Pain Management

Functional dyspepsia: Causes, treatments, and new directions

Functional dyspepsia is a digestive condition without a clear cause, characterized by a feeling of fullness or a burning sensation. Depending on test results and symptoms, treatment may involve a course of antibiotics, a proton pump inhibitor, or a low dose of a tricyclic antidepressant.

Knee arthroscopy: Should this common knee surgery be performed less often?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

There is already evidence that knee arthroscopy for osteoarthritis does not help most people. A study attempted to determine if the results would be better for people with osteoarthritis and a torn meniscus.

Does CBD help with arthritis pain?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

If you have chronic arthritis pain, you may have been tempted to try cannabidiol as a treatment, or you may have tried it already. But is there any evidence that it works? Studies are finally addressing this question, and the results are just starting to come in.

Older adults and medical marijuana: Reduced stigma and increased use

Cannabis use among older adults has been steadily increasing, due to lessening stigma and increased interest in using medical marijuana. But there are specific concerns for older people, so anyone considering this option should have a conversation with their doctor weighing the benefits and risks.

Pain and neuromodulation: What’s all the “buzz” about?

Neuromodulation therapies use a targeted stimulus to help people manage pain. This can be in the form of an electrical stimulation device or a pump containing medication, either of which can be implanted in the body.

Mind-body therapies can reduce pain and opioid use

Researchers looking for ways to help people manage pain without drugs found that the practice of mind-body therapies was associated with reduced pain intensity, and may also assist some people in reducing their use of opioid medications.

A new look at steroid injections for knee and hip osteoarthritis

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

A new report questions the effectiveness of steroid injections for osteoarthritis, but does this mean that everyone who is already receiving these injections, or may be a candidate for them, should avoid them?

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.

What is palliative care, and who can benefit from it?

Palliative care improves comfort and quality of life for people with serious illness and their families, yet many people who could benefit from these services are not taking advantage of them.