Managing Peyronie's Disease: Where Pelvic Floor Therapy Can Help

By Dr. Christine Martirez PT, DPT on 1/29/2024

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Peyronie's disease, a condition characterized by the development of fibrous scar tissue in the penis, can be a challenging and often emotionally distressing experience for those affected. Let's delve into the risk factors, symptoms, and explore how pelvic floor physical therapy can play a vital role in managing the symptoms associated with Peyronie's disease.

Understanding Peyronie's Disease

Peyronie's disease is marked by the formation of fibrous plaques or scar tissue in the erectile tissues of the penis, called the tunica albuginea. These plaques can develop anywhere along the penis, and can cause the penis to bend or curve during erections. This can lead to pain, discomfort, and sometimes difficulties in sexual or urinary function. Approximately 1 in 100 men in the United States over the age of 18 have been diagnosed with Peyronie’s disease. However, based on studies of men who reported having symptoms of Peyronie’s disease, researchers estimate that the actual number of men who have Peyronie’s disease is more than 1 in 10.

Risk Factors for Peyronie's Disease

While the exact cause of Peyronie's disease is not fully understood, certain risk factors are associated with its development:

  • Age:

    Peyronie's disease is more common in men aged 40 to 60, although it can occur at any age.

  • Genetics:

    A family history of Peyronie's disease may increase the risk of developing the condition.

  • Penile Trauma:

    Injuries or trauma to the penis, such as those sustained during sexual activity or sports, may contribute to the formation of scar tissue.

  • Connective Tissue Disorders:

    Conditions that affect connective tissues, such as Dupuytren's contracture or plantar fasciitis, may increase the risk of Peyronie's disease.

  • Autoimmune Disorders:

    In autoimmune disorders, the body's immune system attacks it's own cells and organs. Presence of autoimmune disorders, such as systemic lupus erythematosus, gives a higher chance of developing Peyronie's.

Symptoms of Peyronie's Disease

  • Penile Curvature:

    The most noticeable symptom is a bend or curvature of the penis during erections due to the plaque build up.

  • Pain:

    Some individuals may experience pain or discomfort during erections, especially when the penis is bent. In the acute phase, your penis may hurt without an erection.

  • Erectile Dysfunction:

    Peyronie's disease can lead to difficulties in achieving or maintaining an erection.

  • Shortening of the Penis:

    In some cases, the development of scar tissue may result in a shorter penis length during erections.

How Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy Can Help

Pelvic floor physical therapy can help address the dysfunctions that arise with Peyronie's disease. It is a valuable component of comprehensive care for individuals with Peyronie's disease. Here's how it can address symptoms and improve overall well-being:

  1. Pain Management:

    Pelvic floor physical therapists can employ techniques to manage pain associated with Peyronie's disease. This may include manual therapy to address trigger points and reduce muscle tension.

  2. Erectile Dysfunction Support:

    Therapists can work with individuals to address any pelvic floor muscle issues contributing to erectile dysfunction. This may involve exercises to improve blood flow and optimize muscle function.

  3. Scar Tissue Management:

    Manual therapy and stretching exercises may help manage the scar tissue associated with Peyronie's disease. Therapists use specialized techniques to improve tissue mobility, reduce restrictions, and teach you self mobilizations.

  4. Emotional Support and Education:

    Pelvic floor physical therapists provide a supportive environment for individuals to discuss the emotional impact of Peyronie's disease. Education on coping strategies and communication with healthcare providers can help manage emotional distress.

  5. Customized Exercise Programs:

    Therapists design individualized exercise programs that address specific symptoms and promote overall pelvic health. This may include stretching, strengthening, and relaxation exercises.

While pelvic floor physical therapy can play a crucial role in managing symptoms, in addition to a multidisciplinary team. Peyronie's disease presents unique challenges, but with the right support, individuals can manage symptoms and improve their overall quality of life. At Pelvic Health Physical Therapy, our physical therapists will provide you with a thorough evaluation to determine what the best treatment plan will be for you. We understand how inhibiting pain and stiffness can be, and we want to help get you back to comfortably living your life. We'll help lift all of your physical stresses away! Please email to book an appointment, or call our office at 908-443-9880.

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