Usefulness of BFB/EMG in facial palsy rehabilitation

Elena Dalla-Toffola, Daniela Bossi, Michelangelo Buonocore, Cristina Montomoli, Lucia Petrucci, Enrico Alfonsi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective. To analyze and to compare the recovery and the development of synkinesis in patients with idiopathic facial palsy (Bell's palsy) following treatment with two methods of rehabilitation, kinesitherapy (KT) and biofeedback/EMG (BFB/EMG). Study design. Retrospective cases - series review. Methods. Seventy-four patients with Bell' palsy were clinically evaluated within 1 month from onset of palsy and at 12 months after palsy (House scale and synkinesis evaluation). Electromyography (EMG) and Electroneurography (ENG) were performed about 4 weeks after palsy to better evaluate functional abnormalities due to facial nerve lesion. The patients followed two different protocols for rehabilitation: the first 32 patients were treated with therapeutic exercises performed by therapists (KT group), the latter 42 patients were treated using BFB/EMG methods (BFB group) with inhibition of synkinetic movement as the primary goal. Results. KT and BFB patients were evaluated for clinical and neurophysiological characteristics before rehabilitative treatment. BFB patients showed better clinical recovery and minor synkinesis than KT patients. Conclusions. BFB/EMG seems to be more useful than KT in Bell's palsy treatment. This could be due to the fact that BFB/EMG gives more accurate information than KT on muscle activation with better modulation in voluntary recruitment of motor unit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)809-815
Number of pages7
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - Jul 22 2005


  • Biofeedback
  • Electromyography
  • Facial palsy
  • Rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Health Professions(all)


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