Top 5 Exercises for Facial Palsy

Facial palsy is a condition that is characterised by an inability to move the facial muscles on one side of the face. This is frequently the result of damage to the facial nerve, which controls the facial muscles. It is also known as Bell's palsy, after the Scottish anatomist who first described it.

There are various causes for facial palsy. It may be caused by herpes simplex, varicella-zoster virus, or Lyme disease. It may also result from a stroke, facial trauma, tumours, or an autoimmune disease. However, the often the cause is unknown.

Luckily, facial palsy and Bell’s palsy are fairly rare. We do not see them come into Surrey Physio too often. If we do see them, we usually advise on exercises. There is no manual therapy or electrotherapy we do on the face.

The severity of facial palsy affects the severity of the condition's symptoms. In mild cases, the person may only have difficulty moving the muscles on one side of the face. In more severe cases, the individual may have trouble speaking, eating, smiling, and closing the affected eye.

Facial palsy is typically treated with corticosteroids, which help reduce inflammation in the facial nerve and promote healing. Other therapies, including neuro-physio, Botox injections, and electrical stimulation, may also be utilised. Surgery may be an option in some cases to repair damage to the facial nerve.

Our opinion, as physios, is that exercise is the best thing we can do to help improve facial palsy. Using the muscles in the face and head are super-important, and can help re-train the nerves.

Let’s look at our top five exercises for Facial Palsy

1. Smile One Sided


2. Nose Shift


3. Sucka


4. Eyebrow Lift (Assisted)


5. Puffa One Sided


Facial palsy can be a challenging condition to manage. However, with proper treatment and care, the symptoms can be managed and the quality of life enhanced. If you or someone you know suffers from facial palsy, it is crucial to seek immediate medical attention usually first at the GP surgery then follow up with a referral to neuro physio, or MSK physio with an interest in neuro.

If you are a therapist and like the exercises and information in this document, please go to and sign up to this amazing exercise prescription software. If you are a patient and need some advice, treatment or a consultation, please go to We provide virtual and face-to-face appointments with our expert team.

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For more advice on carpal tunnel syndrome, check out this page: