David Schechter, MD

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David Schechter

Dr. David Schechter was raised in New York. He obtained his Bachelor's degree from Princeton University and his M.D. from New York University. He first learned about Tension Myositis Syndrome from Dr. John Sarno, who treated him for a knee problem. Dr. Schechter recovered rapidly from his knee problem utilizing TMS/PPD principles, which emphasized the role of tension in many chronic pain ailments.

The following summer, he telephoned, under the auspices of Dr. John Sarno, 177 of Dr. Sarno's former TMS/PPD patients, and demonstrated a success rate above 75% in back pain patients, supporting his personal experience with this diagnosis and treatment approach. Afterwards, he completed a residency in Family Practice, learning how to treat the whole patient, and obtained certification in Sports Medicine, solidifying his treatment of injuries. He incorporated the principles obtained from caring for competitive athletes into his overall approach to patients of all kinds. Only Dr. Sarno has been treating patients with TMS/PPD longer.

David Schechter is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. He is also a Credentialed Pain Practitioner of the American Academy of Pain Management. He has given presentations entitled "OutCome Evaluation of TMS for Back Pain" and "Addressing Barriers to the Acceptance of TMS: The Public and the Medical Profession" at the first TMS Conference in Ann Arbor Michigan. He has written a workbook, created an audioprogram, a DVD and other materials and spoken on radio and television about this subject, and others. He gave a presentation at the 2nd Annual Mind body Conference in LA entitled "Clinical Evaluation of Patients with Mind Body Disorders." Dr. Schechter is also a board member of the Psychophysiologic Disorders Association(PPDA). (Source 1, Source 2)

David Schechter has contributed to the Question and Answer with an Expert portion of the Wiki. The following are links to questions that he has answered.

Research Abstracts

Outcomes of a Mind-Body Treatment Program for Chronic Back Pain with No Distinct Structural Pathology-A Case Series of Patients Diagnosed and Treated as Tension Myositis Syndrome

David Schechter, AP Smith, J Beck, J Roach, R Karim, S Azen

Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. 2007. Vol. 13 (5): 26–35


Other Articles by Author


There are several physicians that have argued for a shift in treatment protocol of chronic back pain. In four of his books and several journal publications Dr. John Sarno, of the New Yorks University's Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation, has argued for such a change. The primary objective of this study is to see if mind-body treatment warrants additional and more extensive research. The study was conducted in a physicians office in the Los Angeles area and included 51 patients who reported chronic back pain. Through a series of TMS related treatments a majority of the subjects reported their chronic back pain had decreased. This study suggests the value TMS treatment has on diminishing chronic back pain, and suggests more extensive research on TMS and the mind-body approach.

Long Term Outcome of Back Pain Treated By a Psychologically Based Program

David Schechter, M.D.

Presentation at The American Psychosomatic Society 633rd Annual Meeting Vancouver, Canada – March 2-5, 2005


Dr David Schechter retrospectively interviewed 85 patients treated for TMS between 1995 and 2000, with a finding of a 57% success rate, judged as significant long term improvement in terms of pain in patients with a long history (over a year) of chronic pain.

Back Pain as a Distraction Pain Syndrome: A Window to a Whole New Dynamic in Integrative Medicine

David Schechter, Arthur Smith

Adis International, 2005. Vol. 2 (1), 3-8


Full Text PDF


This article challenges the current approach of pain treatment that considers pain to be a structural problem and treats it with expensive and invasive methods. While pain can be caused by structural problems, a majority of the time chronic pain is caused by psychological and subconscious factors. Our minds inflict pain in order to suppress emotional issues that are too difficult for the conscious mind to deal with. The authors state their believe that chronic pain is both physical and psychological, and argue for the need for further study of the mind-body approach of chronic pain treatment. The article argues for a controlled clinical trial that will be able to prove or reject the mind-body approach to chronic pain treatment. (Source)

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