CLINICAL FEATURES: A 49-year-old woman with a medical diagnosis of Bell's palsy sought chiropractic care. Her symptoms included right facial paralysis, extreme phonophobia, pain in the right temporomandibular joint (TMJ), and neck pain. Signs of cervical vertebral and TMJ subluxations included edema, tenderness, asymmetry of motion and posture, and malalignment detected from plain film radiographs.
INTERVENTION AND OUTCOME: The patient was cared for with full spine contact-specific, high-velocity, low-amplitude adjustments (Gonstead Technique) to sites of vertebral and occipital subluxations. The patient's left TMJ was also adjusted. The initial symptomatic response to care was positive, and the patient made continued improvements during the 6 months of care.
CONCLUSION: There are indications that patients suffering from Bell's palsy may benefit from a holistic chiropractic approach that not only includes a focus of examination and care of the primary regional areas of complaint (eg, face, TMJ) but also potentially from significant vertebral subluxation concomitants.
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