Arthritis

Harvard Health Ad Watch: Can an arthritis drug help you become a morning person?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

An ad for an arthritis medication seems to suggest that taking it will alleviate or even eliminate morning stiffness, allowing you to hop out of bed. Like most drug ads, this one has unspoken messages and glosses over questions about side effects and cost.

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.

Stopping osteoarthritis: Could recent heart research provide a clue?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Currently no medication can slow the progress of osteoarthritis. And while a reanalysis of a study of people with heart disease suggests a promising approach, more definitive research will be necessary to confirm this.

Autoimmune lung disease: Early recognition and treatment helps

Autoimmune diseases occur when the body generates an immune response against itself. Some people with rheumatic or autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, develop an autoimmune lung disease. Marked by lung inflammation and possible scarring, it’s easier to treat if detected early.

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.

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.

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.

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.