Physical Therapy for Facial Paresis and Synkinesis

Following any severe facial nerve injury, including Bell’s palsy, it may be helpful to undergo electrodiagnostic testing in order to determine the prognosis for spontaneous recovery. Fine, sterile needle electrodes are used to determine the electrical activity of facial muscles, even when they are not able to move the face in a manner visible to a patient or observer. This is analogous to an electrocardiogram (EKG) that is used for the muscles of the heart.

Similarly, facial electrodiagnostic testing can provide valuable clinical information that may guide treatment. This testing is best performed and interpreted by an integrated team of providers who can work together to accurately interpret the results and craft an appropriate treatment plan.