Bell’s palsy is a sudden and unexplained episode of facial muscle weakness or paralysis.
The most common cause of facial paralysis, the condition can strike anyone at any age and can last anywhere from a few weeks to 6 months.
In some cases, muscle weakness can last forever, even after recovery.
Here’s everything you need to know about this type of facial paralysis, its cause and symptoms, and how Chiropractic care maybe the best option to manage it.
What is Bell's palsy, and what causes it?
Bell’s palsy is a paralysis of facial muscles.
People with the condition have one side of the face drooping or becoming stiff. As a result, they have difficulty smiling and closing or opening their eyes on the affected side.
Bell’s palsy occurs when the seventh cranial nerve, the nerve that controls facial muscles, becomes swollen, compressed, or inflamed.
Several possible reasons for this damage include infections, trauma, increased stress, and suppressed immune system.
In most cases, Bell’s palsy goes away within a few weeks or months.
What are the risk factors for Bell's palsy?
There is no exact cause for this damage to the facial nerves, but certain viruses and bacteria, such as herpes simplex virus, sarcoidosis, and HIV, have been linked to the development of the condition.
The condition affects men and women equally, but you are also more likely to develop Bell’s palsy if you
have a family history of the condition
have high blood pressure
have a lung infection
What are the symptoms of Bell's palsy?
The symptoms of Bell’s palsy depend on the severity of the nerve damage–the more inflamed and compressed the facial nerve is, the more severe the paralysis tends to be.
Symptoms typically appear suddenly and progress rapidly, reaching their full effect within the next 48 hours.
Among these symptoms include:
a droopy mouth and/or drooling
difficulty pronouncing certain words
an inability to control facial muscles and make facial expressions, such as smiling or frowning
muscle twitches in the face and limited facial movement
altered taste and difficulty in eating and drinking
dry eye and mouth
headache and/or sound hypersensitivity
What are the treatment options for Bell's palsy?
Effective treatment and management for Bell’s palsy involve prompt diagnosis to rule out other types of facial paralysis-causing conditions such as Lyme disease, stroke, and tumours.
Early diagnosis also helps determine the extent of the nerve damage.
After a diagnosis, the typical treatment route for Bell’s palsy involves the following:
Analgesics such as aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen
Warm compress to relieve pain
facial exercises such as Repeatedly closing the eye of the affected part and raising the eyebrows, and holding for 15-20 seconds at a time
Bell’s palsy can cause the eye of the affected area not to close fully, making it more prone to irritation and drying.
Use lubricating eye drops to keep them moist, and wear eyeglasses and an eye patch to avoid getting debris into them.
Eyebrow and/or eyelid lift
Physical therapy (such as to the cervical and thoracic spine)
Does Chiropractic for Bell’s palsy work?
Chiropractic is a holistic approach that looks at the whole body to solve problem areas, with extra focus on cervical spine fixations.
Unlike other treatment options for the condition, the practice can manage Bell’s palsy symptoms, speed up the healing process, and promote better functionality all around.
For example, the steroid prednisone, a commonly prescribed medication, has serious side effects and has to be taken with strict supervision.
And while the therapeutic approaches for Bell’s palsy may be relatively risk-free, they are slow to work and may cause unnecessary strain to the facial muscles.
Another option is to manage the condition through the surgical route of decompression surgery, but this is not recommended due to the high risk of facial nerve injury and permanent hearing loss associated with this.
The Chiropractic route is not only safe, but it is also effective. A 47-year-old woman with chronic Bell’s palsy showed a 90% improvement after undergoing Chiropractic adjustments that involved:
high-velocity, low-amplitude Chiropractic corrections (adjustments) to the cervical spine, correcting interference in the nerve system
interferential muscle stimulation
bilateral hydroculation on the trapezius muscles
Choose the Holistic Route in Managing Bell’s Palsy
With limited options and no one way to treat Bell’s palsy, choosing which way to manage the condition can be difficult.
Chiropractic adjustment offers a safe and holistic alternative to the usual course of care.
We offer this route at our chiropractic clinic, Vitality Chiropractic Centres.
Along with effectively alleviating the condition’s symptoms and speeding up your healing, our patient-centric approach considers your lifestyle and personal health goals to create the most accurate plan for your unique needs.
Hasten your recovery time in the most holistic way possible with us, book a complimentary, no-obligation appointment today.
What is Bell’s Palsy and can chiropractic care in Singapore help?
Bell’s Palsy is a condition that causes facial muscle weakness or paralysis. Chiropractic care in Singapore may help manage symptoms through gentle adjustments, exercises, and other supportive therapies.
Is chiropractic the primary solution for Bell’s Palsy in Singapore?
Chiropractic care is not the primary for Bell’s Palsy. However, it may complement conventional medical care and provide additional support in managing symptoms and promoting overall well-being.
Are there any risks or contraindications of chiropractic for Bell’s Palsy in Singapore?
Chiropractic for Bell’s Palsy in Singapore is generally safe. However, it is important to consult with a qualified chiropractor who can assess your condition and provide appropriate care based on your specific needs.
What chiropractic techniques are used by chiropractors in Singapore for Bell’s Palsy?
Chiropractors in Singapore may use gentle adjustments, soft tissue therapies, and exercises to improve facial muscle function and promote overall healing in individuals with Bell’s Palsy.
How long does it take to see results from chiropractic care for Bell’s Palsy in Singapore?
The response to chiropractic care for Bell’s Palsy in Singapore varies. Some individuals may experience improvements in symptoms after a few sessions, while others may require ongoing care and rehabilitation.
Can chiropractic care in Singapore provide a complete solution for Bell’s Palsy?
Chiropractic care does not offer a cure for Bell’s Palsy, but it may improve muscle function, alleviate pain, and enhance well-being for individuals experiencing this condition.
Is chiropractic covered by insurance in Singapore for Bell’s Palsy?
Insurance coverage for chiropractic in Singapore for Bell’s Palsy may vary. It is recommended to check with your insurance provider to determine if chiropractic care is covered under your policy.
What other healthcare professionals should I consult along with a chiropractor in Singapore for Bell’s Palsy?
In addition to a chiropractor, individuals with Bell’s Palsy in Singapore may benefit from collaborating with neurologists, physiotherapists, and other specialists for comprehensive care and management.
Shaan (UK) is based in Singapore. He is a GCC registered Singapore Chiropractor, completing a 5 year course at AECC, attaining his Masters in Chiropractic. His career has been specialised in neurological cases, such as migraines and vertigo. He is the Vuce President and Chairman for Outreach & Charity for Alliance of Chiropractic (AoC) and is a founder of Vitality Chiropractic Singapore. He developed the NeuroPro method, combining Upper Cervical techniques with Functional Neurology Rehab.