Passionate about helping others, Dr. Todd E. Lininger currently channels his expertise into a role as Medical Director of Pain Care Associates. Dr. Todd E. Lininger specializes in pain management treatment, particularly for acute pain, chronic pain, and cancer-related pain. Dr. Todd Lininger incorporates a diverse range of techniques into his treatment plans, including acupuncture.

Additionally, Dr. Todd E. Lininger serves as an educator with universities such as Wayne State University (WSU) and Oakland University. Currently, Dr. Todd E. Lininger holds positions as Assistant Clinical Professor at both universities and has a leading role as Director of the Anesthesiology Pain Medicine Fellowship program at WSU.

Prior to his work with Pain Care Associates, Dr. Todd E. Lininger served as Medical Director of North Oakland Pain Management Services. Dr. Todd Lininger also previously held roles as a Case Reviewer and Attending Anesthesiologist, in addition to sitting on various committees, such as the Subcommittee on Local Anesthesia & Pain and the Committee on Pain Therapy for the American Society of Anesthesiologists. Today, Dr. Todd E. Lininger retains active membership in the American Society of Anesthesiologists, as well as organizations such as the Internal Anesthesia Research Society, the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, and the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture.

Committed to the consistent development and improvement of pain management techniques, Dr. Todd E. Lininger has participated in a number of research projects and industry-related meetings. An accomplished public speaker, Dr. Todd E. Lininger has presented on topics ranging from pain and symptom management for chronic disease to neuromodulation and diagnostic injections.

Throughout both his academic and professional careers, Dr. Todd E. Lininger has earned numerous honors, including the Robert D. Dripps Memorial Award for Outstanding Resident in Anesthesiology and the Outstanding Clinical Instructor for the Department of Anesthesiology at Sinai Hospital. Dr. Todd E. Lininger was also named Teacher of the Year in 2005 and 2008 for his work at the WSU School of Medicine.


Overview of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

by Dr. Todd E. Lininger

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) describes a specific type of chronic pain affecting a localized part of the body. Researchers do not fully understand the disease, but CRPS may results from a dysfunction of the sympathetic nervous system or may indicate a type of inflammatory autoimmune disease. CRPS may occur following a minor injury to a limb or via a direct injury of the nerve. Following the onset of the disease, problems related to sensation, temperature, blood flow, and other sympathetic nervous functions develop. CRPS usually begins in a specific area, but may spread across the entire limb.

The primary symptoms of CRPS include intense pain that remains far outside of what would be expected given the nature of the injury, becomes worse over time instead of better, and gradually spreads out from the area of injury. The initial stage of the disease lasts for a few months and secondary complications appear thereafter. If left untreated for more than six months, permanent damage may occur. At the onset of CRPS, patients often experience changing sensations of warm and cold, changes in the rate of hair and nail growth on the limb in question, muscle spasms, itchiness, swelling, bloating, and skin discoloration. Over subsequent months, the pain becomes worse and the muscles weaken. Eventually, muscle wasting and tendon damage may occur.

Treatment for CRPS includes pain medication, nerve blocks, electrical stimulation, and surgery. In addition, patients with CRPS should begin physical therapy as soon as possible, which can prevent the secondary complications of the disease. When diagnosed early, CRPS often responds well to treatment and may go into remission. If you experience strong, localized pain that seems to become worse, consult your doctor.

About the Author: Dr. Todd E. Lininger directs a team of experienced pain management physicians at Pain Care Associates, based in Bloomfield Township, Michigan. He holds a particular interest in complex regional pain syndrome and complementary medicine.