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Facial Retraining

Neuromuscular Facial Retraining is a specific program designed to retrain facial muscles for movement and expression after the facial nerve has been paralyzed or damaged.  The facial muscles are important for the basic communication of expressions as well as for the important function of chewing, lip seal, blinking and closing our eyes. 

Some disorders that can result in facial paralysis:

  • Bell's palsy/Ramsey Hunt Syndrome
  • Facial nerve tumors and acoustic neuromas
  • Cancer of the parotid gland, brain, head or neck
  • Ramsay Hunt syndrome
  • Ear infections, ear disease or head trauma
  • Moebius and Goldenhar syndromes, as well as other inherited conditions
  • Neurofibromatosis and vascular malformations
  • Stroke
  • Surgical complications of head or neck surgery

Speech-Language Pathology Evaluation & Therapy

Speech-Language Pathologists (SLP) have specialty training and expertise in evaluating and treating individuals with facial paralysis, paresis or synkinesis due to facial nerve injury.  Treatment for this involves:

  • Isolated and controlled movements to regain appropriate movement while preventing/reducing synkinesis or aberrant movement patterns
  • Supervised modalities that may include application of heat/cold/vibration/massage and stretching
  • Biofeedback with sEMG treatment and / or mirror work

Additional Resources

Bell's Palsy - NORD (National Organization for Rare Disorders) (

Bell's Palsy Fact Sheet | National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (