active X backs

/active X backs
active X backs2019-01-08T07:30:23+00:00

About Active X Backs

It’s taken 26 years of experience and innovation to craft an experience you can rely on to be professional, effective and reliable. Our aim is to take you from whatever place of suffering you find yourself in and help you to “Feel great, and live longer”.

Our holistic approach to you and your body means that we pay close attention to lifestyle factors as well as to the structure and function of the skeleton, muscles, joints and connective tissues; allowing you to reach your optimum level of well-being, both in the short and long-term.

Pain Relief

Our primary focus initially is to relieve your back pain or other pain as quickly as possible.

Osteopath and Chief Back Officer Gavin Routledge has nearly 30 years of experience in specialising in spinal problems, from mild strains, right through to prolapsed discs, compressed nerves and a myriad of other possible diagnoses.  With a Masters Degree in Pain Management, he is author of two books on back pain: “The Back Book” in 1997 with Gavin Hastings OBE, and in 2017 “active X backs – an effective long-term solution to lower back pain”.

Make an appointment with Gavin
Best osteopath in Edinburgh?

Feel Great, Live Longer

Our Feel Great, Live Longer (FGLL) plan is a membership plan designed to help you to optimise the health of your back and the rest of you (your back doesn’t operate in isolation!).  We coach you daily via your smartphone (the app includes information, exercises, yoga and pilates videos, nutritional guidance and so much more), provide you with supportive, appropriate treatment and accountability, and rapid access to Gavin should that ever be required.  This is a best-in-class service that maximises your chances of sticking to a preventative approach, because after all… prevention is better than cure.

Monthly FGLL (6 month commitment)

  • Daily health-coaching + health-related podcasts. Additional appointments at £53.00

Fortnightly FGLL (12 weeks commitment)

  • Daily health-coaching + health-related podcasts. Additional appointments at £52.00

Weekly FGLL (6 weeks commitment)

  • Daily health-coaching + health-related podcasts. Additional appointments at £45.00

Enjoy the benefits of our Massage Membership

For a limited time only, we’re offering an introductory price of £39.95* for your first 50 minute massage when you sign up to one of our plans.


More on the treatments we offer…

Osteopathy is a system of diagnosis and treatment for a wide range of medical conditions. It works with the structure and function of the body and is based on the principle that the well-being of an individual depends on the skeleton, muscles, ligaments and connective tissues functioning smoothly together.

The profession is regulated by the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) and it is a criminal offence to describe oneself as an osteopath unless registered with this body. Our osteopaths are registered with GOsC, adhere to its code of conduct and surpass its annual requirements for Continuous Professional Development.

To an osteopath, for your body to work well, its structure must also work well. So osteopaths work to restore your body to a state of balance, where possible without the use of drugs or surgery. Osteopaths use touch, physical manipulation, stretching and massage to increase the mobility of joints, to relieve muscle tension, to enhance the blood and nerve supply to tissues, and to help your body’s own healing mechanisms. They may also provide advice on correct posture and exercise to aid recovery, promote health and prevent symptoms recurring.

Osteopaths are perhaps best known for helping people with lower back problems, and there is good scientific evidence for this working well (see this BMJ Report on the effectiveness of physical treatments for back pain). We have patients from across Edinburgh, Fife and the Lothians, but a huge concentration from EH4 and EH12.

Active X Backs in Edinburgh provides a fabulous massage experience.  Other clinics will talk about Swedish Massage, Remedial Massage, Sports Massage, Indian Head Massage and so on… But what’s most important is that you have a fabulous massage. So we have a menu of massages for you to select from, and every other aspect of your massage is tailored to your preferences.  See our massage menu here.

Massage is known to be helpful for:

  • Stress Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI)
  • Whiplash
  • Lower Back Pain
  • Knee Injuries
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Carpel Tunnel Syndrome
  • Muscle Sprains
  • Sciatica
  • Sports Injuries
  • Tension Headaches
  • Back ache
  • Neck Pain
  • Shin Splints
  • Frozen Shoulder
  • Golfers Elbow
  • Tendonitis
  • Muscle Strains
  • Arthritis

What to expect from your first massage appointment

Your first massage appointment will involve a massage therapist taking a detailed medical history. This is to make sure that there are no underlying medical conditions that would indicate massage is not suitable – if this is the case, the therapist will refer you to your GP or another suitable health practitioner. If you and the therapist are satisfied with the consultation, the massage will go ahead. The therapist can be present or if you prefer can leave the room while you undress to your underwear. Once on the couch the therapist will drape you in towels for your comfort. Some techniques used during massage may be uncomfortable but should not be painful. Please tell the therapist if the pressure is too deep or at all painful. The massage should be a deeply pleasant experience. Also ask the therapist to go deeper if you feel it is too light. Please drink water after the treatment to allow the body to flush out toxins from the muscles that the therapist has been working on.

Poor posture can cause aches and pains and an increased rate of degenerative changes. But more than that, poor posture has been linked with a worsening of asthma, high blood pressure and digestive problems. At Active X Backs we analyse your posture and demonstrate where the stresses on your body are greater than they should be. We then show you how to improve your posture, lessening the rate of degenerative changes and increasing your day-to-day comfort. A 40 minute appointment is all it takes to advise you of the changes you need to make to achieve the correct posture (£82). In addition, we can prescribe a set of exercises specific to your needs to help improve your posture. The appointment includes:

  • Full phtographic postural analysis
  • Posture advice
  • Online exercise resource
  • Re-analysis (can be arranged for a later date)

Our osteopaths are also qualified in acupuncture techniques. We provide this service as part of our commitment to pain relief and can combine it with any of the other treatments on this website.

We use an orthodox medical diagnosis to deduce the best acupuncture course for your physical needs. We also have rigorous standards for the safe practice of acupuncture and conduct our therapy in a relaxed and professional environment. Acupuncture at Active X Backs is not a stand-alone treatment, but is integrated as part of an osteopathic appointment.