* Ultrasound and electrotherapy treatments do little to alleviate pain, according to new data. In a randomised trial of individuals with non specific shoulder pain, about 40 per cent of patients got better within three months, regardless of the type of treatment they received. All of the patients had up to 12 exercise sessions during the study, suggesting that mobilisation is still an important part of the treatment of musculoskeletal pain (Ann Rheum Dis, 1999; 58: 530-40)
* Mothers who want to lower their children's risk of contracting asthma should breastfeed exclusively for at least four months. Researchers in Australia found that early exposure to foods other than mother's milk was a significant risk factor for asthma and atopic disorders (BMJ, 1999; 319: 815-9).