Facial Physiotherapy

Facial nerve paralysis is the most visible injury of the human body and non-verbal communication using facial expression is an integral part of human interaction.

The human eye is drawn to the face and first impressions are made within a few milliseconds indicating that rehabilitation of the face following injury or illness is essential in restoring communicative capacity and quality of life.

Facial physiotherapy plays a key role in the rehabilitation of facial expression following paralysis or palsy, facial pain, jaw disorders, headaches and upper neck pain.

Dr Ellie Frayne’s PhD from the University of Sydney investigated facial motor control and mental fatigue in rehabilitation of people following facial nerve paralysis. This included the first research into the position sense (proprioceptive) ability of orofacial muscles compared to the jaw and yielded exciting results.

Ellie works closely with medical teams and allied health professionals to provide up-to-date evidence based management of facial conditions including:

  • Bell’s Palsy
  • HZO virus
  • Removal of tumours such as acoustic neuroma, salivary gland, facial nerve neuroma
  • Facial trauma
  • Dystonia
  • Paediatric facial movement disorders
  • Congenital conditions such as Mobieus Syndrome
  • Stroke and traumatic brain injury

Ellie also sees patients following facial reanimation surgery, temporomandibular joint disorder, facial pain, headache and migraine.


PhD: Frayne, E., 2016. Motor Control and Self-Regulatory Fatigue Following Facial Nerve Paralysis.

Frayne, E., Coulson, S., Adams, R., Croxson, G. and Waddington, G., 2016. Proprioceptive ability at the lips and jaw measured using the same psychophysical discrimination task. Experimental brain research, 234(6), pp.1679-1687.

Frayne, E., Coulson, S., Adams, R. and Croxson, G.R., 2015. Self-regulatory fatigue after neurological and musculoskeletal injury: implications for physiotherapy management. Physical Therapy Reviews, 20(1), pp.42-58.

Frayne, E., Coulson, S., Adams, R., Croxson, G. and Waddington, G., 2016. Laterality of proprioception in the orofacial muscles and temporomandibular joint. Neuroscience Letters, 635, pp.111-116.