Bells palsy physiotherapy treatment

Bells Palsy: Treatment with ReLiva Physiotherapy

Bell's palsy is a condition that causes temporary weakness or paralysis of the muscles in one side of the face. It is the most common cause of Facial Paralysis.

It usually results from a dysfunction of the cranial nerve VII (the facial nerve) causing paralysis of one side of the face. The very peculiar feature of this condition is a rapid onset of partial or complete paralysis that often occurs overnight.

It is named after Scottish Anatomist Charles Bell (1774-1842) who first described this condition and hence the name – Bell’s Palsy.

 

Why does it happen?Bell's Palsy: Symptoms and treatment

Bell's palsy is believed to occur when the nerve that controls the muscles in your face becomes compressed.

The exact cause is unknown, although it's thought to be because the facial nerve becomes inflamed, possibly due to a viral infection. The herpes virus is thought to be the most common cause but other viruses may also be responsible.

Some conditions considered to be related to it are Brain tumors, Ear infection, Extreme cold exposure, Herpes zoster infection, Mumps etc.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of Bell’s palsy vary from person to person. The weakness on one side of the face can be described as either:

1. Partial Palsy, which is mild muscle weakness

2. Complete Palsy, which is no movement at all (Paralysis) – although this is very rare

Bell's palsy can also affect

  • The eyelid and mouth, making it difficult to close and open them
  • Paralysis of one side of the face causing inability to close the affected side eye, loss of whistling, frowning, lip protrusion. In other words, “loss of expressions
  • Loss of sensation in the anterior 2/3rd of the tongue.
  • Excessive lacrimation (tears)
  • Upward & outward movement of the eyeball when patient attempts to close his eyes. This is called as Bell’s Phenomenon.
  • Some people even experience tingling in face, pain, moderate to severe headache, memory and balance issues.
  • In rare cases, it can affect both sides of a person’s face.

Who gets Bell's Palsy?

Bell's Palsy is a rare condition that affects about one in 5,000 people a year. It's most common in people aged 15-60, with 15- to 44-year-olds experiencing the highest incidence

But people outside this age group can also suffer from the condition. Both men and women are affected equally.

Bell's palsy is more common in pregnant women and those with diabetes and HIV, for reasons that are not yet fully understood.

YES! Babies can be born with facial palsy but this condition is more common in Adults.

Treating Bell's Palsy

When you face weakness in the face, meet your physician/Neurologist immediately.

  • The first line of treatment is usually Medication to reduce inflammation of the facial nerve and Antivirals (if it is related to herpes infection). Steroids have been shown to be effective.
  • Physiotherapy treatment for Bell’s Palsy may consist of facial massage, exercises, acupuncture and electrical stimulation.
  • The third line of treatment is Surgery.

Most people with Bell's palsy will make a full recovery within nine months. There are ways to accelerate the process and reduce the chance of complications. However, if you have not recovered by this time, there is a risk of more extensive nerve damage and further treatment may be needed.

How can Physiotherapy be helpful?Physiotherapy treatment for Bell's Palsy

Physiotherapy has been known to be successful in a big number of Bell's Palsy cases.

  • Physiotherapy includes muscle re-education exercises and soft tissue techniques to prevent permanent contractures of the paralyzed facial muscles.
  • It helps to maintain the muscle tone of the affected facial muscles and stimulate facial nerve using Galvanic/Faradic Electrical Stimulation.
  • Physiotherapy is also helpful in reducing pain with the use of various pain relief modalities.

At ReLiva we can assess, treat and monitor your condition from the acute onset of Bell’s Palsy through the various stages of recovery. Our Physiotherapists will follow the standardized 4 step ReLiva process to identify your goals and aim to restore facial muscle strength and symmetry, and help to stimulate facial nerve and maintain muscle tone and improve their co-ordination and range of movement.

Self Help Advice

  • You should take care when eating not to bite the inside of your cheek or lip.
  • Check that your cheek and gums are free of food after eating.
  • Try use both sides of your mouth to chew food thus encouraging the muscles on the affected side to work.
  • Sometimes your speech may be affected. You may find giving your mouth a little extra support from your hand while you talk will ease this at times.
  • If the muscles around your eye are affected you should take particular care to remove dust from your eye. You can imitate blinking by gently closing your eye with your finger tips.
  • Glasses may be useful to protect against dust particles when you are outdoors.
  • You may need artificial teardrops to cleanse your eye.

You are invited to book a session with one of our clinics at ReLiva Physiotherapy & Rehab for Bell ’s Palsy rehabilitation exercises and advice. Our Physiotherapy experts will surely help you to “Smile”, “whistle” and “Express” yourself all over again!

This article is purely for general information. Please contact your healthcare expert for specialised medical care. Please go through our Disclaimer and Privacy policy 

arthritis joint pain treatment

Arthritis – Do your Joints Pain?

The disorder commonly affecting the knee and other joints is called as Arthritis.

We commonly see our mothers or grandmothers groaning in pain when they try to do simple activities like getting up from the floor or climbing steps. Daily simple chores seem very difficult for them. They dread even the pleasant rains and winters as they are likely to experience increase in their aches and pains with the fall in temperature.

Arthritis is an inflammation of one or more joints. It is common in adults 65 and older, but it can affect people of all ages. There are many types of arthritis but most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis.

1. Rheumatoid Arthritis : It is an autoimmune disease in which the body immune system attacks the lining of the joint capsule, a tough membrane that encloses the joint parts known as synovial membrane. It is characterized by fluctuating course, with periods of flares and remission.

2. Osteoarthritis : It is a chronic degenerative disorder involves wear and tear damage to the joint’s cartilage. Enough damage results in bone grinding which causes pain and restricted movement and joint effusion.

Symptoms of Arthritis

The most common symptoms of Arthritis include pain, redness in the area, swelling,  limited movement & stiffness in the joint.

Unpaid attention to these symptoms can lead you to be under the surgeon’s knife.  But timely attention to the soft ringing of bells of your joints can help you deal effectively with your joint pain.

 

Arthritis, Joint pain : Facts, symptoms, Physiotherapy treatment

Treatment 

Physiotherapy is key to the treatment and management of arthritis.  It can help you to maintain independence through improving your mobility, strength and flexibility.

Used along with medication it can also help to minimise pain.

Physiotherapy for arthritis focuses on the reduction of pain and stiffness as well as increasing the level of movement and range of motion for the individual.

Our experts at ReLivaTM use a combination of modalities, manual therapy techniques and exercise and movement programmes to suit your specific condition. They will aim to reduce the swelling in the affected area along with making a strategy to control pain and stiffness. They will also devise simple exercise programmes that you can practise at home to help you build your strength and flexibility.

Physiotherapy uses a mix of Modalities

  • Heat treatments : These treatments produce heat within your body tissues. The application can be directed towards superficial or deeper parts of the body. The most common types of treatment used are infra-red radiation (heat lamps) and hot packs for superficial treatments.
  • Electrotherapy : These treatments produce electrical stimulation of your body tissues. They may be extremely useful in the treatment of both acute and chronic arthritis, where pain, swelling and muscle spasms are present. Physiotherapy exercise for Arthritis, joints pain
  • Exercise : A balanced programme of rest and exercise, and careful attention to joint posture is an important part of pain management, joint protection and maintenance of your joint function.
  • Manual therapy: Mobilisation and manipulation techniques are passive movements applied to a joint or soft tissue by the therapist in a specific manner to help restore full movement to a joint that is painful and restricted. Manual therapy is often useful in the chronic forms of arthritis and is often successful when other methods such as heat therapy and exercises have given little or no relief.
  • TENS : Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) therapy is a commonly used electrostimulation method for relieving pain in rheumatoid arthritis.

 

Simple Tips to help avoid pain and stiffness:

  • Avoid staying in one position for long.
  • Avoid positions or movements that place extra stress on sore joints.
  • Avoid sitting on floor.
  • Modify your activities to make them easier.
  • Take proper rest when your symptoms are on a rise.
  • Try to lose weight if over-weight, as it reduces pressure on joints and alleviates pain.

DISC Prolapse

Physiotherapy provides a successful treatment for spinal disc prolapse rehabilitation. Typically the treatment includes back pain relief and protection, exercise program for lower abdomen and core stability, restoration of function and preventing a recurrence.

ReLiva Physiotherapy provides Disc prolapse rehabilitation for managing such symptoms at its clinics in Navi Mumbai and Thane. The treatment phases are described hereunder:

1. Back Pain Relief & Protection:

Our physiotherapists will use an array of treatment tools to reduce your back pain and inflammation. These include: ice, electrotherapy, and unloading taping techniques. Apart from these certain techniques or exercises that unload the inflamed structures are also utilized to provide pain relief and reduce inflammation.

2. Prolapsed Disc Exercises:

  • As your pain and inflammation settles, our physiotherapist will turn their attention to restoring your normal joint alignment and range of motion, muscle length and resting tension, muscle strength and endurance.
  • Our physiotherapist will commence you on a lower abdominal and core stability program to facilitate your important muscles that dynamically control and stabilize your spine.
  • Our physiotherapist may recommend a stretching program to address your tight or shortened muscles.

3. Restoring Full Function:

Depending on your chosen work, sport or activities of daily living, our physiotherapist will aim to restore your function to safely allow you to return to your desired activities. Everyone has different demands for their body that will determine what specific treatment goals you need to achieve. For some it is simply to walk around the block. Others may wish to run a marathon.

Your physiotherapist will tailor your back rehabilitation to help you achieve your own functional goals.

4. Preventing a Recurrence:

Back pain does have a tendency to return. The main reason it is thought to recur is due to insufficient rehabilitation. In particular, poor compliance with deep abdominal and core muscle exercises. You should continue a version of these exercises routinely a few times per week.

 

Back PainBack Pain Cycle

 

What is PIVD or Disc Prolapse?

The term PIVD /prolapsed intervertebral disc means the protrusion or extrusion of the nucleus pulposus through a rent in the annulus fibrosus

  • Between the bones (vertebrae) of your spinal column are discs that contain a gel-like substance.
  • These discs allow the back to flex and bend, and act as shock absorbers between the vertebrae.
  • When one of these discs ruptures, the gel-like substance can bulge out putting pressure on nearby nerves. This condition is referred to as a herniated disc, prolapsed disc, or slipped disc and can cause severe back pain and other symptoms.
  • The most common age to develop a herniated disc is between 30 and 50 years. Men are affected nearly twice as often as women are.
  • The discs between the spinal vertebrae are composed of a tough outer casing (the annulus) with a gel-like centre (the nucleus).
  • A herniated disc occurs when the annulus of the disc tears and the contents of the disc are pushed out through this tear. The bulging disc material may press on nearby nerves causing pain and affecting function.

As we age the discs become less flexible and begin to harden, making them more prone to tears. A herniated disc can be caused by a single excessive strain or injury. However, as degeneration of the discs progresses with age, some people may suffer herniated discs from more minor exertions or twists.

 

Spine Disc herniation stagesDisc Bulge in Lumbar Spine

 

CAUSES OF DISC PROLAPSE:

  • Ageing
  • Being overweight (creating more pressure on the spinal column)
  • Smoking (which can contribute to the degeneration of discs)
  • Incorrect lifting of heavy weights.
  • Repetitive strenuous activity.

Signs and symptoms:

The most common symptom of a herniated disc is sciatica:

  • This is characterized by a sharp, often shooting pain that extends from the buttocks down the back of one leg, and is caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve. Other symptoms that may be experienced as the result of a herniated disc include:
  • Lower back pain
  • Leg or arm pain
  • Abnormal sensations such as tingling, numbness or pins and needles in one arm, one leg or buttock
  • Burning pain in the shoulders, neck, arm or central back
  • Muscle weakness.

If problems with bowel or bladder function are experienced this may be a sign of cauda equine syndrome - a rare but serious complication of a herniated disc. Immediate medical attention should be sought if this is suspected.

BENEFITS OF PHYSIOTHERAPY:

  • 1. Physiotherapy helps reduce pain.
  • 3. Increases core strength making your spine more stable to prevent further injuries.
  • 4. Physiotherapy helps achieve your functional goals.

INTERESTING FACTS:

  • A bulging disc may be as painful as an herniated disc
  • Prolapsed discs cannot be diagnosed with an x-ray. You need an MRI
  • Many disc pain conditions are misdiagnosed

If I were to gather a group of middle age folks (45 average age) who have NEVER had back pain before and shoot MRIs on them all, here's what we would find:38% would have disc bulges,

  • 37% disc protrusions (aka: contained herniations),
  • 11% disc extrusions (aka: non-contained herniations),
  • 0% disc sequestrations (aka: free fragments) and
  • 4% nerve root compression by the disc herniation.

A more shocking statistic is that 60% of asymptomatic middle aged people would have findings of disc bulge or worse (protrusion, extrusion) on MRI!

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