What is Bell’s Palsy and can we help?

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If you would like to learn more about how we can help you become pain-free, give our office a call today at (425) 686-4498 to schedule your initial consultation.

What is Bell’s Palsy and can we help?

If you or someone you know has suffered from Bell’s palsy you understand how frustrating it can be in not only in pain but dramatically impacting quality of life.

Bell’s palsy is a temporary facial paralysis that triggers one-side of the face. Most often the cause is not known “idiopathic.” Risk factors for Bell’s Palsy are pregnancy, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and upper respiratory ailments. The paralysis affects the facial nerve so often people have issues with controlling eye blinking, smiling, and facial expressions. The symptoms are sudden over a 48-72 hour period but do start to improve with or without treatment over a few weeks but most experience partial recovery of full facial nerve function and may have lasting muscle weakness.

What causes Bell’s Palsy?

In most cases the cause is unknown. Common known causes are reactivation of viral infection, impaired immunity from stress, sleep deprivation, physical trauma, or autoimmune syndromes. Do note that if you experience sudden onset of facial paralysis, seeking emergent care is necessary as other conditions must be ruled out first before diagnosis of Bell’s palsy can be made such as brain tumor, stroke, myasthenia graves, or lyme disease.

What are treatments that can help?

The ultimate goal of treatment is to support and restore facial nerve function. Most often doctors will prescribe steroids to help reduce inflammation but some people are not able to take steroids due to underlying medical conditions. Anti-viral agents, analgesics for pain relief may also be used.

Read more about acupuncture in our previous post here

Did you know acupuncture has been recommended and shown to help with Bell’s Palsy?

Studies have shown just how acupuncture can help restore nerve function, aid in anti-inflammatory process, and speed recovery. Acupuncture is also a great conjunctive care for people with Bell’s palsy as it has no side effects compared to steroids or NSAIDs.

A study in the Journal of Craniofacial Surgery (2020) found that patients receiving acupuncture (in this study looked at electroacupuncture) had a significantly higher rate of normal nerve function, decrease in paralysis severity, and better functional recovery at 12 weeks than those on standard therapy. Similar results were seen in other studies looking at acupuncture and its effect on recovery from not only Bell’s Palsy but facial nerve palsy. This study from World Neurosurgery found that acupuncture helped to speed recovery and offer a safe procedure for patient’s.

Therefore, acupuncture can provide a safe and effective treatment option for those who suffer from Bell’s palsy.

At Starting Point Acupuncture in Bothell, WA, we offer an integrated approach to care which addressed the underlying cause as well as helping you improve quality of life.

If you would like to learn more about how we can help you become pain-free, give our office a call today at (425) 686-4498 to schedule your initial consultation.


Sources:

Uptodate

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32501973/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32472874/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32434036/

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(425) 686-4498

Dr. Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc

  • Master’s Degree in Acupuncture
    Bastyr University
  • Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine
    Bastyr University
  • Master’s Degree in Chemistry
    Northern Arizona University
Dr. Heintze Acupuncturist and Naturopathic Doctor

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