Biofeedback is a therapy technique in which patients learn to use their mind to control bodily functions – like their heart rate – to achieve specific results, such as reducing pain. Electrical sensors help patients measure and receive feedback about their body.
Facial nerve retraining is an exercise-based treatment approach using sensitive electromyograph (EMG) biofeedback therapy, specific mirror exercises, and other specific training activities. These techniques are used to promote selective voluntary control of affected muscles and promote automatic facial gestures.
Many patients with facial paralysis have facial asymmetries and abnormal movement patterns because they’re unable to inhibit mass movements of the entire face. Other patients keep their face relatively immobile and expressionless, thereby decreasing the potential for increasing facial function.
Retraining procedures may involve teaching you to relax the uninvolved side of the face, training the involved side to develop slow, fine motor control of selective areas, reducing inappropriate or involuntary facial movements, and participating in a home exercise program. Education is extremely important to help you understand the causes of your dysfunction and how to manage it.