Bell’s palsy is a condition that causes weakness or paralysis on one side of the face. People affected, lose control of the facial muscles, eye muscles, mouth muscles, and glands that create tears and saliva.
Additional symptoms include:
Sudden weakness on one side of the face is the most common symptom of Bell’s palsy. Usually, it resolves slowly over the course of a few weeks and clears up completely in about six months. There are, however, some cases where some muscle weakness may be permanent. Bell’s palsy affects a particular nerve known as the Facial Nerve or Cranial Nerve 7. The Facial Nerve carries signals to all of the above parts of the head and face (eyes, mouth, glands, and tongue), including those which control blinking and expressions such as smiling.
The Facial Nerve has so many functions and is so complex that any damage or disruption to it can lead to many different problems, such as:
Bell’s palsy affects about 40,000 people in the United States every year. It can affect anyone of any gender and age, but its incidence seems highest in the 15 to 45-year-old age group. Most scientists believe it to be a virus that takes hold when our immune system is weak from stress, sleep deprivation, physical trauma, minor illness, or an autoimmune disease. The virus activates and causes inflammation in and around the Facial Nerve. This inflammation causes the nerve to feel a lot of pressure when it passes through tight areas and causes decreased blood and oxygen to the nerve. The ensuing nerve dysfunction leads to the symptoms of Bell’s palsy.
One of the primary areas the Facial Nerve passes through is the top bone of the spine called the atlas. If the atlas is out of its normal position, it can place additional stress on the facial nerve, leading to dysfunction and symptoms of Bell’s palsy.
At EPIC, we evaluate the atlas bone to determine if it impacts your condition. After the evaluation, if we believe the atlas is a factor in your case, we will take a specific series of digital X-rays to determine precisely where the atlas is currently positioned.
We then run our collected data through spinal engineering software to determine the exact adjustments required to put the atlas back to its proper position. We will adjust the atlas using a painless sound wave-based instrument to correct the malposition. This will take any abnormal pressure off of the Facial Nerve and potentially decrease the symptoms you are experiencing.
If you or anyone you know suffers from Bell’s palsy, call us today to set up a free consultation. The results may be life-changing!