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Equinox Physical Therapy in Sarasota Florida specializes in the treatment of Facial Nerve Paralysis. On April 6, 2024, I had the pleasure to give an educational lecture on Facial Paralysis treatments with Dr. Lilliana Ein from the University of Miami. Our audience were physicians who attended the 2024 Minimally Invasive ENT Open Forum Course in Sarasota, Florida. I spoke about how physical therapy can help those with Facial Paralysis. Dr. Ein spoke about facial reanimation surgical treatments for those people whose nerve is severed or severely damaged. The audience was very engaged in learning how reanimation surgery and physical therapy treatments can help their patients.

Because treating facial paralysis is a specialty, the doctors appreciated the opportunity to learn about the most current treatment concepts when treating this special group of patients. The talk also mentioned what not to do. For instance, that using electrical stimulation to the face is not recommended and should be avoided. If your chiropractor, physical therapist, or accupunturist want to do estim on your face, then that means that they are not up to date on the current treatments for facial nerve paralysis. And if truth be known, treating people with facial paralysis is such a specialty that very few physical therapists are well versed in treating this patient population.

Causes of Facial Nerve Paralysis

There are several conditions that can cause Facial Nerve Paralysis. Did you know that 20 to 30 people out of 100,00 people develop Bells Palsy each year? While it is not the only cause of Facial Paralysis, it is the most common cause of Facial Paralysis. While this list is not all inclusive, other causes of facial paralysis include acoustic neuroma tumors, trauma, or Lyme Disease. Bells Palsy can occur at any age, but the median age is around 40 years old. If you would like to learn more about Bells Palsy, you can check out this link to another blog that I wrote on the topic https://equinoxphysicaltherapy.com/2014/09/what-is-bell-palsy-the-who-what-where-when-why/

Keep on Learning

Learning creates positive energy. That is why Learning is a core value at Equinox Physical Therapy.

I know that it can be frustrating to find a doctor or physical therapist who understands the current treatments available to people who have not fully recovered from Facial Nerve Paralysis. However, there are health professionals out there that can help! I encourage you to take charge of your learning and recovery. At the end of the day, learning should be a lifelong journey for everyone- doctors, physical therapists and patients.

A Young Teacher, painting by Sergiy Grigoriev

Picture of Laura Wazen, DPT presenting at the 2024 Minimally Invasive ENT Open Forum Meeting in Sarasota, Florida.