Quick links to massage and stretch videos
This set of videos have tips how to manage your facial palsy while your face is floppy. Please do not be tempted to do facial exercises in the early stages. The best way to prevent synkinesis (a possible complication of facial palsy) occurring is to massage your face daily as demonstrated in the flaccid video and also to avoid the urge to ‘push’ your face to move faster. Nerve recovery takes time and patience. If you can use your face as gently as possible throughout your recovery rather than as hard as possible, you are likely to get a better recovery with less side effects. If you have facial palsy due to Stroke please consult your health care team for further advice because these videos relate to facial nerve injury.
What is facial exercise? Facial exercise means moving your face using your facial muscles (trying to use the facial nerve). This is different to massage or taping, where you use your hands to move the face (trying to keep the area comfortable).
If you require subtitles, please click the cog on the YouTube video (this displays after you click play next to the YouTube logo) and select Subtitles English (United Kingdom).
Important note: The team at the Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead who made this video are now recommending patients use Transpore tape for lower lid and cheek taping and Siltape for eyelid taping overnight as it’s more gentle to remove. With Siltape you need to close your eye with your finger, hold it closed and then apply the tape making sure you press down from inner eye to outer eye so you don’t get air pockets.
There is no limit to how often people can massage. However, it should be done gently and should certainly not cause any pain or discomfort when done.
Stretches for the strong side
Once your symmetry at rest improves and muscles are no longer floppy you should stop taping the affected cheek. Taping the cheek on the affected side is just for people who are in the flaccid stage of recovery.
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Last reviewed: 27-09-2023 || Next review due: 27-09-2025