Bones and joints

Are antidepressants also pain relievers?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Antidepressant medications are frequently prescribed for chronic pain, particularly neck or low back pain and certain types of arthritis — though other treatments are usually tried first. An analysis of past research considered how effective antidepressants are for these types of pain, but the results are not encouraging.

Exercise matters to health and well-being, regardless of your size

Regardless of your size or fitness level, exercise has multiple benefits. Almost anything that gets you moving counts, and some activity is always better than none. These suggestions can help you make exercise work for you.

Can gout be prevented?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Gout, a debilitating form of arthritis, is on the rise compared with rates in prior decades. Obesity is probably a significant factor in this increase. Now, a new study suggests that three-quarters of gout cases in men might be completely avoidable by following certain protective health habits.

Stiff and achy in the mornings? How to fix that

Matthew Solan

Executive Editor, Harvard Men's Health Watch

Often, feeling stiff and a little achy when you wake or during the day is related to periods of inactivity, perhaps while sleeping or parked in front of a computer. To counteract this, plan frequent movement breaks and try these stretches focusing on stiff or achy areas.

Does lupus or arthritis affect your prognosis if you get COVID-19?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

People with certain chronic conditions are at increased risk for severe COVID-19. These include a compromised immune system, which can happen for a number of reasons. Many people with rheumatoid arthritis or lupus take drugs that suppress the immune system, and new research examined the risks associated with such a situation.

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.