Intended for healthcare professionals

Feature Medicine and the Media

The cricketer promoting shockwave therapy for erectile dysfunction

BMJ 2016; 354 doi: (Published 07 September 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;354:i4808
  1. Ingrid Torjesen,
  2. journalist,
  3. London
  1. ingrid_torjesen{at}

He says he didn’t need it anyway, and no evidence supports its use over sildenafil, writes Ingrid Torjesen

The story—a cricket legend who had an impotence treatment for a problem he said he didn’t have is now urging other men to follow his lead—was a gift to headline writers earlier this month. The story was headlined “Testicle match special” in the Sun1 and was covered by almost every other national newspaper.

A doctor had told the former cricketer Ian Botham of a treatment called linear shockwave therapy provided by the company Vigore.

Better erections

Vigore’s website says that this is “a high tech, low intensity, non-invasive, painless application of linear soundwave technology to the area around the penis.” The company claims that it stimulates blood vessel growth, increasing penile blood flow and resulting in …

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