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Bell's Palsy

Health Topics

bells palsyBellʼs Palsy is defined as an acute, idiopathic, commonly unilateral, peripheral facial paralysis.

Case Studies:

1) Bellsʼ Palsy, A chiropractic case study. Shara K, Sacrooccipital Resource Society International Vol. 11 NO. 2, May 1999. (originally published in the Kansas Chiropractic Association Journal – no date given). A 40-year-old white male with right facial paralysis of 2 days duration. Prior to the paralysis he had been experiencing “tingling” sensations at approx. C7/T1 and had been fighting a sinus infection for two weeks. Patient also had right facial numbness, inability to smile on affected side, inability to eat on the affected side. Under SOT (sacral occipital technique) using pelvic blocks, cranial work and cervical adjustment and by 3 rd visit, 2 days later up to 75% of sensation in the face had returned and by 7 days complete recovery.

2) A five year old boy with Bellʼs Palsy. International Chiropractic Pediatric Association Newsletter September/October 1997 A five year old boy fell from his bike and within one week had symptoms of Bellʼs Palsy. He was unable to close his right eye or wrinkle his brow. He was brought to a neurologist who told the parents it would be 4 or 5 monthʼs recovery time. Chiropractic examination revealed a right lateral atlas (C-1) and the child was adjusted once per week for three weeks at which time has was 90% improved.

3) Chiropractic management of a patient with Bellʼs Palsy. Alacantara J, Plaugher G, Van Wyngarden DL. International Journal of Chiropractic Vol. 9, No. 2 1997. 49 year old Caucasian female, medical diagnosis of Bellʼs Palsy with right facial paralysis with the inability to close her right eye, extreme bilateral ear sensitivity to sound, pain in the right TMJ and neck pain. In addition patient could not raise her right eyebrow, close her eye, show her upper teeth, smile, frown or puff her cheeks. Symptoms began ten days after a series of dental treatments for crowns on her right molars. Adjustment: From 10-18-95 to 4-19-96 patient was seen 37 times. The left TMJ was adjusted as well as thoracic and lumbar vertebrae. The patient experienced symptomatic relief in the cervical and facial regions after one week of care; within four months her right facial pain abated, she could close her right eye lightly, smile, move her eyebrows and puff her cheeks.

4) Chiropractic and pregnancy, a partnership for the future. Fallon J. ICA Review Nov/ Dec 1990. pp. 39-42. Discusses neurological conditions associated with subluxation in pregnancy: brachia neuralgia, compression of the brachial plexus causing tingling and numbness in the shoulder and arm; neuralgia, paresthesia, compression of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve causing pain and paresthesia of the thigh; intercostal neuralgia, compression of the intercostal nerves causing radiating pain between the ribs; sciatic neuralgia, compression of lumbar plexus causing pain of the pelvic region and/or radiating down leg; coccydynia, pain at site of coccyx; separation of the symphysis pubis, causing pain at the symphysis pubis and SI joint; Carpal tunnel syndrome, compression of median nerve; Bellʼs Palsy, compression of CN V11 causing paralysis of facial muscles; traumatic neuritis, motor and sensory deficits of L5, S1 and S2 after labor.

5) Idiopathic facial paralysis: mechanism, diagnosis and conservative management. Palmieri NF. Chiro Technique 1990; Nov: 182-187. “Treatment consisted of mechanical force, manually assisted chiropractic adjusting, high voltage therapy and self-administered facial muscle exercises.” Positive results were reported.

6) Treatment of facial muscles affected by Bellʼs Palsy with high-voltage electrical muscle stimulation. JMPT, 1993; 16:347-352. “Patients were treated with high-voltage pulsed galvanic current…spinal fixations were mobilized using chiropractic manipulation.” Positive results were reported.