How synkinesis affects the facial muscles

Having synkinesis means that the affected muscles are working much harder than normal.  As a result, those muscles will be much thicker, tighter and stiffer when compared to the uninjured side of the face.  This is because they are over working and have been over stimulated by the facial nerve during the synkinetic process.  They are working repeatedly when they should be at rest.  When a person exercises in a gym, repetitions of the same movements are practiced in order to build up muscle bulk.  The result is that muscles become more defined and visible.  This is what happens to the facial muscles when they repeatedly move instead of staying relaxed.  Below is a list of some of the effects of synkinesis.  Muscles on the affected side of your face may be:

  • Thicker and more defined compared to the unaffected side.  For example, this is often visible in the cheek area, as the groove from the cheek to the corner of the mouth becomes deeper when the muscle is thicker
  • Shorter.  For example,  a shorter cheek muscle can lift the corner of the mouth, so it looks higher than the unaffected side.  Shortening of muscles around the eye will make the affected eye look smaller than the unaffected eye.
  • Tighter.  When a muscle is thick and shortened it will be tight and tender to touch.  There may be a constant feeling of tightness and even pain.  The brow muscles can also become very tight and may cause headaches.

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What is synkinesis?

Things you can do

Long standing synkinesis