Peyronie’s disease is a condition in which scar tissue causes the penis to curve. For some people, the disease can be painful and make it difficult to achieve an erection.
Not everyone with Peyronie’s disease needs treatment. In fact, the condition clears up on its own in about 20 percent of cases, according to Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
For those with persistent symptoms, a number of treatments are available to help. Your doctor may recommend injections of certain medications into the penis or surgery to remove some plaque in more severe cases.
You may also give your condition a helping hand with certain stretches. Here’s how exercises can help Peyronie’s disease.
Yes, certain types of exercise can help Peyronie’s disease. According to Massachusetts General Hospital, gentle stretching of the sheath can correct the curvature by breaking down some of the scar tissue.
Recent research has also shown that exercises with special devices can be effective at straightening and stretching the penis back into its normal shape and length during erection.
Here are some exercise techniques and devices sometimes used for Peyronie’s disease:
Penile traction therapy (PTT) involves wearing a device on your penis for a certain amount of time each day to help straighten it or reverse a curve.
These devices typically consist of two parallel stabilizing rods that run alongside the shaft of the penis, connected to a plastic support ring at the base of the penis and a distal ring below the head of the penis. The rods can be extended with a spring to stretch the penis.
While research on PTT for Peyronie’s disease is limited so far, a 2019 study found that it could provide modest improvements in lengthening the penis and correcting the curve during the acute phase, as well as assist in retaining penis length for people undergoing surgery for the condition.
A vacuum erection device (VED) is a vacuum tube that fits over the penis like a sheath and stretches and pulls it with suction. It’s sometimes called a “penis pump.”
VEDs have a dubious history of being marketed as tools that can make the penis larger, but they may have a legitimate medical role in helping people with Peyronie’s disease.
However, three of the participants had their curvature worsen during that time, so it’s important to talk with a doctor about the potential risks and benefits before using a VED.
Penile modeling involves manually bending the erect penis in the opposite direction of the curvature caused by Peyronie’s disease. It can be performed by a urologist at their office or by yourself at home. Typically, penile modeling is done in conjunction with collagenase injections.
Another treatment for severe Peyronie’s disease combines penile modeling with the insertion of an inflatable prosthesis in the penis through surgery.
You may experience some pain, bruising, or swelling from penile modeling. There’s also a risk of penile fracture and other injuries, so connect with your healthcare provider before trying penile modeling.
Massaging the penis with a lubricant, like cocoa butter, is sometimes mentioned in studies as a potential treatment for Peyronie’s disease, but research is extremely limited.
Some urologists, such as Alex Shteynshlyuger, MD, director of urology at New York Urology Specialists, say that massage is unlikely to improve the condition.
“Massage will not help Peyronie’s disease in any form,” he said, adding that creams can’t be absorbed deep into the penis where the scar tissue from Peyronie’s disease is found. “That’s why we use injections to treat it.”
Trying to adjust your penis through massage can also lead to injury, so check with your doctor before trying it.
Peyronie’s disease is a curvature of the penis caused by a buildup of scar tissue. For some people, the condition clears up on its own, but treatment may be required for others.
In addition to injections and surgery, some exercises may be able to help stretch and straighten the penis. Research shows that PTT and VEDs can be effective at treating Peyronie’s disease. Penile modeling with an inflatable prosthesis may also help correct a curved penis.
Some exercises for Peyronie’s disease may cause harm, so check with your doctor before trying them.