Management of Synkinesis (Tight Face)

Synkinesis means the development of linked or unwanted facial movements. It is common and occurs in the majority of people who are recovering from prolonged facial palsy. For a bespoke exercise plan you will need guidance from a specialist therapist. The videos in this set demonstrate stretches and massage techniques which may be helpful. They should not be done by anyone who has had their facial palsy less than three months. Please listen carefully to the instructions.

Important: The best way to prevent synkinesis 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. This is why these exercises should not be done by anyone who has had facial palsy for less than three months.

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).


Stretches for the tight side



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Last reviewed: 01-08-2020    ||    Next review due: 16-02-2022