The Handoff: Your Week in Pain News – 2/24/17

The Handoff is a weekly roundup of news related to pain management covering developments in clinical research, pharmaceuticals, guidelines for pain management, as well as initiatives to address the opioid epidemic, and technologies for pain. Keep your finger on the pulse of pain research with The Handoff.

Medical marijuana may help curb the opioid epidemic by reducing craving and alleviating withdrawal, argues cannabinoid and opioid Mount Sinai researcher.

A clinical decision rule based on presence of chest pain and electrocardiogram results allows the identification of patients who can safely be removed from cardiac monitoring in the emergency department.

Determining whether low back pain when it is associated with pain in the thigh, buttock, or groin, originates in the hip and/or spine, may improve treatment, according to a recent study that recommends gathering detailed patient history and thorough physical examination.

A great majority of patients with spinal cord injury suffer from chronic pain, particularly in the first year following the injury, but the systemic consequences of injury also need to be detected and treated to avoid further complications.

The risk of long-term opioid use is higher in opioid-naïve patients consulting with high- vs low-prescribing emergency physicians.