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Bell’s Palsy in Newark

lady-with-jaw-pain-sq-400Also known as idiopathic unilateral facial nerve paralysis, Bell’s palsy is a condition that involves the weakness of the muscles on one side of the face. It’s categorized by a drooping half smile and an inability to close one eye. The condition was named by Dr. Charles Bell in 1828, who published a paper on all the cases of the condition he had seen since the 20s. Although there was a founder before that, Charles Bell gets the name on the actual pathology.

This condition happens in about 20 to 30 of 100,000 people per year. Each year in the United States, 60,000 cases are diagnosed. The most likely cause is inflammation of the facial nerve, which might be a viral infection of the actual nerves.

Bell’s palsy can last from a few months to up to two years, and is usually self-limiting.

What Are the Primary Treatments?

There are three main approaches to treating Bell’s palsy: some steroids, steroids and antiviral medication, or electrical stimulation. Alternative treatments include osteopathic manipulation, acupuncture and chiropractic manipulations, specifically with upper cervical adjustments.

The Importance of Ruling Out a Stroke

If you have symptoms of Bell’s palsy it’s critical that a stroke is ruled out so always go to a health professional if you think that this is the case. The practitioner will use the FAST (Facial drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulties, and Time) stroke test to determine if you did or didn’t have a stroke.

How Chiropractic & Complementary Therapies May Help

Chiropractic has been successfully used to address Bell’s palsy.

“There are some theories on why fixing the nerves through manipulation would help. The most pertinent one I found is fixing the afferent nerve, which is the trigeminal nerve, which is sensory. That returns the function of the efferent or motor nerves, which is the facial nerve—the one that’s inflamed,” said Dr. Camac.

There have been various studies about the effectiveness of chiropractic care along with other modalities.

“Chiropractic management of Bell palsy with low-level laser and manipulation: a case report” published in 2013 in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine revealed how the use low-level light therapy (laser therapy) and chiropractic manipulation resulted in improvement of a patient’s Bell’s palsy in just four visits, which is a lot faster than the few months to two years. It’s thought that the low-level light laser therapy reduces the inflammatory cytokines and also improves the mitochondrial production that starts the cell repair.

In another study, e-stim was used on the affected area along with the manipulation. Some improvement was seen in about six visits.

In addition to chiropractic, we offer e-stim and laser therapy at First State Health & Wellness. Please note that laser therapy isn’t available at our Rehoboth location.

Schedule an Appointment

If you’ve been diagnosed with Bell’s palsy and are looking for a safe and effective way to address this condition, give our practice a call. We may be able to help you.



Bell’s Palsy Treatment in Lewes, Newark, Rehoboth Beach, Wilmington, DE | (302) 454-1200