Bell’s palsy is paralysis or weakness of muscles on one side of the face. This weakness of the muscles occurs due to damage to the nerves that control the muscles on that side of the face. Your sense of taste, saliva and tear production may also get affected.
People with Bell’s palsy have difficulty in blinking or closing their eyes and even raising their eyebrows. They may even lose their sense of taste to a certain degree. They may not be able to speak clearly a due lack of or limited lip movements.
Facial exercises that relax and tighten your facial muscles may help you recover faster. These exercises can help prevent further weakening of facial muscles. Facial exercises is an effective way to alleviate discomfort and they can be performed anywhere. It is advisable to do it in front of a mirror, just to be sure that you’re doing it right.
Let’s look at some exercises that focus on your eyes and eyebrows, lips, neck and chin, and nose.
Eyes and Eyebrows
- Keeping your neck straight, look down without bending. This exercises your eyelids and eyes.
- Wink your eyes one at a time, gently.
- Close your eyes gently (without wrinkling your eyes) keeping your eyebrows and your mouth still.
- Make your eyes narrow like how you would when you look at the sun and then close your eyes gently.
- Frown so as to draw your eyebrows downwards.
- Raise your eyebrows high enough to wrinkle your forehead. Hold that position for 10-15 seconds.
- Open your eyes widely without involving your eyebrows.
- Wrinkle your nose.
- Flare your nostrils.
- Smile without showing your teeth. Then, smile exposing your teeth.
- Move your lips into a small smile. Now, pucker your lips by applying equal amount of strength from both sides.
- Compress your lips, pucker them and now attempt to whistle.
- Puff your cheeks out by holding air in your mouth. Hold it for 3 to 5 seconds.
- Try to enunciate clearly, words that have the following letter- B, F, M, and P.
Neck and Chin Exercises
- Harden and stick out your chin
- Tilt your head to one side and tip it slightly backward. Hold that position for about 5 to 10 seconds. Now, repeat the exercise on the other side. This will stretch your neck muscles.
While these exercises alleviate discomfort and strengthen facial muscles, it is important to not do certain things that may aggravate the problem.
- Try to chew on both side of your mouth
- Chewing gum exercises the wrong muscles, so avoid it.
For more information on exercises for Bell’s palsy, consult our experienced team physiotherapists at One Life. You can avail their services at home. To make an appointment, call 1800 425 19999.