Dr David Evans PhD, BSc(Hons) Ost

Dr David Evans

School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences
Research Fellow

Contact details

School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr David Evans is an expert in musculoskeletal pain. His research interests are broad but are centred around better understanding and measuring disabling pain, with a view to matching the right treatment to the right patients at the right time.


  • 2007 - PhD (low back pain), Keele University
  • 1998 - BSc (Honours) in Osteopathy, University College of Osteopathy, London


Dr David Evans received his BSc (Honours) in Osteopathy from University College of Osteopathy (formerly the British School of Osteopathy), London in 1998, and has maintained a clinical workload since that time. After completing his PhD at Keele University in 2007, he worked as a Research Fellow on several large clinical trials at Warwick Clinical Trials Unit, University of Warwick. He holds Honorary Research Fellowships with several institutions, including the University College of Osteopathy, and Institute of Osteopathy, University College of Health Sciences, Norway. 

Dr Evans’s current research focuses on measuring disabling musculoskeletal pain and identifying causative and prognostic factors related to persistent post-trauma pain. Other research interests include the development of new tools for pain measurement and evaluation, predicting longitudinal outcomes in musculoskeletal pain and disability, identifying modes of interaction between health, disease and interventions, exploring responses to noxious somatosensory stimuli, describing the spatiotemporal progression of pain, and the mechanisms of action underlying physical treatments, with a particular interest in spinal manipulation.


MSc Advanced Manipulative Physiotherapy. Topics: Pan and spinal manipulation

BSc Physiotherapy. Topics: pain


Dr David Evans's research principally focuses on:

  • Prognostic indicators for long-term pain
  • Pain measurement and evaluation
  • Spatiotemporal progression of pain
  • Causation of disabling pain and its persistence
  • Matching interventions to patients in pain
  • Pain responses to somatosensory stimuli
Mechanisms of action underlying physical analgesic interventions


Liew B, Lee HY, Rügamer D, De Nunzio AM, Heneghan N, Falla D, Evans DW. 2021 A novel metric of reliability in pressure pain threshold measurement. Scientific Reports: 11(6944). DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-86344-6.

DW Evans, AM De Nunzio. 2020 Controlled manual loading of body tissues: towards the next generation of pressure algometer. Chiropractic & Manual Therapies; 28 (1), 1-11.

Alalawi A, Luque-Suarez A, Fernandez-Sanchez M, Gallina A, Evans DW, Falla D. 2020 Do measures of physical function enhance the prediction of persistent pain and disability following a whiplash injury? Protocol for a prospective observational study in Spain. BMJ open; 10 (10), e035736.

Middlebrook N, Heneghan NR, Evans DW, Rushton A, Falla D. 2020 Reliability of temporal summation, thermal and pressure pain thresholds in a healthy cohort and musculoskeletal trauma population. PLoS ONE 15(5): e0233521. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0233521 

Amundsen PA, Evans DW, Rajendran D, et al. Inclusion and exclusion criteria used in non-specific low back pain trials: a review of randomised controlled trials published between 2006 and 2012. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders. 2018;19(1):113. Published 2018 Apr 12. doi:10.1186/s12891-018-2034-6

Rushton AB, Evans DW, Middlebrook N, Heneghan NR, Small C, Lord J, Patel JM, Falla D. 2018 Development of a Screening Tool to Predict the Risk of Chronic Pain and Disability Following Musculoskeletal Trauma: Protocol for a Prospective Observational Study in the United Kingdom. BMJ Open, 2018 Apr 28;8(4):e017876. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-017876.

Evans DW, Lucas N, Kerry R. 2017 The form of causation in health, disease and intervention: biopsychosocial dispositionalism, conserved quantity transfers and dualist mechanistic chains. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy; 2017 Jan 25. doi: 10.1007/s11019-017-9753-6.

Evans DW, Lucas N, Kerry R. 2016 Time, space and form: necessary for causation in health, disease and intervention. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy; 19(2): 207-13.

Froud R, Bjørkli T, Bright P, Rajendran D, Buchbinder R, Underwood M, Evans DW, Eldridge S. 2015 The effect of journal impact factor, reporting conflicts, and reporting funding sources, on standardized effect sizes in back pain trials: a systematic review and meta-regression. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders (2015) 16:370; DOI 10.1186/s12891-015-0825-6.

Evans DW. 2012 Osteopathic principles: More harm than good? International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine; 16: 46-53.

Patel S, Psychol C, Friede T, Froud R, Evans DW, Underwood M. 2012 Systematic review of randomised controlled trials of clinical prediction rules for physical therapy in low back pain. Spine, 38(9): 762-9.

Lamb SE, Mistry D, Lall R, Hansen Z, Evans DW, Withers EJ, Underwood MR, on behalf of the BeST team. 2012 Group cognitive behavioural interventions for low back pain in primary care. Extended follow-up of the Back Skills Training Trial (ISRCTN54717854). Pain; 153(2): 494-501.

Heine PJ, Williams MA, Williamson E, Bridle C, Adams J, O’Brien A, Evans DW, Lamb SE, on behalf of the SARAH team. 2011 Development and delivery of an exercise intervention for rheumatoid arthritis: Strengthening and stretching for rheumatoid arthritis of the hand (SARAH) trial. Physiotherapy; 98:121-130.

Evans DW, Lucas N. 2010 What is 'manipulation'? A reappraisal. Manual Therapy; 15(3): 286-91.

Evans DW. 2010 Why do spinal manipulation techniques take the form they do? Towards a general model of spinal manipulation. Manual Therapy; 15(3): 212-9.

Evans DW, Breen AC, Pincus T, Sim J, Underwood M, Vogel S, Foster NE. 2010 The effectiveness of a posted information package on the beliefs and behaviour of musculoskeletal practitioners: the UK Chiropractors, Osteopaths and Musculoskeletal Physiotherapists Low back pain ManagemENT (COMPLeMENT) randomised trial. Spine; 35(8): 858-66.

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