Bones and joints

New guidelines for aches, pains, and strains

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

When a minor injury leads to soreness or discomfort, what’s the best first treatment choice? The American College of Physicians and the American Academy of Family Physicians recently developed new recommendations based on reviews of more than 200 studies involving nearly 33,000 subjects.

Getting the best treatment for your fibromyalgia

Living with the pain and fatigue of fibromyalgia is a challenge faced by millions of people. Finding a doctor who understands the condition and how to treat it can be hard, but knowing the facts about your condition and what questions to ask can help you find the right doctor.

Harvard Health Ad Watch: An arthritis ad in 4 parts

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

An ad for the rheumatoid arthritis drug Humira is accurate about how the medication can help some people be more active, but as with most drug ads, there are also things left unsaid or expressed in ways worth questioning.

The role of our minds in the avoidance of falls

Brad Manor, PhD

Contributor

In older people, the majority of falls occur when someone is standing or walking while also performing a separate cognitive or motor task. These tasks require more cognitive effort as we age, but focus and awareness can prevent falls from happening.

Harvard Health Ad Watch: A fibromyalgia treatment (“But you look so good!”)

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

A commercial for the fibromyalgia medication Lyrica gets certain points right, yet important information is missing, such as other vital aspects of treatment and how this drug compares to other medications.

Curcumin for arthritis: Does it really work?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Could a naturally-occurring substance derived from a common spice provide relief from osteoarthritis of the knee? A new study suggests curcumin might help, but the research has some important limitations.

Harvard Health Ad Watch: A new treatment for knee arthritis

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

A TV ad for a procedure to treat arthritis of the knee claims that relief lasts for up to a year, but not much research has been done on its effectiveness. Studies are small and show little to support the claim.

Chronic Lyme arthritis: A mystery solved?

John Ross, MD, FIDSA

Contributing Editor

About 60% of people infected with Lyme disease develop arthritis, and about 10% of those fail to respond to antibiotic treatment for unknown reasons. A new study has found a likely explanation for this medical mystery.

A new therapy for osteoporosis: Romosozumab

Osteoporosis affects 10 million people in the United States, the majority of them women. Romosozumab is a new type of medication for treating osteoporosis that offers another treatment option for some women after menopause.

Simplify your workout with lap swimming

Lap swimming is a very effective workout: aerobics, strengthening, and stretching in one activity. Make sure you’re reasonably healthy before diving in, but even if you’re not, or if you don’t know how to swim, aquatic exercises are beneficial, too.