Information And Treatment
Bell's palsy is a form of facial paralysis caused by a dysfunction of the 7th cranial nerve, which is responsible for controlling movement of the facial muscles. The disorder affects more than 30,000 people in the United States, and can cause symptoms such as difficulty eating or swallowing, drooling, drooping, twitching, weakness, headache and more.
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, a division of the National Institutes of Health, physical therapy can be beneficial for individuals with Bell's palsy by helping to stimulate the facial nerves and preserve muscle tone. Acupuncture is a common alternative treatment sought by individuals with Bell's palsy as well, however there are no current studies to support its efficacy. In the case of chronic eyelid edema, a potential side effect of Bell's palsy, massage therapy modalities such as lymphatic drainage can be advantageous.