The Importance of Physical Therapy in Bell’s Palsy and Having an Individual Care Plan

The Importance of Physical Therapy in Bell’s Palsy and Having an Individual Care Plan

Bell’s palsy can be a frightening condition before diagnosis as people often believe they have had a stroke as some symptoms are similar. However, a medical center will soon confirm if you do indeed have Bell’s Palsy. The symptoms can be quite severe and of course, noticeable and this fact also plays a role in the fear experienced at the onset of this condition.

Physical Therapy in Bell’s Palsy

Symptoms of Bell’s Palsy

Bell’s Palsy causes a paralysis of the facial nerves and weakens the muscles on one side of the face and this causes the face to drop. Often, the lips and one eyelid are affected too. This condition although not life-threatening, is life-changing because it can alter appearance. It can also make eating and drinking a problem, especially socially. It is most common in those who are diabetics or, if over the age of 40, but, it can affect anyone at any time.

Common symptoms include:

  • Dropping and soreness of the eyelid.
  • Facial muscles paralyzed.
  • Only being able to speak on one side of the mouth.
  • Stabbing nerve pain.

In most cases, you will start to see and feel an improvement within a few weeks, sometimes sooner. However, there is a danger of permanent nerve damage. There is still much that is unknown about Bell’s Palsy including the main cause for this condition. There are some connections to inflammation of the nerve beneath the ear and this may have a connection to the herpes simplex virus. There is also a link that is being studied to Lyme disease and diabetes. Pain management will certainly need to be considered and acupuncture and physical therapy can be useful.

Bell’s Palsy has a significant impact on a social basis because it can change appearance greatly, so, it can create feelings of isolation for the individual. It can also impair the ability to drive as the eye becomes so sore where it is dry.  Luckily for most, this is short-lived, and most muscles return to normality quickly. There is about an 8% chance that it can return in patients who have had the condition previously.


Physical Therapy and Individual Care Plans

If you have this condition, you may be prescribed a course of medicines to help ease the pain. You are likely to receive an individual care plan too and this works well because each person will experience varying levels of pain and discomfort. Pain management and support are key to the recovery of this condition. Physical therapy has been proven useful in that a series of massage techniques can be utilized to help improve flexibility and to increase a range of motion. It will also reduce tightness of the facial muscles.

You may be given steroid treatments alongside physical therapy to assist recovery times. The main goal will be to decrease inflammation, and this will help to take pressure away from the nerve. Physical therapists may use a TENS unit and ultrasound to help lessen any pain or discomfort experienced. Too often, centers for pain simply prescribe medication but, it’s important to provide a sense of relief and personal care when it comes to these types of conditions where fear is common.

There are many other treatments that can be used for treatment will always depend on the individual. Although it is a worrying time, know that most people do start the recovery process within a few weeks, but it is vital that you seek professional medical care to help promote healing and to lessen the discomfort.

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