Dr Oliver Thomson PhD is a leading London osteopath. Using the latest research, he provides effective treatment for back pain and sciatica, incorporating osteopathy, manual therapy, exercise advice and education. He has extensive experience in helping patients with acute, recurrent or chronic back pain, where other treatments and 'quick fix' approaches have not been successful.

Based in Belsize Park, his extensive clinical expertise and evidence-based approach will meet all your musculoskeletal healthcare needs, no matter how complex.

Choose us for effective relief for your back pain and sciatica:

  • Leading London osteopath

  • Persistent chronic back pain and acute episodes

  • Detailed clinical examination, explanation and diagnosis

  • Modern approach using the latest research

  • Exercise and rehabilitation

  • Professional, friendly and supportive approach


A leading London osteopath, Dr Thomson has extensive expertise and experience in treating and managing a range of musculoskeletal conditions, particularly back pain and sciatica. Using the latest research he puts the individual patient at the heart of any treatment plan so that you'll be involved in all the decisions regarding your care.

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Dr Thomson is an experienced researcher and academic. He collaborates with researchers worldwide and has published extensively in the areas of clinical reasoning, biopsychosocial model of back pain, qualitative research and grounded theory.

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Dr Thomson is currently an Associate Professor at the University College of Osteopathy in London, and he has held several teaching and lecturing positions at educational institutions in the UK and Scandinavia. He regularly holds seminars, workshops and CPD courses for osteopaths, manual therapists, healthcare professionals.

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Book your appointment

If you're experiencing back pain, sciatica or another musculoskeletal problem or have been failed by 'quick fix' treatments and promises, Dr Oliver Thomson can provide effective evidence-based treatment and advice. He is based at BodyMatters Clinic, located at 1 McCrone Mews, Belsize Park, London, NW3. With free on-site parking, it is easily accessible via car or public transport (Jubilee and Northern tube lines) from central London, Camden, Hampstead, Golders Green, St John’s Wood, Primrose Hill, Swiss Cottage, West Hampstead and Chalk Farm.

Appointments can be booked online or calling 0207 419 7900.

Recent Blog Posts

NEWS FLASH! (Great) expectations of recovery from back pain are associated with recovery from back pain

Sep 4 2019

Recent research confirms our previous intuitions, that expectations of recovery predict recovery from low back pain. See the full paper by Eklund et al here My suggestions for managing patient expectations. Explore patients’ expectations at the first visit (before setting them!) & explore underpinning beliefs. Ask the patient flat out, for example “What are you…
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Osteopathy and evidence-based practice- getting there, but challenges still ahead

Sep 4 2019

Whilst NOT perfect (and continually under evolution and refinement- e.g. Greenhalgh et al 2014), evidence-based practice (EBP) is the OPTIMAL and ETHICAL approach to clinical healthcare practice. The now familiar definition of EBP is the integration of best research evidence WITH clinical expertise AND patient values & preferences.. EBP was developed in the early 1980s,…
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WE TALKED evidence, WE SHARED ideas and experiences, WE QUESTIONED practice knowledge, WE PRESSURE-TESTED our own beliefs, HECK we even ATE Mrs Crimble’s macaroons…

May 1 2019

WE TALKED evidence, WE SHARED ideas and experiences, WE QUESTIONED practice knowledge, WE PRESSURE-TESTED our own beliefs, WE SCRUTINISED our back pain language and HECK we even ATE some of Mrs Crimble’s finest macaroons…   I really enjoyed the language & communication workshop on Sunday, lots of critical discussion, learning together, and coming up with…
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CPD Course on Effective language and communication when managing low back pain- how to help and not harm

Apr 24 2019

CPD for musculoskeletal therapists Patients with back pain who consult a musculoskeletal healthcare professional expect and desire a diagnosis and information for their problem. However, the words we use to shape our responses and convey messages to patients in pain, have the potential to heal (facilitate recovery) or have the capacity to harm (delay or…
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Your back IS strong…even if you (or someone else) doesn’t think that it is

Jan 4 2019

When we’re experiencing back pain is easy to feel that our spines are fragile and vulnerable to damage. It can really feel like any ‘wrong’ movement or position will be harmful to our backs. As a consequence, we often modify our behaviour and change how we move. For example, maybe you decide to skip a…
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Evidence-based practice in osteopathy- results from a UK national survey (and clearing things up!)

Dec 10 2018

Evidence-based practice (EBP) is now considered to be the optimal (albeit imperfect- see here) approach to healthcare practice and decision-making- and all healthcare professionals from art therapists to doctors should be adopting an evidence-based approach. Unfortunately, over the years, EBP has been misinterpreted as ‘EXCLUSIVELY applying research’ or ‘all patients receive the SAME algorithmic treatment…
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Protect your sleep to protect your back

Jul 10 2018

Backs LOVE sleep. Poor sleep (both quality and quantity) is highly predictive of developing and worsening low back pain (see here and here). Sleep patterns influence our psychological an emotional well-being (mood) which can further sensitise back pain and reduce the ability to cope and tolerate pain. Furthermore, worry and anxiety related to back pain (e.g.…
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Re-grounding biopsychosocial back pain research- Introducing Grounded Theory Method

Jun 26 2018

Patients’ and practitioners’ values, preferences and experiences are very much part of modern iterations of evidence-based practice (EBP), and developing a research-based knowledge of these constructs are crucial to the sensible and effective adoption of EBP by healthcare professionals [see seminal paper by Greenhalgh and colleagues here]. Its now widely accepted that evidence derived from…
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“I should be glowing not aching!”- The facts about low back pain during pregnancy

Mar 28 2018

I was recently invited to write a guest blog for social group Hampstead Mums, on the causes, risk factors and treatment options for pregnancy-related low back pain. A real dampener during pregnancy I see lots of mums-to-be in clinic experiencing back pain, and it can be a real dampener on their pregnancy experience. Low back…
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Low back pain: To scan, or not to scan? That is the question

Feb 25 2018

  Many of my osteopathy patients with low back pain (LBP) often ask me whether or not a scan is required, but the decision to scan is not always straight forward, so let’s clear a few things up. Firstly, there are several different types of scanning procedures used to investigate back pain, we’ll focus on…
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Follow @DrOliver_T

#Repost @wordsmatter_education. ・・・ Squeezing in a London Words Matter with back pain seminar- see link in bio! . Many thanks again to the wonderful @physioedmedical for hosting- so kind! . Space, seats and Swiss balls are limited! . #wordsmatter #backpain #physiotherapy #osteopathy #chiropractor @wordsmatter_education ...

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#Repost @wordsmatter_education ・・・ 🎙COMING SOON 🎙 . The Words Matter Podcast! . We’ll be talking to musculoskeletal academics, clinicians & researchers across the globe on all those sticky, swampy and complex areas of clinical interaction and communication. . Some excellent guests already lined up on topics including: . ⚠️ Communicating to patients around back back pain using a BPS framework. . ⚠️Using imaging findings to help inform, frame and shape peoples’ experience of pain. . ⚠️ How to help construct helpful/unhelpful beliefs and behaviours in people with back pain. . ⚠️ Delving in the lived-experiences of people with persistent pain and how language is part of their story (their narrative @kettlebellphysio 😳🔫) . ⚠️ Communication of risks, benefit and informed consent of manual and physical treatments. . ⚠️Using language in different forms of reassurance strategies in people with back pain. . Stay tuned and follow @wordsmatter_education 👀 . #wordsmatter #podcast #biopsychosocial #elearning #osteopath #physiotherapist #chiropractor #communicationskills ...

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#Repost @wordsmatter_education. . Part of developing expertise in patient-centred care is to take a critical stance towards practice knowledge and transitions. 🧐 . Such a stance allows clinicians to become aware of hidden assumptions, taken for granted knowledge, bias and blind spots in clinical practice. . Once we’re aware of these, we can begin to learn and address them to enhance our practice and reasoning. . Words Matters will help in this dynamic learning journey, develop clinical expertise in skills that actually matter to patient care: 👇🏻 . ✅ We have resources to encourage critical reflection on current practice, knowledge and traditions. . ✅ Learn skills to help you interpret, communicate and integrate research evidence to help inform your clinical reasoning, decision-making and navigate the complexities of person-centred clinical practice. . ✅ Develop your own individual model of clinical practice which is evidence-informed. . 👀 So stay tuned folks and follow @wordsmatter_education ✊🏻 . #wordsmatter #expertise #physiotherapist #osteopath #chiropractor #podiatrist #elearning #cpd #backpain #ebp #evidencebasedpractice @droliver_t ...

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Online resources to help operationalise and embody the biopsychosocial (BPS) framework for the enhanced care of patients with musculoskeletal pain. . Learn how to use the BPS principles to situate, frame and develop your musculoskeletal practice, using evidence to ease uncomfortable tensions, confusion and contradictions with the model and your practice. . FOLLOW 👉🏼 @wordsmatter_education . #biopsychosocial #wordsmatter #newgradphysicaltherapy #osteopathy #evidencebasedpractice #backpain #communicationskills #physiotherapy #chiropractic #personcentred @wordsmatter_education ...

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Clinical practice is a personal and socially interactive endeavour. . Technical knowledge and skills are vital for safe and effective care (clinical methods, techniques and biomedical knowledge) 🔨🔧⚒☠️. . However, it’s becoming clear that patients recovery from common musculoskeletal problems is influenced by a complex interaction of biological, social and psychological factors. . It’s these ‘softer’ skills which clinicians can find challenging to implement and develop. . Words frame and communicate our experiences in the internal (our body) and external world (environment). . @wordsmatter_education is my new endeavour to promote and develop clinicians’ skills and knowledge in communication and social interaction for clinical practice. . It’s NOT a: . ❌ Collection of sales techniques or sales pitches. . ❌ Communication ‘tricks’ to increase patient numbers/business. . ❌ Phrases to disempower and increase fear and treatment uptake. . ❌ Marketing techniques for your practice. . What @wordsmatter_education IS: . ✅ Online resources in communication skills to form more therapeutic and productive relationships with patients. . ✅ Evidence based strategies to enhance skills and competence in different areas of clinical communication; from communicating risk, reassurance, explaining/framing back pain. . ✅ A platform to encourage critical reflection on traditional communication approaches with people in pain and distress. . ✅ Ways to listen, understand and influence people in pain. . So stay tuned for online courses, videos, podcasts and webinars and follow @wordsmatter_education to stay in touch. . #wordsmatter #biopsychosocial #clinicalpractice #clinicalreasoning #elearning ...

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Leave a comment below (and/or respond in my story) 👇🏻😊 . (Thanks Nils Oudhuis of @trustmephysiotherapist for the inspiration ✊🏻) . #osteopathy #osteopathicmedicine #osteopatiavisceral #osteopatia #osteopathyworks #osteo #osteopata #osteopathie #osteopathic #cranialosteopathy #osteopathicmanipulation #omt #osteopati #osteopat #osteopatía #osteopatiapediatrica #pediatricosteopathy #osteopaths #visceralosteopathy ...

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🚨 WARNING, OVERLY LONG POST 🚨 🤷🏽 . Really pleased to have our systematic review protocol published (and soon to be registered in prospero)- it’s great to get this project off the ground. . The systematic review is the first stage of our larger study investigating the ‘biopsychosocialness’ of osteopaths across New Zealand. . The project adopts a mixed-methods approach using quantitative and qualitative data collection methods to address related but slightly different research questions on NZ osteopaths’ practice. . After the SR, we will conduct interviews with osteopaths to explore their experiences, beliefs, perceptions and challenges and orientating their clinical work towards a BPS approach. . Combined with the results from the SR, this qualitative data will help construct a questionnaire to collect data on osteopaths’ perceptions of the BPS model as it applies to their practice. ✊🏻 . Whilst the challenges and enablers of adopting a BPS approach have been identified in other professions (eg physiotherapy), and there’s some small-scale qualitative research- there’s limited research in osteopathy, and virtually none in NZ. 🇳🇿 . Given the traditional beliefs, philosophical/theoretical underpinning of osteopathy, combined with a strong emphasis an manual therapy and anatomical/biomechanical knowledge, and the professions’ societal location (largely in the private health sector), our project may identify specific challenges and enablers local to osteopaths (and more specifically those in NZ). . This knowledge will then allow specific educational/CPD interventions to be developed to meet these challenges. . Once we’ve collected the cross-sectional data, and the tool has been validated with some factor analysis/statistical wizardry 🧙‍♂️ it can be used to collect data on osteopaths’ BPS perceptions worldwide, giving a broad perspective. 🇬🇧 🇦🇺 🇨🇦 🇫🇷 🇮🇹 🇪🇸 . I’m delighted to be part of a multidisciplinary team of researchers and chuffed to have Ben Darlow involved who is a real leader in the LBP/BPS field. . Stay posted for regular updates on the project. . #osteopathicmedicine #osteopathy #biopsychosocial #biopsychosocialmodel #mixedmethods #physiotherapy #osteopath ...

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💥 WORDS MATTER MELBOURNE IS ALMOST HERE 💥 . Can’t wait to team up with my good buddy and mover and shaker (for back pain at least 🕺🏼) Ben McChesney from @balanceosteopathy. . When in pain, our words we use to convey messages, frame people’s pain, experience and disabilities is crucial to aiding their recovery; it was the germ of an idea drove me to develop the Words Matter sessions. . But using movement (whether active exercise or more passive manual therapy) in combination with purposeful language can create even more profound experiences, meaning, emotional & psychological responses in patients with back pain. . Can’t wait for Sunday. Still time to sign up in Eventbrite. Stayed tuned for regular updates during the day 📱 . #wordsmatter #cpd #osteopathy #chiropractic #physiotherapy #physio #physioaustralia #chiroaustralia @osteopathyau #myotherapy ...

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Counting down the days until Words Matter hits Melbourne 🇦🇺📅 . Super excited to team up with good buddy and osteo/movement wiz Ben from @balanceosteopathy to incorporate therapeutic movement and exercise into the successful Words Matters sessions at @victoriauniversity. . Together Ben and I will help develop musculoskeletal therapists’ skills and knowledge in language and communication as they relate to all areas of the clinical interaction with people with low back pain. . The full day workshop will help orientate your clinical reasoning frameworks to utilise contemporary biopsychosocial approaches to back pain. . Drawing upon the latest research evidence, we’ll discuss strategies for effective and therapeutic communication with patients experiencing back pain, in conjunction with matched movement and rehabilitation strategies. . For tickets and full details of the program search Eventbrite (Australia). . #osteopathy #physiotherapy #chiropractic #movementismedicine #movementislife #movementtherapy #myotherapy #physiotherapyaustralia #osteopathyaustralia #chiropracticaustralia @osteopathyau @myotherapyassociationau #biopsychosocial #evidencebasedpractice #lowbackpain ...

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