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

Case histories are not ‘taken’, diagnoses are not ‘given’ and clinical findings are not ‘collected’. . Rather, these subjective elements of the patient-practitioner interactions are co-constructed, by both individuals giving, taking and sharing. . In this snippet of The Words Matter Podcast, Dr Ben Darlow and I discuss enabling the patient to be part of the building process so that together the partnership enables the identification of therapeutic strategies together. . Listen to the full episode on Apple, Android and online. 🎙 . Help the podcast grow- Subscribe, Rate and Share. 🙏🏼 . 🚨Use the DISCOUNT CODE ‘POD03’ to receive 25% OFF the Words Matter Effective Communication & Language when Managing LBP - valid over THIS weekend- jump over to @wordsmatter_education and check link in bio 🚨 #osteopathy #physiotherapy #chiropractic #biopsychosocial #elearning #onlinelearning #wordsmatter #therapeuticrelationship #physicaltherapy #communicationskills #socialconstruct #qualitativeresearch #podcast #thewordsmatterpodcast #wordsmatter ...

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💥NEW PODCAST💥 . Dr Ben Darlow and I on the “Enduring explanations and building beliefs in people with back pain” . Listen @wordsmatter_education Podcast on Apple, Spotify and Online. See link in Bio. . If you like the podcast, help it grow- Listen, Rate, Subscribe and Share 🙏🏼 . Artwork by the super talented @freyagilmoreosteo . #osteopathy #physiotherapy #chiropractic #biopsychosocial #elearning #onlinelearning #wordsmatter #therapeuticrelationship #physicaltherapy #communicationskills #thewordsmatterpodcast #backpainbeliefs #fearavoidance ...

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Another snippet of my chat with David Hohenschurz-Schmidt in taking MSK remotely for the The Words Matter Podcast @wordsmatter_education . 🖥📱 . In this clip we address a fundamental question here about the perceived value of hands on assessment of patients in pain, and what some clinicians may feel is lost when not being able to get ‘hands on’. . Listen, subscribe and rate on Apple and Android podcast directories. . #osteopathy #physiotherapy #chiropractic #biopsychosocial #elearning #onlinelearning #wordsmatter #therapeuticrelationship #physicaltherapy #communicationskills #thewordsmatterpodcast #wordsmatter #remotemsk #workingremotely #workingfromhomeperks ...

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#Repost @wordsmatter_education. . You’re a thinking, caring, listening and communicating clinician. . You’re more than a manipulation, exercise, K-tape or needle technique. . There’s a range of effective therapeutic tools in your toolbox, you may just not be aware or have the confidence to use them. . Check out Words Matter for Podcasts and online courses on using communication and language when managing low back pain to help grow your confidence in your toolbox. . #biopsychosocial #onlinelearning #osteopath #physiotherapy #chiropractor #elearning #onlinelearning #cpd #communicationskills @droliver_t ...

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🚨 Special COVID19 Podcast🚨 . This is an impromptu @wordsmatter_education podcast given that the world is in the grip of the COVID19 pandemic, and we are all having to adjust to new ways of living, thinking and being- including how we practice as clinicians. . In this episode I spoke with David Hohenshurz-Schmidt about how communication skills have now been thrust into the forefront of MSK and manual therapy practice, given that we are now unable to touch their patients due to the pandemic. . We spoke about the shift in skills necessary for manual therapists and MSK clinicians to conduct appointments remotely either online or via telephone, and there requires a change in how clinicians (and patients) conceptualise and see value in all different aspects of the clinical practice, such as the nature of ‘treatment’, their therapeutic role and their professional identity. . Listen online, or Apple, Spotify or Overcast. . #covid19 #workingfromhome #musculoskeletal #physiotherapy #osteopath #chiropractor #communicationskills #biopsychosocial #elearning ...

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NEW PODCAST: NOCEBIC NARRATIVES OF THE SIJ. 🎙 . On this episode of the @wordsmatter_education Podcast, I spoke with Physiotherapist and Associate Professor Dr Thorvaldur (Valdi) Palsson. . We talked about his excellent recent article in Physical Therapy Journal titled "Changing the Narrative in Diagnosis and Management of Pain in the Sacroiliac Joint Area”. . Manual and musculoskeletal therapies and educators have, over the years, placed huge emphasis on the specifics of SIJ movement, position, function, palpation from both a diagnostics point of view and from the point of view of matching up the specific SIJ movement or positional dysfunction with a specific technique to correct it. . Some clinicians have built their career and professional identities on the mystical phenomenon of the SIJ 'dysfunction’. . We talked about the the plausibility of manual testing and manual therapy to the SIJ, and the sorts of beliefs that practitioners and patients have in relation to the area. . Then we go into the weeds, and discussed that by paying attention to the language that patients use provides us an opportunity to obtain interpretive portrayal of an individuals’ beliefs and experiences. . We also spoke about why words matter in relation to the SIJ regions and language provides an opportunity for us to begin to help shape new beliefs and news experiences in people with LBP/SIJ pain. . A really enjoyable podcast, @tspalsson was a great engaging guest. . So #StayHome and listen via link in Bio, or Spotify and Apple. . Artwork by @freyagilmoreosteo . #newpodcast #wordsmatter #biopsychosocial #physiotherapy #chiropracticadjustment #osteopathy #manualtherapy #evidencebasedpractice #musculoskeletal #sacroiliacjointdysfunction #SIJ #stayhome ...

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There’s something about self-efficacy ✊🏻 . Increased self-efficacy (confidence) helps reduce pain-related fear and reduces disability from back pain. . Words can build or destroy someone’s confidence- choose yours well ⚠️ . Check out Online learning in communication and BPS skills for MSK therapists at @wordsmatter_education . . #wordsmatter #onlinelearning #physicaltherapy #osteopathy #chiropractor #cpd #backpain #elearning #kajabi ...

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#Repost @wordsmatter_education ・・・ 👀 Coming soon 👀 . Online videos and resources on effective language & communication when managing back pain- how to help and not harm. . Stay tuned 💬 . #qualitativeresearch #wordsmatter #biopsychosocial #backpain #osteopath #physiotherapy #chiropractor #clinicalreasoning #evidencebasedpractice ...

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#Repost @wordsmatter_education ・・・ Crimes they may not be, but creating fear, anxiety, worry and low self-efficacy with clumsy, outdated, poorly-evidenced (untrue) biomedical language is irresponsible at best, harmful at worst. ⚠️ . Many clinicians will be adhering to the theories and models taught to them at their undergrad training and using these to shape their discourse with patients- unaware of the potential negative impact of their words on patients experience, emotions, behaviours and recovery 📉 . Well now you know. Speak responsibly ⚠️ . #wordsmatter #biopsychosocialmodel #physiotherapist #osteopath #chiropractor #selfefficacy #lowbackpain @wordsmatter_education ...

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