Hemifacial Spasm

Hemifacial spasm is a neuromuscular disorder characterized by frequent involuntary contractions of the muscles on one side of the face. The disorder occurs in both men and women, although it more frequently affects middle-aged or elderly women. The spasm may then gradually spread to involve the muscles of the lower face, which may cause the mouth to be pulled to one side. Eventually the spasms involve all of the muscles on one side of the face almost continuously. The condition may be caused by a facial nerve injury, or a tumor, or it may have no apparent cause. Rarely, doctors see individuals with spasm on both sides of the face. Most often hemifacial spasm is caused by a blood vessel pressing on the facial nerve at the place where it exits the brainstem.


1. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. NINDS Hemifacial Spasm Information Page. https://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/all-disorders/hemifacial-spasm-information-page. Accessed Dec. 15, 2020.

Reviewed Jan. 31, 2013
Kenneth Alo', MD
Member, International Neuromodulation Society
Pain Management, The Methodist Hospital Research Institute, Houston, TX, USA

Last Updated on Sunday, November 21, 2021 08:15 PM