If the damage to the nerve was severe, synkinesis can be very hard to avoid. Why?
In theory, synkinesis could be avoided if you do proper things in the very early stages of the recovery. However, in our experience, if the damage to the nerve was severe, and the recovery takes longer than 2-3 months, then a certain degree of synkinesis is mostly inevitable. There are two main reasons why avoiding synkinesis after a long-term Bell’s palsy recovery is difficult.
Reason 1: Synkinesis is not a primary concern during the early recovery stages.
As you probably know from your own experience, in the very beginning you still hope for the best and wait for your recovery. Maybe you have read about synkinesis, but you do not yet know what it really is and so, you are not eager to find ways to avoid them. And if one is to avoid synkinesis, you need to start working on that from day 1 of your recovery.
Reason 2: Producing any kind of movement is more important to the patient than being careful and avoiding behaviour that can lead to synkinesis
The patient often receives various advice that may or may not help to avoid synkinesis. Without the proper knowledge, the patient who has just been affected by facial palsy tries to do everything that is the most important for him or her at this moment – to regain at least some movement on the affected side.
Synkinesis only becomes a real concern in the second stage of the recovery, when certain movements have already returned to the face. Then, usually, after the return of the facial movements, when synkinesis starts to manifest, the secondary becomes the primary concern to the patient, and they start looking for ways to reduce synkinesis.
– Alex Pashov
Crystal Touch Bell’s palsy clinic
Are you in the early stage of your recovery right now?
If you are still in the early stages of your recovery and would like to understand better what to do and what not to do during this time, take a look at this post: “What to do, what not to do and what to avoid during acute facial palsy?”