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How to measure recovery progress after Bell’s palsy? (Neurological Tests)

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Recovery after Bell’s palsy can sometimes take a long time. It can last from a couple of weeks to several months. Keeping track of your recovery progress can be quite difficult, when day to day changes are so incremental that you do not notice them.

Not seeing progress can be depressing and frustrating. For your recovery, it is crucial to stay hopeful and positive regarding your further prospects.

While in our clinic and in some other medical institutions there might be objective methods that can measure your progress, there is a very simple and effective tool you can use at home to keep track of your facial palsy recovery progress. We call this tool Neurological Tests.

Neurological Tests for measuring progress during Bell’s palsy

‘Neurological Tests’ is a series of photos of certain facial expressions.

Performed over time, it can help you to see the difference in your facial expressions and understand how your Bell’s palsy recovery is progressing.

This tool is a simple visual way to follow your recovery process after Bell’s palsy and to monitor the efficacy of suggested therapies as well as the duration of achieved results.

We suggest taking your Neurological Tests once every week and compare them from time to time. A fellow Bell’s palsy sufferer, Jay, used Neurological Tests from day 1 over the whole course of his recovery. This helped him to observe his recovery progress and stay positive.

In addition to making the photos, you can also observe and record how you were feeling in that week, the amount of stress you had, your mood, exercises, etc., to see if anything might have an effect on your facial expression. In this way, you can learn what you should avoid in order to aid your recovery.

How to perform Neurological Tests

Making the Neurological Tests is very simple. Take the following close-up pictures of your face and neck area (as in the example below). Mind that there should be sufficient light.

  1. Quiet, neutral expression, eyes open
  2. Quiet, neutral expression, eyes closed
  3. Eyes tightly shut
  4. Lift the eyebrows (surprise)
  5. Pucker (lips forward, kiss)
  6. Blow the cheeks (balloon)
  7. Light smile
  8. Broad, “Hollywood” smile
  9. Show your upper and lower teeth (grin)

You can download the instruction as a PDF to help you.

Measuring Bells palsy progress - Neurological Tests
Neurological Tests for measuring Bell’s palsy progress with instructions.
Click to download.
Examples of Neurological Tests
Examples of Neurological Tests

You can combine pictures together into one or keep them separate. Compare the photos from each week to see your progress over time.

Play the video below to see Neurological Tests compared dynamically over time.

Examples of Neurological Tests performed over time

Neurological Tests assist in analyzing future recovery after Bell’s palsy

At Crystal Touch, we also use Neurological Tests to analyze the recovery level and observe the recovery progress of our patients. To a trained eye, besides showing how well the facial expressions can be performed, these tests show which muscles are contracted, how well they can perform each movement, the level of synkinesis and other details of your facial muscles and the facial nerve function.

This information can also show our specialists what your future recovery prospects are like. That is why we always request to include these Neurological Tests during our analysis for the Online Diagnostic Session.

If you would like us to analyse your Neurological Tests for you, you can register for a remote diagnostic session.

Picture of Alex Pashov

Alex Pashov

Co-founder of Crystal Touch clinic and Bell's palsy expert.

Online Bell's Palsy Consultation

Speak online with our specialist, Alex Pashov, one-on-one.

The session’s purpose is to analyse your condition and provide you with detailed answers about your current state and the future prospects of recovery. During the video session, we also share hands-on recommendations that you can start doing on your own to alleviate some issues that you are facing.

Learn more & Register

Image for Bell's Palsy Online Consultation - a screen with a woman sculpting her face

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