Bell’s Palsy

Jessica Farrell, PT, DPT Counterstrain Portland
Portland, Oregon


Bell’s Palsy is sudden weakness of the muscles in your face caused by inflammation and compression of the facial nerve. Symptoms include drooping of one side of the face, inability to smile or close the eye on one side, drooling, pain around the ear or jaw on the affected side and loss of taste. Sometimes Bell’s Palsy is triggered by a viral infection and sometimes there is no obvious trigger. It is more common in pregnant and postpartum women and people with diabetes. Symptoms usually resolve in 1-6 months without treatment but Fascial Counterstrain can help you recover more quickly as the symptoms of Bell’s Palsy can be quite bothersome.

Fascial Counterstrain Treatment

Fascia is the deep connective tissue found everywhere in the body. Fascia is in our arteries, veins, nerves, viscera (digestive system, lungs and heart), ligaments, muscles and bones. Viral infection or other irritation of the fascia can trap swelling and cause tightening of the fascia around a nerve or other tissue. Fascial Counterstrain uses a combination of gentle tissue glides and comfortable positioning guided by a system of tender points to drain swelling and improve the mobility of tissues. In the case of Bell’s Palsy we use Fascial Counterstrain to facilitate drainage around the facial nerve via the lymphatic and venous system, increase arterial blood flow to the nerve, decrease irritation of the facial nerve itself and improve mobility of any musculoskeletal structures that may be compressing the nerve. In this way we can provide an optimal environment for the nerve to heal so that symptoms can decrease and resolve.