HFS facial spasms please help

by Cathy
(UK)

one of my spasms 2013

one of my spasms 2013

I have had Hemifacial Spasm (right side) for 2 years, gradually worsening. Recently I was told it is caused by a slight spinal curvature leading to inflammation, tight muscles, poor lymphatic drainage & pressure on the vertebral arteries which then run up into the neck and brain, irritating the 6th and 7th facial nerves. This is aggravated by my age (46,in early menopause for 3 years now) which is apparently leading to bony spurs/'roughening' of bone surfaces catching on the vertebral arteries and causing irritation.

I have spent a fortune trying to treat the spasms, which twist half my face badly out of shape for anything up to 12 seconds at a time, every few minutes on a bad day. The only thing I have found that helps at all is regular osteopathic sessions which reduce the inflammation, correct the alignment of bones a little and release stiffness and 'locking up' in my neck and shoulders. This gives the arteries/nerves a bit more breathing space for a couple of weeks, after which the pain worsens again and we're back to square 1.

I want to know, is there anything here that chiropractic can help with?
Thank you so much for your time.
Warmest regards
Cathy

Hello Cathy,
I regret this is beyond me, but my gut feeling is that chiropractic is unlikely to contribute more than your osteopathic treatment.

In fact I'm surprised that manipulation of your neck helps since the facial nerve goes nowhere near your neck. It appears the trigeminal nerve has been affected too.

Yes, it's true that the vertebral artery can be affected by the spine, and perhaps that's where you get some relief.

I'm sorry I have little to offer. The esteemed chiropractic neurologist Dr Carrick has an indepth course that many British chiropractors are studying. May I suggest you contact the British Chiropractic association and ask if there are any Carrick trained chiropractors in your area.

Dr B

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Sep 13, 2018
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chiropractor
by: Anonymous

the facial and trigeminal tract and nucleus travels down the cervical spine and can be affected with degenerative changes or vertebral malpositioin. Look at CIBA medical illustration VOLUME 1 pages 101 and 167 for good visualization of the 5th and 7th CN. extending into the cervical spine.

Thank you for your comment. Have you found any research showing that chiropractic adjustments of the spine can help relieve facial spasms?

Do you have an update for us, Mrs Owen?

One further thought, really a long shot, but worth considering. Broad beans, also known as favas, are one of the few sources of L-dopa, a neurotransmitter vitally important and certainly involved in tremors. It's been proved to be more effective that medicines in the treatment of Parkinson's disease, and it has helped with my own essential tremor too.

You will have difficulty finding fresh fava beans. There is a source of L-dopa from another bean in tablet form.

Dr B

Feb 21, 2018
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Natural Solution
by: Anonymous

Have you tried CBD oil?

I have my doubts, but won't hurt.

Dr B

Sep 10, 2016
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Lady in the photo
by: C Owen

I am the lady in the photo above. This is an update. I've had this condition for around 5 years now. I have gone through every treatment imaginable and spent thousands of ££££s searchng for anything which might help. My spasms are still the same. I do NOT recommend Botox which I was offered by the neurologist. It can become ineffective after a few months and have side effects of facial droop at best, and lead to permanent nerve damage or paralysis at worst. I have found out my ONLY option fr a cure is microvascular decompression surgery. I have been recommended a surgeon called Nik Patel who works at the Spire hospital in Bristol, who is apparently really brilliant with a very high success rate. I am about to start the process of getting referred to him on the NHS as I have had enough of looking like a spastic and it's a pain in the bum now.

Thank you for your continuing comments and we wish you well. Please after surgery give us an update, and I'd particularly appreciate a copy of the surgeon's report; just what did he find?

One off the wall thought; ask your doctor if there are any signs of a B12 deficiency. Pernicious anaemia causes unusual neurological signs and symptoms. It's diagnosed on a routine blood test.

Dr B

Feb 07, 2016
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Is there any help
by: Anonymous

I suffer from facial spasms, and over the last few years have got almost un bearable, the Botox injections now have no affect at all, and l sometimes think l should stop having them. This condition has taken away so much of my life, l hardly go out now, l can't smile, don't like going to restaurants and my personality has changed. Apart from the operation and Botox, is there anything else that can be done to help? I am 76 and seriously thinking about the operation, but l don't know what it involves, and rather scared of this procedure. Would acupuncture help?

I'm sorry, but I as a chiropractor have no experience with this condition. It's awful and disfiguring, so I understand your frustration.

The toss up is whether one accepts that after 70 things are going to start going wrong. Or, do you risk fairly expensive and invasive surgery that may help?

There's no right and wrong answer. Keep talking to as many folk as you can, and I'm sorry I have no contribution to make.

Good luck and God bless.

Dr B

Sep 29, 2015
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hemifacial spasm
by: Anonymous

You need micro vascular decompression surgery of the 7th cranial nerve. An artery is causing irritation to your nerve. The surgery has a good outcome and the chances if complete resolution are around 90%.

I don't know who wrote this, or their authority, but it's worth considering.

Dr B


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