The treatment of facial palsy from the point of view of physical and rehabilitation medicine

Eura Medicophys. 2006 Mar;42(1):41-7.


There are evidences to support recommending the early intake of prednisone (in its appropriate dose of 1 mg/kg body weight for up to 70 or 80 mg/day) or the combined use of prednisone and acyclovir (or valacyclovir) within 72 h following the onset of paralysis in order to improve the outcome of Bell's palsy (BP). Although there may be a controversy about the role of physiotherapy in BP or facial palsy, it seemed that local superficial heat therapy, massage, exercises, electrical stimulation and biofeedback training have a place in the treatment of lower motor facial palsy. However, each modality has its indications. Moreover, some rehabilitative surgical methods might be of benefit for some patients with traumatic facial injuries or long standing paralysis without recovery, but early surgery in BP is usually not recommended. However, few may recommend early surgery in BP when there is 90-100% facial nerve degeneration. The efficacy of acupuncture, magnetic pellets and other modalities of physiotherapy needs further investigation. The general principles and the different opinions in treating and rehabilitating facial palsy are discussed and the need for further research in this field is suggested.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Therapy
  • Bell Palsy / rehabilitation*
  • Biofeedback, Psychology
  • Decompression, Surgical
  • Diathermy
  • Humans
  • Magnetics / therapeutic use
  • Physical Therapy Modalities
  • Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation