Overcoming the effects of facial paralysis is a long and difficult process. Dr. Babak Azizzadeh and The Facial Paralysis Institute staff know the importance of each step of the facial reanimation journey. Our goal is to provide a physical therapy program that facilitates facial symmetry and improves facial paralysis. With the proper exercises and physical therapy, facial paralysis patients can recover some of their lost facial movement and regain animation in their facial expressions. Whether your journey to facial reanimation includes surgery and physical therapy or just the therapy itself, our staff is committed to helping you every step of the way.
At the Facial Paralysis Institute, we stress the importance of being evaluated by an expert neuromuscular therapist to learn the proper exercises for your condition. Upon evaluation with our physical therapists, you will learn the exact exercises that will benefit you the most.
Our customized physical therapy sessions are planned around each patient’s prognosis and the severity of his or her condition. That way, the program is tailored to the patient. Additionally, our team works directly with patients, teaches patients how to perform physical therapy exercises and ensures patients can achieve the best-possible results.
Today, Dr. Azizzadeh helps patients address facial paralysis, Bell’s palsy and other facial nerve conditions. Dr. Azizzadeh is a world-renowned facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon. He possesses dual certification in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery and head and neck surgery (otolaryngology). Dr. Azizzadeh’s unique expertise has helped him become one of the most sought-after facial plastic and reconstructive surgeons in the world.
Dr. Azizzadeh and his staff utilize a number of techniques to help improve facial symmetry in facial paralysis patients. Below are two of the most common approaches used by our physical therapists.
Physical Therapy Techniques for Facial Paralysis
Neuromuscular Retraining (NMR)
NMR involves the use of subtle but critically important exercises to teach and retrain the brain to coordinate the facial muscles more effectively and efficiently.
Benefits of NMR
NMR re-teaches facial paralysis patients which muscles are required to move different parts of the face. This type of physical therapy enables a patient’s brain to reconnect facial muscles and corresponding facial movements. It teaches patients how to isolate facial muscles, use only the correct muscles to make their desired facial movements and suppress muscles that otherwise cause unwanted facial movements.
Am I a Viable Candidate for NMR?
Patients dealing with Bell’s palsy or other viral infections of the facial nerve often recover on their own completely and spontaneously within about three months of an initial diagnosis. For those who do not fully recover, it is possible that the facial nerve will heal improperly, which causes spontaneous, unwanted facial movements (or synkinesis). For example, when a Bell’s palsy patient tries to smile, his or her eye may twitch at the same time. In this scenario, the patient does not require additional strength in the facial muscles. Instead, he or she needs to improve facial muscle coordination to prevent facial muscles from flexing out of sequence – something that causes distorted facial movements.
For those who experience Bell’s palsy or other facial paralysis symptoms for eight months or longer, a consultation with Dr. Azizzadeh is ideal. At this time, Dr. Azizzadeh will conduct a full patient assessment, learn about a patient’s facial paralysis symptoms and determine if an individual is a candidate for NMR. He also is happy to respond to a patient’s NMR concerns and questions and help this individual make an informed treatment decision.
Manual massage involves a series of different massage techniques. The goal of manual massage is to decrease facial muscle tightness and improve flexibility and range of motion. Initially, manual massage techniques may be performed by our physical therapists, but the therapist ultimately will teach a patient the techniques so he or she can perform them regularly at home.
Occupational Therapist Jackie Diels Explains Facial Muscular Retraining
Facial Neuromuscular Retraining After Facial Nerve Transfer
Facial Neuromuscular Retraining After Tumor Removal Surgery
Facial Neuromuscular Retraining After Bell’s Palsy
Facial Paralysis Surgery & Non-Surgical Neuromuscular Retraining
Facial Paralysis Physical Therapy & Neuromuscular Retraining
When Can I Start Neuromuscular Retraining?
Our Approach to Physical Therapy for Facial Paralysis
Facial paralysis, Bell’s palsy and other facial nerve conditions are complex. As such, a personalized physical therapy treatment program may be used to address facial paralysis symptoms. With this program in place, a patient can use physical therapy to achieve his or her desired results.
Dr. Azizzadeh and the Facial Paralysis Institute team take a holistic approach to physical therapy for facial paralysis. We understand there is no one-size-fits-all physical therapy treatment to address all types of facial paralysis. Therefore, we work with each patient to create a custom physical therapy program. We also monitor a patient’s progress and ensure a physical therapy treatment helps a patient alleviate facial paralysis symptoms.
Schedule a Physical Therapy for Facial Paralysis Consultation with the Facial Paralysis Institute
For more information about our customized approach to facial paralysis physical therapy and learn which facial exercises will be the best for your condition, please contact us today at (310) 657-2203 to schedule a consultation with facial paralysis expert Dr. Azizzadeh.
Next, check out our blog
Request your consultation with Dr. Azizzadeh today
Call us at (310) 657-2203 to schedule an appointment.Schedule a Consultation