Bells Palsey

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by andywooler, Dec 20, 2005.

  1. andywooler

    andywooler Supporting Member

    A real bummer when you are a brass player but I am currently unable to play due to a bout of Bells Palsey - has anyone here had it?
    I would welcome any tips on how I can get the chops able to play again!

    Many thanks.
  2. Chunky

    Chunky Active Member

    Hi Andy

    Sorry to hear of your condition.

    Am no expert on this but a quick google found this page with facial exercises that might help with keeping the muscles / chops in shape.

    Hope it improves for you soon.
  3. BigHorn

    BigHorn Active Member

    When I was a student, one of my friends had this condition. He had it for a couple of weeks then it cleared up of its own accord almost overnight - certainly within a couple of days. I don't recall him doing anything other than waiting for it to recover. I beleive in the vast majority of cases it is very temporary so, unless you have been told otherwise by your doctor, I would have a nice relaxing christmas and don't worry about it too much. Hopefully your chops will be raring to go in the new year ready for all that practice of the regional test pieces.
  4. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Sorry to hear that you are suffering from this Andy.

    I had a mate who was playing trombone in a band where I was both playing and conducting who suffered from this. In his case it lasted several months but then cleared up and he resumed playing. I am not sure there's anything you are able to do about it until some strength and control is regained in the affected facial muscle. I know of a tMP'er whose daughter has recently contracted this too - I won't divulge names publicly but if you would like to contact her drop me a PM.

    Wishing you well Andy...
  5. wkt

    wkt Member

    I have known a few people down through the years, a couple of them players, who have had this condition. My memory is that they all recovered fully in a fairly short time. Hopefully you will be the same. I'm sure it is quite distressing. Good luck for a quick recovery.
  6. Brian Bowen

    Brian Bowen Active Member

    My wife has lived with B.P. for almost 2 years (rather unusual) and has become something of an expert on the subject. She recommends that you try the Bells Palsy Information Site at:

    This has a very good website and forum to which she frequently contributes. Good medical advice is hard to come by so beware of any quack treatments! You can't force recovery so be prepared to be patient. My wife has had contact with a professional saxophone player in London who had B.P. twice, so P.M. me if you want his contact info.
  7. andywooler

    andywooler Supporting Member

    Thanks to all who responded and PM'd me on this one.
    Following a visit to the doc, the treatment seems to be working and I now only dribble half the gin out of the bottom corner of my mouth. (probably one of the few here with an excuse for that this time of year :icon_biggrin: )
  8. madsaz

    madsaz Member

    Hi there,
    I presume the treatment is an antiviral one? Or have you got steroids (or both)? You also need to take care of your eyes (use drops and also tape your eye shut at night since most people with Bells have incomplete eye closure and can be prone to corneal injury).
    The best way to recover from Bells is to get facial physio - I would refer all my patients for at least a consultation to get some excercises - ask if your GP hasn't done this already. Most people do recover fully but it can go on for longer. The advice given above is good - you wont be able to force a recovery any quicker. However, excercises will help and it is a good excuse to take things easy.
    When you recover you may well find your embouchure changes. There is no harm in trying to keep blowing (in a sound proofed room because it is going to sound awful) so that the unaffected side doesn't atrophy as well.

    Good luck....
  9. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member


    Sorry to hear about your condition. Not one I'm familiar with but it seems from most of the posts thus far that recevery is relatively speedy as indeed, I hope it proves to be in your case.


  10. cornetgirl

    cornetgirl Active Member

    Hi Andy!

    Sorry to hear about the BP - it's not a pleasant condition as I'm sure you will agree. You seemt ot be getting the right advice and treatment though so hopefully it should clear up pretty quickly. It's also worth keeping a stash of whatever you're taking in the house as it can recur and if you get it as it starts it'll resolve quicker.

    PM me if you want any advice etc.

    Rach x
  11. andywooler

    andywooler Supporting Member

    I have all 3 of these - I can now make a noise on a mouthpiece (some will say no difference there then!) which is a vast improvement.

Share This Page