Movement Learning Center specializes in the treatment of facial movement disorders due to disruption of the facial nerve.
Treatment is appropriate in Acute, Sub-Acute, and Chronic stages of facial nerve palsy. It is particularly effective in maximizing the functional results following facial reanimation surgery.
Medical Diagnoses Include:
- Bell’s Palsy
- Ramsey Hunt Syndrome
- Acoustic Neuroma / Vestibular Schwanoma (secondary affects of)
- Facial Nerve Schwanoma
- Trauma to the facial nerve from
- Parotid Tumors
- Temporal Bone Fracture
- Head Trauma, Brainstem Injury
- Complications from Surgical / Medical Care
- Post Facial Reanimation Surgery
- Congenital Disorders (Mobius syndrome, birth trauma)
- Lyme Disease
- Guillian Barre
Symptoms may include:
- Facial paralysis & / or weakness, spasm & twitching.
- Abnormal facial movements (synkinesis)
- Impaired facial expression
- Pain, spasm, twitching, and facial tightness
- Inability to close the eye, impaired blink
- Abnormal tear production (dry eye, tear over-flow, tearing when eating or exercising)
- Noise sensitivity
- Difficulties drinking, eating, and swallowing
- Dry mouth, pocketing of food
- Biting of the lips or cheek
- Slurred speech
- Facial sagging and asymmetry
- Impaired non-verbal communication
- Depression and social isolation
We do not treat the following medical conditions:
- Hemifacial Spasm (studies have shown physical therapy to be of limited benefit in the reduction of hemifacial spasm)
Treatment is appropriate in Acute, Sub-Acute, and Chronic stages of facial nerve palsy and / or facial reanimation surgery.
Acute Facial Palsy treatment includes:
- Education & support in the process of facial nerve recovery
- Training in self care techniques while awaiting return of function:
- Movement facilitation strategies to maximize optimal neuro-muscular recovery.
- Increase comfort and reduce pain
- Ocular Care to prevent corneal damage and maintain healthy vision
- Oral Care to maintain optimal oral hygiene and health
- Aural Care to assure follow-thru with hearing protection
- Encouragement to resume usual social and recreational activities Note: Use of electrical stimulation with acute facial nerve palsy is contraindicated.
Acute Palsy Treatment is brief, typically 1-3 clinic sessions, with periodic phone, email, or Skype/video follow ups to assure return of full function; and to monitor for potential problems requiring referral to primary care or medical specialist.
Sub-Acute & Chronic Facial Palsy, and post Surgical Reanimation treatment may include:
- Education in facial anatomy, physiology, and pathophysiology relative to Pt’s functional status
- Instruction and Training in Self Recovery Techniques:
- Relaxation & somatic awareness specific to the face;
- Soft tissue mobilization for reduction of facial myofascial restrictions, spasms, & hypertonus;
- Mirror Training for movement re-education and reduction of synkinesis;
- Surface EMG Biofeedback for movement re-education and reduction of synkinesis;
- Sensorimotor re-education to maximize outcomes of surgical reanimation;
- Integration of new facial movements into daily social interactions.
- Site selection for Botox injections*
Treatment frequency and duration is highly variable and depends upon the client’s specific problems, goals, motivation and consistency of follow thru, and distance they reside from clinic.
Generally, following a comprehensive assessment, including videography, the client will be seen for 2-4 visits in the first month to establish a solid home activity program after which clinic and/or Skype follow-ups will occur on a monthly to quarterly basis for 1-3 years.
*Clients frequently choose to combine fNMR treatment with Botox injections. MLC will work in close collaboration with the patient’s physician of choice to maximize chemodenervation outcomes.
- Increased comfort and normalization of facial tone
- Improved eye closure
- Improved oromotor control (speech, fluid and food mgt)
- Improved facial symmetry, both static and dynamic
- Congruent and effective facial expression / non-verbal communication
- Reduced affective issues
- Resumes prior social and physical activities