The Flaccid Stage after 4 weeks

The Flaccid Stage after 4 weeks 

During the flaccid stage, your facial muscles will be floppy or slack. If you have not noticed any signs of recovery from your facial palsy after 3-4 week following the onset of your symptoms, you are experiencing a delayed or prolonged recovery.

This indicates that the damage to your facial nerve is more severe and so your recovery will be slower.  It may take several weeks or months before you notice any signs of recovery.  This is perfectly normal when more severe nerve damage has taken place.

Normally the majority of people who have not made a full recovery within the first 3 – 4 go on to make a good recovery it just takes time.  You may have to wait for 3 or 4 months before you see any progress.  This is perfectly normal because if the facial nerve has to regrow it does this very slowly at approximately 1 mm/day.

Try not to worry.  There are still many ways in which you can help yourself to make a good recovery.  You can view this stage as the ‘less is more stage’.  Below are points you should pay attention to during this period.

  • Avoid carrying out any movement exercises unless you have seen some signs of recovery.  It would be like trying to switch on a lamp which isn’t plugged into an electrical socket.  No matter how many times you switch it on, it won’t light up because it has no power supply.  This is exactly the same with your face.  Unless the nerve can supply muscles with electrical energy, they will be unable to move no matter how hard you try.
  • Trying to make facial muscles move at this stage will just increase the strength and range of movement on the unaffected side.  This will make your asymmetry more obvious and make the recovery of normal movement patterns more difficult.
  • Be diligent with eye care routines including eye lubrication and taping the affected eye closed for sleep.
  • Take all your medication as prescribed.
  • Continue with your daily massage routine or resume your routine if it has fallen by the wayside.
  • Try and maintain a healthy lifestyle including plenty of sleep, a balanced diet and exercise.
  • Staying as relaxed as possible will also help minimise muscle tension developing in your face.  Worrying increases muscle tension so relaxation should become part of your routine.

For psychological support go to  The charity runs support groups which you may be able to attend by Zoom.