The Lindens Clinic
Diana Farragher
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Conditions Treated

What is Synkinesis?

Synkinesis literally means “mass movement patterns” and this is characterised by a tightening of the face usually felt in the cheek and closure of the eye when talking, eating or yawning.

What Causes Synkinesis?

Synkinesis is a natural stage of recovery. EMG testing shows the nerve to have almost fully recovered from the original injury. It is, however, new, immature nerve that doesn’t know when to “shut off”, i.e. it works all the time to do nothing and typically all the branches move together rather than independently.

When Does Synkinesis Occur?

With Bell’s Palsy generally 10 - 14 months post onset although early symptoms may be so mild as to avoid notice. Onset may be more delayed in Ramsey Hunt Syndrome or from other forms of facial palsy. After a long period of slow improvement to the face it can feel like a new episode or just a sudden worsening of symptoms occurring around the 1 year anniversary can be extremely depressing.

Can Synkinesis be Treated?

Yes. At The Lindens Clinic we use electromyograph testing to determine the exact state of the nerve. Then we initiate a specific programme of trophic electrical stimulation to teach the nerve to “shut off “. The second stage of treatment uses biofeedback techniques to bring that process under conscious control. For those living relatively near to the clinic manual manipulation and fascia release techniques are used at interim assessments.

What if I leave Synkinesis untreated?

Synkinesis will get worse if left. The patterns of bad behaviour will be reinforced and become more dominant and more profound.

When is it Too Late to Start Treating Synkinesis?


Ideally we would like to see people in the early months when the patterns are less established and easier to change. However, we have successfully treated people more than 30 years after the onset of synkinesis. The process takes a little longer and requires a lot of commitment by the patient to follow their daily treatment plans but excellent results have been achieved. Some of the patient stories in “A Loss of Face” explain this more clearly.

What Do I Do to make an appointment?

Telephone the Lindens Clinic on 0161 718 8620 and we will arrange a time and date to suit.