Omer Elma

Dr Omer Elma

  • oelma at bournemouth dot ac dot uk
  • Lecturer in Physiotherapy
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My research interest lies in uncovering the intricate links between chronic (MSK) pain and lifestyle factors, metabolism, neuroimmunology. Furthermore, I am deeply intrigued by personalized lifestyle interventions within the chronic pain domain, leveraging the power of AI. Additionally, I am enthusiastic about harnessing data science methodologies to advance our understanding and treatment strategies in this field.

Prospective PhD candidates are encouraged to connect with me to explore potential funding opportunities and research topics related to chronic musculoskeletal pain, human metabolism, personalized lifestyle interventions, and the utilization of data science techniques.

Journal Articles

  • Elma, Ö., Tümkaya Yılmaz, S., Nijs, J., Clarys, P., Coppieters, I., Mertens, E., Malfliet, A. and Deliens, T., 2024. Impaired Carbohydrate Metabolism among Women with Chronic Low Back Pain and the Role of Dietary Carbohydrates: A Randomized Controlled Cross-Over Experiment. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 13 (7).
  • Nijs, J., Elma, Ö. et al., 2024. Nociceptive, neuropathic, or nociplastic low back pain? The low back pain phenotyping (BACPAP) consortium's international and multidisciplinary consensus recommendations. The Lancet Rheumatology, 6 (3), e178-e188.
  • Nijs, J., Elma, Ö. et al., 2023. Towards precision pain medicine for pain after cancer: the Cancer Pain Phenotyping Network multidisciplinary international guidelines for pain phenotyping using nociplastic pain criteria. British Journal of Anaesthesia, 130 (5), 611-621.
  • Elma, Ö., Tümkaya Yılmaz, S., Nijs, J., Clarys, P., Coppieters, I., Mertens, E., Deliens, T. and Malfliet, A., 2023. Proinflammatory Dietary Intake Relates to Pain Sensitivity in Chronic Nonspecific Low Back Pain: A Case-Control Study. Journal of Pain.
  • Elma, Ö., Brain, K. and Dong, H.J., 2022. The Importance of Nutrition as a Lifestyle Factor in Chronic Pain Management: A Narrative Review. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 11 (19).
  • Tatta, J., Nijs, J., Elma, Ö., Malfliet, A. and Magnusson, D., 2022. The Critical Role of Nutrition Care to Improve Pain Management: A Global Call to Action for Physical Therapist Practice. Physical Therapy, 102 (4).
  • Tümkaya Yılmaz, S., Malfliet, A., Elma, Ö., Deliens, T., Nijs, J., Clarys, P., De Groef, A. and Coppieters, I., 2022. Diet/Nutrition: Ready to Transition from a Cancer Recurrence/Prevention Strategy to a Chronic Pain Management Modality for Cancer Survivors? Journal of Clinical Medicine, 11 (3).
  • Elma, Ö., Lebuf, E., Marnef, A.Q., Tümkaya Yilmaz, S., Coppieters, I., Clarys, P., Nijs, J., Malfliet, A. and Deliens, T., 2022. Diet can exert both analgesic and pronociceptive effects in acute and chronic pain models: a systematic review of preclinical studies. Nutritional Neuroscience, 25 (10), 2195-2217.
  • Malfliet, A., Quiroz Marnef, A., Nijs, J., Clarys, P., Huybrechts, I., Elma, Ö., Tumkaya Yilmaz, S. and Deliens, T., 2021. Obesity Hurts: The Why and How of Integrating Weight Reduction with Chronic Pain Management. Physical Therapy, 101 (11).
  • Yılmaz, S.T., Elma, Ö., Deliens, T., Coppieters, I., Clarys, P., Nijs, J. and Malfliet, A., 2021. Nutrition/dietary supplements and chronic pain in patients with cancer and survivors of cancer: A systematic review and research agenda. Pain Physician, 24 (5), 335-344.
  • Leemans, L., Elma, Ö., Nijs, J., Wideman, T.H., Siffain, C., den Bandt, H., Van Laere, S. and Beckwée, D., 2021. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation and heat to reduce pain in a chronic low back pain population: a randomized controlled clinical trial. Brazilian Journal of Physical Therapy, 25 (1), 86-96.
  • Elma, Ö., Yilmaz, S.T., Deliens, T., Clarys, P., Nijs, J., Coppieters, I., Polli, A. and Malfliet, A., 2020. Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain and Nutrition: Where Are We and Where Are We Heading? PM and R, 12 (12), 1268-1278.
  • Nijs, J., Elma, Ö. et al., 2020. Nutritional intervention in chronic pain: an innovative way of targeting central nervous system sensitization? Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Targets, 24 (8), 793-803.
  • Elma, Ö., Yilmaz, S.T., Deliens, T., Coppieters, I., Clarys, P., Nijs, J. and Malfliet, A., 2020. Nutritional factors in chronic musculoskeletal pain: unravelling the underlying mechanisms. British Journal of Anaesthesia, 125 (2), e231-e233.
  • Nijs, J., Elma, Ö. et al., 2020. Lifestyle and Chronic Pain across the Lifespan: An Inconvenient Truth? PM and R, 12 (4), 410-419.
  • Elma, Ö., Yilmaz, S.T., Deliens, T., Coppieters, I., Clarys, P., Nijs, J. and Malfliet, A., 2020. Do nutritional factors interact with chronic musculoskeletal pain? A systematic review. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 9 (3).
  • Nijs, J. et al., 2019. Nutritional neurobiology and central nervous system sensitisation: missing link in a comprehensive treatment for chronic pain? British Journal of Anaesthesia, 123 (5), 539-543.

Profile of Teaching UG

  • Level 4: Science for Physiotherapy Practice
  • Level 4: Foundations of Sports Therapy
  • Level 5: Outpatient Rehabilitation
  • Level 5: Rehabilitation in Sports Therapy
  • Level 6: Research Project


  • Pain Neuroscience Education and Persistent Postpartum Pain: Patient Public Involvement and Engagement Project (Wessex Health Partners Seed Funding, 01 Jul 2024). In Progress
  • Unrevealing the association between chronic pain and dietary patterns: UK Biobank Study (Bournemouth University - PUMP-PRIMING internal grant, 01 Feb 2024). In Progress


  • PhD in Chronic low back pain, metabolism, and nutrition (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, 2023)
  • MSc in Advancing Neuromusculoskeletal Practice (University of Nottingham, 2017)
  • BSc (Hons) in Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation (Bolu Abant Izzet Baysal University, 2014)