Treating Bell's Palsy With Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine: A Case Report

Cureus. 2020 Oct 22;12(10):e11092. doi: 10.7759/cureus.11092.


Bell's palsy (BP) occurs when the facial nerve (CN VII) is swollen, inflamed, or compressed, resulting in facial weakness or paralysis; etiology is unknown. BP patients often succumb to a decreased quality of life due to the inability to make facial expressions, increased sensitivity to auditory stimuli, and dysregulation in tear and saliva production. Despite conventional examination and therapy options, the syndrome is majorly regarded as idiopathic and left unresolved for many patients. In this case of a patient with BP, treatment with osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) which focused on restoring a normal structure-function relationship resolved the patient's symptoms. The osteopathic manipulative procedures utilized findings from an osteopathic structural exam and addressed those somatic dysfunctions with OMT. The authors report that the patient's symptoms improved after the application of OMT and without the use of pharmaceuticals. The results of the case study suggest that treating BP with OMT can rapidly improve symptoms and can be used without or concurrently with other treatment modalities, if applicable. Patient's consent for this case report was obtained in written and verbal form.

Keywords: bell’s palsy; facial nerve (cn vii) paralysis; osteopathic manipulative medicine; osteopathic manipulative treatment.

Publication types

  • Case Reports