According to the CDC, 1 in 5 Americans (over 50 million people) suffer from chronic pain, and the chronic pain epidemic is showing no signs of getting under control. It’s just getting worse and worse. Fortunately, pain specialists like David Schechter, M.D. and Daniel G. Lyman, LCSW are using unique, cutting-edge chronic pain treatment methods that can significantly increase recovery rates.
People often believe their chronic pain is caused by structural abnormalities, and most physicians and pain specialists believe this as well.
However, there is a growing body of research that suggests the presence of these structural abnormalities (eg slipped or herniated disks, rotator cuff partial tears) are often not the cause of chronic pain that continues to persist long-term.
Chronic Pain recovery specialists Dr. Schechter and Daniel G. Lyman shed light on the MindBody approach they’re using to help people heal their chronic pain in this riveting episode.
About David Schechter, M.D.
Dr. David Schechter is a physician whose career stands on principles. First, treat the whole patient (mind and body) in the context of his family, work, and his environment. Second, provide the highest quality care based upon the most up-to-date medical research. Third, emphasize prevention, a healthy lifestyle, and exercise as the mainstays of a comprehensive program.
Dr. Schechter is originally from New York. He was graduated from Princeton University with a degree in Biochemistry.
Subsequently, he attended medical school at New York University and fortuitously met Rehabilitation Professor Dr. John E. Sarno while seeking relief from a nagging knee problem.
He achieved a rapid recovery after learning about Tension Myositis Syndrome (TMS), a diagnosis that emphasizes the role of emotional tension in causing and perpetuating many painful ailments.
The following summer, under the auspices of Dr. John Sarno, he telephoned 177 former TMS patients of Dr. Sarno. The results confirmed his personal experience with this diagnosis and treatment approach and demonstrated a success rate above 75% in back pain patients.
Since that time, he completed a residency in Family Medicine and learned how to treat the whole patient. He also achieved certification in Sports Medicine to solidify his treatment of injuries and incorporate the principles obtained from caring for competitive athletes into his overall approach to patients of all kinds.
Dr. Schechter served on the faculty of the USC School of Medicine from 1990 to about 2012. His last academic appointment was as an Associate Professor.
His focus now is on clinical practice on the Westside of Los Angeles emphasizing mind-body approaches, sports medicine, and the treatment of injuries and back pain.
A growing proportion of his patients are seeking out his expertise in the treatment of Tension Myoneural Syndrome and related mind-body disorders.
The remarkable results that many of these patients have experienced with this approach have motivated him to seek out opportunities to present these ideas to the general public.
Dr. Schechter has written two workbooks, created an audio program, a DVD and published a book. He has also spoken on radio and television about this subject and others.
Dr. Schechter’s Top Doctor Achievements:
- Dr. Schechter was named a Top Doctor in Sports Medicine by Men’s Health Magazine 2008
- Dr. Schechter was named a Top Doctor in US News and World Report 2011
- Dr. Schechter was listed as a Top Doctor in 2018 by Los Angeles Magazine (Sports/family medicine)
About Daniel G. Lyman, LCSW
Daniel G Lyman, LCSW is a psychotherapist and mental health coach in Los Angeles, California who specialized in the treatment of anxiety (including OCD), depression, sexuality, and chronic pain.
He earned both a masters degree in Social Work and Public Administration from the University of Southern California.
Integrating a sense of humor into all modalities, Daniel works to enable and motivated his clients to take steps towards creating lasting change.
Using a neuroscience perspective, Daniel utilizes cognitive processes and techniques that change the patterns in your brain to allow for greater ease in day-to-day functioning.
Education & Training:
- Masters in Social Work, University of Southern California
- Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the State of California, LCSW #75139
- Trained under Alan Gordon, LCSW, founder of the Beverly Hills-based Pain Psychology Center
- Completed training in Intensive, Short-term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP) under David Wolf, MD
- Guest lectured at local colleges and universities, including USC, UCLA, & Emerson College
- Masters in Public Administration, University of Southern Californnia
- Trained in:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
- Intensive, Short Term Psychodynamic Therapy (ISTDP)
- Problem-Solving Therapy
- Motivational Interviewing
- Completed multiple 10-day Vipassana meditation retreats
- Marathoner, Triathlete, and World Traveler
Here are the main topics discussed in this episode:
- The difference between acute pain and chronic pain
- Traditional approaches to treating chronic pain (eg surgery, physical therapy, opioid therapy, etc)
- Alternative approaches to treating chronic pain (eg MindBody medicine, Dr. Sarno’s theory of Tension Myoneural Syndrome (TMS) and the knowledge-based therapy program)
- Theories on the neuroscience of chronic pain including the way the brain wires to predict and even cause continuing pain after an acute injury has healed
- Distraction Pain Syndrome (DPD), Mind-Body Syndrome (MBS), TMS, and other names for this theory of chronic pain cause and treatment
- Dr. Schechter’s story of chronic knee pain and healing it permanently under the care of Dr. John E. Sarno, a famous author of several books including Healing Back Pain
- Dr. Schechter’s mentorship from Dr. Sarno and then starting his own practice in Los Angelos, California, where he regularly helps people heal from chronic pain using customized holistic treatment plans that treat the whole person
- Daniel Lyman’s work with clients all over the world as a Mental Health Coach who helps people overcome chronic pain and other issues using an eclectic blend of psychotherapeutic modalities, neuroscience, and humor
- The ‘Type T’ personality, OCD, and other personality characteristics that are common in people who have chronic pain
- The ‘Twelve Stages of Healing’ Dr. Schechter created and published in his book Think Away Your Pain: Your Brain is the Solution to Your Pain
- TMS resources that are on the internet that Dr. Schechter and Daniel Lyman recommend as a great place to start learning more about this modality of healing for chronic pain
- The opioid epidemic and the latest CDC prescribing guidelines for pain which were created to mitigate opioid addiction and overdose deaths
- The benefits of opioid therapy for chronic pain for the patients that do well on opioids and do not become psychologically dependent
- Opioid-alternative medications for chronic pain treatment
- The role the brain plays in creating and continuing chronic pain syndromes
- How the brain can be used to heal chronic pain for good
- The importance of healthy sleep habits for recovering from chronic pain and any other disorder or illness
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Think Away Your Pain: Your Brain is the Solution to Your Pain
- Healing Back Pain: The Mind-Body Connection
- The MindBody Workbook: A Thirty Day Program of Insight and Awareness for People with Back Pain and Other Disorders
- The MindBody Workbook for Teens: Writing Exercises to Reduce Stress and Feel Better Physically and Emotionally
- TMS Wiki
- List of Known Doctors Providing TMS Diagnosis/Treatment
- TMS Therapists & other Resources
- The Psychophysiologic Disorders (PPD) & TMS Peer Network
- How I Healed from Chronic Pain: The Story of My Miraculous Recovery by Matt Finch
How to learn more and get in touch with Dr. Schechter and Daniel G. Lyman:
Right-click here and save as to download this episode on your computer.
Robert Zantay says
Please let me know how thinking positive thoughts is going to make the destruction of my shoulder Cartlidge by arthritic material just go away. I find that by dos8ng with fentanyl I am able to have a less negative reaction to the constant shoulder pain that is part of my existence. Fentanyl does not make the pain disappear but it changes its importance in my focus.
The only other medication that seems to help are lidocaine patches and pen said gel. I have done the two week prednisone taper down with some good results
I’m sure it’s a bit more complex than thinking positive, cheers.
Judi Terhar says
I would love to see him. Here is what holds me back. In a 9 hour 30 minute 4th back surgery from a hit and run driver the covering of my sciatic nerve tore off. The doctor opened me up and was shocked. He tried to sew the cover on the nerve and crushed it to tight. 2 out of 10 on NCS. The doctors went back in to fix it 3 months later, but the nerve was dead. The pain has gotten worse as it is trying to recover. How do I fix a nerve that had no blood supply 3 months? So maybe my mind is holding me back? I do not know but I have done well on 3 methadone pills a day for 25 years. When I go down to 2 about the 4th or 5th day I am in agony. Specific nerve pain that makes you crazy. I thank God for this medication. All my other accident related issues healed. 4 vascular surgeries at UCLA with Dr. Machleder. Not sure is spelling.
Glad the methadone therapy is helping so much. I’m not sure how to fix a nerve like that, but whole premise of this treatment of pain is that a lot of times structural damage is not the cause of long-term chronic pain. The only way to ever know for sure, however, would be to see a physician that is trained in this type of healing modality and get their professional evaluation.
Methadone, when taken *as prescribed* is 100% effective for relief from many sorts of pain.
The trick is holding the line on dosage. I wish you the best🛐