Bell's palsy is a disorder caused by trauma to the seventh cranial nerve resulting in paralysis and stiffness of the muscles in the face. The disorder typically only affects one side of the face. While Bell's palsy can affect anyone, research indicates individuals with diabetes and those recovering from viral infections are the most at risk for developing the disorder. In most cases, Bell's palsy is a temporary issue, and most patients make a full recovery. Not every individual diagnosed with Bell's palsy will require treatment and those who do require medical intervention have a wide array of treatment options. Let's get to know some of them now.
Bell's palsy causes paralysis of the facial muscles and continued non-use of these muscles can result in atrophy, making it difficult for patients to regain full use of certain facial muscles once the disorder is no longer an issue. Patients diagnosed with Bell's palsy are typically referred for physical therapy. When working with a physical therapist, patients will engage in facial exercises to work their paralyzed muscles to increase elasticity and motor function and prevent atrophy, as well as learn specific massage techniques that help to increase blood flow and oxygen to the facial muscles to prevent damage.
Keep reading to reveal the next treatment option available for Bell's palsy.