Rankin Physiotherapy

Facial Palsy Rehabilitation - Vancouver, British Columbia


Facial Retraining Workshop

particpants revisedJust back from Calgary where I gave a 3-day facial neuromuscular retraining workshop. 25 participants took part in a one-day introductory course and three went on to do the advanced training. For the remaining two days, 3 therapists practiced assessment and treatment of patients. Including Pauline Dueck, who has been doing facial retraining for close to 20 years, that makes 4 therapists able to do facial neuromuscular retraining in Calgary. Please add Jay Cooling, Heather Stone and Kristin Bell to your list of facial therapists.

Treatment of Acute Bell’s Palsy


When you develop an acute facial palsy from Bell’s palsy or Ramsay Hunt syndrome, most of the damage is done to the nerve in the first 24 hours by the inflammatory process. It is well documented that 50 to 60 mgs of prednisone is the treatment of choice and is most effective at minimizing damage to the nerve in the first 24 hours.

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Ways to Deal With Facial Synkinesis

synkinesisFacial synkinesis is one of the more troublesome consequences after a facial palsy. It occurs as a result of aberrant nerve regrowth so that two or more movements become connected. The most typical one is a connection between the eye and the mouth, for example when you pucker or chew, the eye closes and vice versa. Synkinesis can be reinforced by stress, tiredness, cold and over exerting to produce movements in the face. It is also enhanced by the use of electrical stimulation to the face. Treatment of synkinesis is challenging, but can be quite successful with dedicated work. Heat, stretching and training isolation of movements is the key to treatment. Essentially, the brain is being trained to separate movements. A trained facial therapist can help you to learn how to separate your movements and decrease synkinesis.