• Online Payment
  • Patient Portal
  • Schedule a Consultation

Decades of Collaboration: Dr. Hadlock & Mara Robinson

We are fortunate to have a three-decade-long relationship with internationally recognized physical therapist Mara Robinson, MS PT. She and Dr. Hadlock routinely conference about individualized patient care plans and work seamlessly to provide comprehensive rehabilitation for facial nerve patients. Mara has designed and teaches “Synkinesis School“ at the Hadlock Center every month. 

Logo media

Facilitating Rehabilitation Through Physical Therapy

Physical therapy plays a vital role in the rehabilitation process for individuals with facial nerve damage. By targeting specific muscles and employing specialized techniques, physical therapists can help patients regain control and strength in their facial muscles.

Here are some of the many benefits associated with physical therapy after facial nerve damage:

Decreased Synkinesis 

Physical therapy focuses on retraining the brain's connection to the facial muscles and improving motor control and coordination to change the brain's motor pathways, termed neuroplasticity. Neuromuscular retraining helps the brain form new movement patterns following facial nerve damage. A trained therapist evaluates your movement patterns and creates an individualized program for you that consists of stretching and massage, meditation and mindfulness as well as neuromuscular retraining. 

Improved Facial Symmetry

Facial nerve damage often leads to asymmetry in facial features, affecting appearance and confidence. Physical therapy techniques such as facial massage, stretching, and manual manipulation can help address muscle imbalances and promote symmetrical facial movements. 

Improved Function and Motor Control 

A trained facial therapist can teach you how to improve your ability to eat, drink, and speak in a more controlled and symmetrical fashion. Through targeted exercises and repetitive movements, patients can gradually regain control and coordination in their facial muscles, facilitating more natural facial expressions.

Pain Management

Facial nerve damage may occasionally be accompanied by pain, discomfort, or muscle spasms. Physical therapists employ modalities to promote relaxation in affected muscles.  Modalities include: 

  • heat therapy
  • stretching 
  • and massage 

We do not support the use of Electrical Stimulation in the treatment of facial paralysis and synkinesis. 

The mainstay of facial physical therapy is for patients to learn self-management strategies to optimize facial function. The goal is to teach patients an individualized home program to be done daily, on their own time.

Book an Appointment with Mara

Email: [email protected]
Website: www.mararobinsonpt.com
Mobile: 508-272-7977

Virtual through Zoom 

If you'd like to book a virtual appointment, please use this link to my Google calendar.  
Virtual appointments are offered on Thursdays and Fridays (evenings and weekends can be pre-arranged) 

In-person Clinic Appointments:  2nd Thursday of the Month at Hadlock Center
Contact Mara via email to schedule.
Synkinesis School 12-1pm 2nd Thursday of the Month 
Mara will lead a small group informational session about synkinesis. This is a great way to meet Mara and learn if facial physical therapy is for you, as well as to meet other individuals with facial synkinesis. Contact Mara to schedule. Upcoming dates: 

  • March 14th
  • April 11th 
  • May 9th
Banner media

More About Mara Wernick Robinson, MS, PT

Facial Rehabilitation Expert: Mara's Dedication

Mara has been a dedicated practitioner in the field of facial rehabilitation since 2004, collaborating closely with Dr. Hadlock to develop innovative programs for the care of patients with facial paralysis. With a comprehensive approach to evaluation and treatment, Mara specializes in addressing the diverse needs of individuals with facial palsy and synkinesis. Her expertise extends beyond clinical practice, as she shares her knowledge through lectures, webinars, and instructional courses, aiming to educate and empower fellow therapists in the field.

Clinical Expertise and Approach

Mara employs a multifaceted approach to facial rehabilitation, integrating various techniques to enhance function and improve the quality of life for individuals affected by facial paralysis. Her interventions encompass patient education, soft tissue mobilization, neuromuscular retraining, meditation, and motivational strategies. By fostering a collaborative environment and emphasizing patient-centered care, Mara achieves remarkable outcomes reflected in patient-reported measures.

Education and Professional Affiliations:

  • Member of the Sir Charles Bell Society and Facial Palsy UK, esteemed international organizations focused on advancing treatment strategies for facial palsy
  • Regular lecturer on Facial Rehabilitation at the university level and presenter at International Facial Nerve Symposia, contributing to the dissemination of best practices and emerging trends in the field
  • Actively involved in research and publication, with notable contributions to esteemed journals such as Otolaryngology Clinic North America, JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery, and J Plastic Reconstructive Aesthetic Surgery

Selected Publications

  • "Facial Rehabilitation: Evaluation and Treatment Strategies for the Patient with Facial Palsy." Robinson MW, Baiungo J. Otolaryngol Clin North Am. 2018 Dec;51(6):1151-1167.
  • "An International Collaborative Standardizing Patient-Centered Outcome Measures in Pediatric Facial Palsy." Butler DP, De la Torre A, Borschel GH, et al. JAMA Facial Plast Surg. 2019 May 9.
  • "Patient experience in nerve-to-masseter-driven smile reanimation." van Veen MM, Dusseldorp JR, Quatela O, et al. J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. 2019 Aug;72(8):1265-1271.
  • "The spectrum of facial palsy: The MEEI facial palsy photo and video standard set." Greene JJ, Guarin DL, Tavares J, et al. Laryngoscope. 2019 Apr 25.
  • "Emerging vs. Time-Tested Methods of Facial Grading Among Patients With Facial Paralysis." Gaudin RA, Robinson M, Banks CA et al. JAMA Facial Plast Surg. 2016 Jul 1;18(4):251-7.
  • “Comprehensive facial rehabilitation improves function in people with facial paralysis: a 5-year experience at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary." Lindsay RW, Robinson M, Hadlock TA. Phys Ther. 2010 Mar;90(3):391-7.

Schedule a Consultation

Our job isn’t over until the patient is smiling

Contact Us
Contact us media
Accessibility: If you are vision-impaired or have some other impairment covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act or a similar law, and you wish to discuss potential accommodations related to using this website, please contact our Accessibility Manager at 617.207.7977 .