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70 years ago, baseball legend Lou Gehrig died of a rare neurological disorder called Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). The condition quickly captured the attention of the country, and the medical industry got to work finding the causes, symptoms, and treatments for ALS. Much has been accomplished over the past 70 years, but only recently have the benefits of facial exercise and massage for ALS patients been truly understood. Today we’ll take a look at ALS causes, symptoms, and common treatments, and then explain how facial exercise devices are opening new doors for ALS patients and massage therapists.

What Causes ALS?

Like many neurological disorders, the exact cause of ALS is unknown. The two theories are sporadic and familial. Sporadic ALS, which refers to cases thought to be caused by exposure to dangerous chemicals and heavy metals, account for between 90 to 95 percent of all ALS cases. Familial ALS is thought to be caused by defective genes that are passed down within families. Familial ALS accounts for 5 to 10 percent of all cases.

ALS Symptoms & Common Treatment

People with ALS experience numerous physical problems, including impaired verbal communication, limited facial expressiveness, impaired mobility, ulcers, and chronic pain and discomfort. Numerous drugs are administered to increase the life span of people suffering from ALS, but physical therapy and massage therapy are the primary treatments for combating skeletal and muscular ailments and improving quality of life. Massage therapy has shown huge promise in helping ALS sufferers lead higher quality lives. It helps patients to calm their stiff and spastic muscles and achieve relaxation.

The Promise of Facial Exercise for ALS Patients

Because many ALS sufferers experience complete or partial facial paralysis, facial expressions and verbal communication can be a real challenges. Facial exercises strengthen the neural connections between the brain and muscles in the face. In relatively short periods of time, people with facial paralysis have achieved more natural facial expressions and improved communication by performing facial exercises for ALS therapy. Non-verbal ALS sufferers that use winks or other facial cues to communicate will find facial exercises especially important.

Facial-Flex® for Physical Therapists, Chiropractors, Massage therapists, and Clinicians

Facial-Flex is the only clinically proven facial exercise device. It is a FDA Registered Class 1 Medical Device widely used for facial care and rehabilitation.  For more information on Facial-Flex, please visit our homepage. To order a Facial-Flex for yourself or one of your patients, start shopping now.