulation from a TENS unit is always a DO NOT USE!! The stimulation machines are very expensive, as are the treatments, and they appear from all trials she has heard about, to be a waste of money.
Often the nerves are actually healing and reconnecting correctly, but other nerves and muscles are operating incorrectly, overshadowing the improvements. So, any type of electrical based stimulation procedure should not be used as a treatment for the face."

Also, you should avoid things like acupuncture where they put needles in your nerves. This can cause synkinesis which can cause the nerves in your face to heal incorrectly. It means things can happy like if you yawn and a tear drops from your eye.

My best advice is just give it time and it will heal. Get plenty of rest and sleep. It's only temporary man, just be glad it's not something that is permanent!

Oh yeah, i forgot, this might help... http://www.facialparalysis.net/


Thanks strungoutboy21,

great input I really appreciate it, at the moment I am doing some facial exercise that I got from here


and I am noticing the difference already, there is hope of me getting that kiss working again after all

Thanks for the Link I'll check it out