My husband has been diagnosed with probable Bells Palsy, 10 days ago.
He went for a massage on a Wednesday and within 24 hours started developing right side facial paralysis.
My question is, although the most common cause of Bells Palsy is viral, it can also be due to trauma. (eg a heavy neck massage). Has anyone who's had this actually gotten it from a massage or similar?
Our doc says it's from the massage but when I asked my pain management doc he said it's not possible. My hubby has no other signs of a viral infection.
Are there any tests that can establish a cause, he's had bloods done?
He could get his brain and arteries scaned. An MRI of the Brain and an MRA of the Neck as well as an MRA of the Head would help rule out things such as stroke (brain attack) or carotid dessection or any other things that may be going on neurologically. Good luck to you and God Bless, I hope this helps. You can tell the doc you want these tests done to have any other possibilites ruled out. Keep us posted.
Bell's Palsy is one of those things that can be caused by just about anything, or just show up with no good reason. A lot of the viruses that can cause it may not cause any other symptoms. You might ask the docs about an anti-viral med in case it is caused by a virus. They would have to weigh the risks of giving him an antiviral that may not be needed, with the possible benefits of it if it is a virus. I'm not even sure what the risks of those meds are.
In most cases, though, it's not particularly important to establish the cause. You most likely don't need to explore expensive imaging tests unless he doesn't get better as expected. Especially if you believe that it was caused by either the massage (which would presumably have compressed the nerve at the time but should not result in ongoing compression) or a virus (because this is the most common cause, and the massage could just be a coincidence), a ton of tests might be overkill at this point.
Of course, the doc may ask for a ct scan to look for some of the more rare causes (infection or tumors along the course of the nerve), especially if things don't improve.
Thanks for your replies.
Hubby was given a cortisone injection and a course of cortisone tabs to take for a week to minimise the inflammation. So far, no change.
At this stage we.re not looking at further scans or tests. He's been referred to an opthalmologist just to keep tabs on his eye as due to the paralysis he can't close it, causing it to dry out. His blood tests all came back OK.No raised white cell count so no sign of any infection.
I was really interested to hear from anyone else that might have had Bells as we're convinced it's from the massage, but I think it would be impossible to prove.
Hoping he's one of the lucky ones who start to show improvement within a few weeks. Not being able to open his mouth much or chew properlly or close his eye is really starting to irk him!
I just read your thread and wondered how your husbands doing. I had Bells Palsy 2X. The second time I developed hardly any affects because I knew what the symptoms were and got medication right away so had little paralysis. First time was pretty severe and took 3 or 4 months to recover. The only residual now is my skin feels numb at my cheek bone and my eye waters or tears more on the left side, wierd. I do hope your husband is feeling better. Let me know if you want to compare notes. Thanks!
I know that all situations are different and I don't want to scare you but my sister-in-law was diagnosed with bells palsy and doctored for this for 2-3 months. Her main symptom was numbness on the side of her face, and the doctor didn't worry too much about it. He told her it was just a virus and it would take time to get rid of it. After a few months it did not get any better and she started losing her balance then had a MRI and biopsy and was diagnosed with anaplastic astrocytoma, inoperable malignant brain cancer. She has been in very aggresive radiation and chemo since, but does not have a real good prognosis. Would it have made a difference if she would have had the MRI sooner, we don't know. I just want to let others know to not let a doctor put further testing off, if you are not satisfied with what your doctor tells you go for a second opinion. Sometimes further testing can save your life. Hope everything goes well for you.