Bell’s palsy treatment
Today I want to share with you the safe and natural chiropractic options for Bell’s palsy treatment and explain how they work better than the conventional symptom management typically offered. But first, it helps to understand a bit about the condition itself.
What is Bell’s palsy?
Bell’s Palsy is a temporary form of facial paralysis that occurs suddenly and is often mistaken as a sign of a stroke. While not very common, it still affects an average of 40,000 people in the United States alone. Those between the ages of 15 and 45 are most likely to experience it. Bell’s palsy most often affects just one side of the face or the other but on rare occasions, it can affect both. This partial paralysis leaves you unable to control the facial muscles giving it a drooping appearance.
Your spine is made up of bones (vertebrae), cartilage (discs), with a bundle of nerves (spinal cord) running up the middle. These nerves then branch off into all areas of your body, sending and receiving signals back and forth to your brain. A problem with your spine can cause problems further down the line. Simply put, with Bell’s palsy there is a break, or disruption, in the line of communication from your brain to the muscles and glands in the affected side of your face.
The communication line to your face is called the 7th cranial nerve. While your body will do it’s best to repair this line of communication on its own there are natural ways you can support it without drugs that I will discuss in a moment.
How long will it last?
Bell’s palsy is considered a temporary condition but it is still debilitating for those living with it. This has many sufferers asking, “How long will this last?” In very rare cases it never goes away. However, much of the time it’s possible for it to resolve on its own within 6–8 months, though sometimes longer. That is a long time when you’re the one dealing with it. Unfortunately, most doctors will just say you have to wait it out and send you home with some prescriptions. Thankfully, you have other, better options with chiropractic care.
Causes of Bell’s palsy
The cause of Bell’s palsy is considered unknown but it is believed to be triggered by underlying bacterial or viral infections. These infections can cause inflammation or irritation of nerves, specifically the 7th cranial nerve I previously mentioned. This main nerve splits into three branches along each side of your face and controls facial muscles as well as other functions. Things like facial damage from trauma, dental work, or subluxations in the neck can affect this nerve as well.
The 7th cranial nerve controls many functions
- Muscles responsible for facial expressions
- Taste in the front 2/3 of your tongue
- Lacrimal glands that create fluid around the eyeball
- Salivary glands
- Some muscles of the inner ear
Since infection is believed to be a major trigger a thorough examination of your recent health history is an important step. There are also some conditions usually associated with this ailment that can be used to help determine the best Bell’s palsy treatment protocol for individual patients.
Bell’s palsy risk factors
- Subluxations of the vertebrae in the neck
- Trauma to the facial area
- Recent dental work
- High blood pressure
- Exposure to toxins
- Multiple sclerosis
- Respiratory illnesses
And of course bacterial or viral infections and infection-related conditions including these.
- Herpes-zoster (chickenpox or shingles)
- Ear infections
- Guillain-Barre syndrome
- Mumps or measles
- Infectious Mononucleosis
- Lyme disease
Because of the similarities in symptoms someone experiencing sudden facial paralysis should seek medical attention from their provider in order to rule out a stroke, tumor, or other serious medical problem.
Symptoms of Bell’s palsy
The symptoms of Bell’s palsy mostly stem from the absence of muscle control to the affected side of the face. Conventional treatments just respond to the noticeable symptoms and wait for the condition to resolve on its own.
- Muscle twitching to total paralysis of the muscles
- Facial numbness or weakness
- Headaches or migraines
- Inability to close the eye
- Dry eye
- Loss of taste
- Decreased production of tears and/or saliva
- Sensitivity to sound
- Pain in or around the ear or jaw area
- Difficulty eating or drinking
Watch this video!
In my video, I explain this condition and show how chiropractic treatment for Bell’s palsy combined with cold laser therapy can speed up recovery.
Treatment for Bell’s palsy
Since determining a specific cause can be difficult or impossible, Bell’s palsy treatment protocols should include addressing any associated conditions or infections that could be causing inflammation, irritation, or compression of the cranial nerve including upper cervical subluxations.
The typical course of action could more accurately be called Bell’s palsy management rather than treatment. Most doctors don’t really offer much in the way of treatment of Bell’s palsy. They often just send you home to wait it out, maybe with some medications to deal with the ongoing symptoms. Some of the drugs used include steroids or other anti-inflammatories, eye drops, and medication for pain relief. While these can temporarily help with symptoms they do nothing to help your body heal. An anti-viral may also be prescribed to clear up any ongoing viral infection. Depending on the doctor they may even suggest Botox or irreversible surgery.
Anytime you can reduce or eliminate the need for these the better. More and more, people are looking for natural and less invasive alternatives to treat health issues. Those suffering from Bell’s palsy are no different and many are finding it with chiropractic care.
Chiropractic treatment for Bell’s palsy
The fact that Bell’s palsy can often resolve on its own is a testament to the body’s ability to heal itself naturally when given the opportunity. Chiropractic services support and encourage this process using natural solutions. This drastically decreases the amount of time the healing process takes and may even reduce the severity of the symptoms.
Here at Synergy Wellness Chiropractic & Physical Therapy one of the methods I use with my patients is upper cervical adjustments. These adjustments help to relieve pressure on the cranial nerve where it exits the spine. I also use what I call our “secret weapon,” cold laser therapy. Cold laser therapy reduces inflammation and helps heal nerve tissue throughout the affected facial area. Chiropractic treatment for Bell’s palsy, in conjunction with cold laser therapy, is a key factor for Bell’s palsy recovery. Several case studies show that this unique combination often accelerates recovery time without the use of drugs or surgery.
The many methods and techniques offered by chiropractic care helps to remove the stumbling blocks that can get in the way of your body’s natural healing processes. So if you are looking for a more natural and safer way to treat a current problem like Bell’s palsy, or even just maintain good health, chiropractic is the better choice.
There are many case studies showing the significant improvement achieved with chiropractic adjustments and cold laser therapy. Here are just a few.
Chiropractic with cold laser therapy
“A 40-year-old male patient had a 10-day history of facial paralysis on his left side, including the inability to close his left eye, which also had tearing and a burning sensation. The patient had trouble lifting his left lip and complained of drooling while brushing his teeth. There was no previous history of similar symptoms or recent infection. Prior treatment had included oral steroids.” Read the full study.
“A 40-year-old male patient endured paralysis on the left side of his face for a period of 10 days. He was unable to close his eye and he was suffering from excessive tearing and a burning feeling. In addition, he had difficulty making his left lip move up and noticed that he drooled when he brushed his teeth. Previous to seeing a chiropractor, he had visited his primary physician who prescribed him steroids which didn’t seem to ease his symptoms. He was also referred to a neurologist who performed additional testing and found no issues. It was then that he sought the help of his chiropractor turned out to be a turning point in his recovery.” Read the full study.
Chiropractic without cold laser therapy
“A 47-year-old woman with medically diagnosed Bell’s palsy presented for chiropractic care. She had experienced right sinus pressure and congestion, lack of facial tone on the right, and intermittent tingling of the right side of her face.” Read the full study.
“A 49-year-old woman with a medical diagnosis of Bell’s palsy sought chiropractic care. Her symptoms included right facial paralysis, extreme phonophobia, pain in the right temporomandibular joint (TMJ), and neck pain.” Read the full study.
Dr. David Kulla provides treatments, including cold laser therapy, for Bell’s palsy at Synergy Wellness Chiropractic & Physical Therapy in New York City. Schedule an appointment for safe and effective chiropractic care today.
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Dr. David Kulla is a successful Chiropractor in New York City certified in Cox® Technic, Electro-Diagnostic testing, and Physiotherapy. Dr. Dave created Synergy Wellness Chiropractic & Physical Therapy, Pllc. to bring together the many benefits of chiropractic, physical therapy, and nutrition. Synergy Wellness is located at 409 East 14th Street, Suite C, New York, NY 10009. To schedule a consultation visit our contact page.