What our patients say about us

“Amazing fact – I’ve been taking prescription painkillers since the accident (14 years ago) but haven’t needed any since about April this year. I think it is safe to say I am now officially active X‘s biggest fan!”
Catriona Anderson

“active X backs sorted out my back pain when I was playing and I still see them whenever I have a problem. I would highly recommend them to help with any type of back, neck or shoulder problem you have.”
Gavin Hastings OBE, Ex-Captain of the Scottish Rugby Team

“I have been attending the clinic for well over 10 years. As a healthcare professional I have been consistently impressed by the approach of all of the staff with whom I have interacted. In particular the osteopaths have performed detailed and accurate assessments and the treatments delivered have on every occasion been of substantial benefit both symptomatically and in improving function. I have recommended the clinic to colleagues, patients, family and will continue to do so.”
Dr Graham Nimmo

“I’ve been assisted by active X for about three years now. Without them a lot of my success wouldn’t be possible. Training 6-7 times a week always comes with the worry of injury and as an athlete injury prevention is very important. I am very grateful for the help received so far from Gavin, Lynne and Alex who have each given me first class treatment. Whether it be helping with mending me after crashes – which as a track cyclist does happen, and usually at high speed – preparing for competitions through massage, or dealing with any niggles which arise due to the high volume of training.”
Emma Baird, City of Edinburgh Racing Club Track Cyclist

“My otherwise healthy, rugby-playing 14 year old son had been suffering from such bad headaches for over four years that he was regularly having to miss school and the NHS solution was daily medication, which I wasn’t happy about. Contacting active X backs has changed our lives. Within two sessions we had noticed an improvement and with continuing care we are almost daring to hope that his headaches are a thing of the past. I cannot recommend their sympathetic and friendly approach highly enough.”
Anon

“I’ve been quite lucky in that I have only had a few minor injuries over the years. I use active X primarily for body maintenance / upkeep, in order to catch any problems before they get a chance to develop further. Gavin and his staff are very good at providing re-alignment and sports massage.”
Bruce Croall, City of Edinburgh Racing Club Track Cyclist

“After years of pain in my neck and back from accidents and looking down a microscope all day, my life was changed by the treatment I received here. I’d had lower back pain for ages and thought I had to accept it as part of growing older: wear and tear. Latterly though, it had become almost unbearable. I was never comfortable and always aware of pain – some days even walking hurt! A work colleague recommended active X backs to me. I was walking down the road after one of my appointments, when I suddenly realised I was walking erect and had no back pain at all. active X backs are my support team (and also that of my club members) and I know if I was ever injured they would be there offering an exceptionally high level of service with the aim of not only getting me back to training, but in a position of performing at a very high level. I’m fortunate enough to only have had the need to use active X backs for two sessions – both times Gavin and his staff worked their magic and I was back training within two days. I know my team mates have used active X for back issues and neck problems (amongst other things) and the advice and treatment given has really shaped the way their season went. If it wasn’t for active X backs, half of the team would be off the bikes injured or training through pain, which never promotes an environment for top performance.”
Jenny Davis, City of Edinburgh Racing Club Track Cyclist

active X backs interviews Emma Baird, City of Edinburgh Racing Club Track Cyclist
December 2012

active X – How long have you been a competitive cyclist and what got you into it?

Emma – Track cycling was something I got into at a very late age. Previously I had been a 100m/200m runner and played football for Hibernian Girls. However, with constant impact training a shin injury played havoc on me continuing in these sports.

While I was at Stirling University studying Sports Science I attended a lecture on Talent Identification. This lecture not only gave me hope while nursing an injury but was soon to be a solution. Talent Identification consists of finding athletes from one sport and transferring them into another if they have the correct physical raw materials to be successful.

After this lecture I was enlightened and waited behind to ask Alan Lynn about Talent ID. He said that due to the 2014 commonwealth games the Scottish Institute of Sport were running programmes to find cross over athletes. I went home and did some research and came across the “Gold4Glasgow” initiative, a programme set up originally to find female track cyclists.

I went along to the testing day where I took part in rigorous testing specific to track cycling – mine was measured as the highest power output on the day! Here I was told that I was ideal for sprint cycling and should give it a go. It’s three years now since I first tried track cycling and I have never looked back.

active X – What’s your greatest cycling achievement to date?

Emma – Every Success you have in cycling has a great memory or feeling behind it. However, two which I can’t separate from being the greatest have to be the Bronze British Medal in the Team Sprint, and the Scottish Title which I won this year in the new Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome where I broke the Scottish record in the women’s 500m time trial.

active X – Injury is obviously a concern for any keen athlete, how do you cope with this and how does activex clinics assist you?

Emma – I’ve been assisted by active X backs for about three years now. Without you a lot of my success wouldn’t be possible. Training 6-7 times a week always comes with the worry of injury and as an athlete injury prevention is very important. I am very grateful for the help received so far from Gavin, Lynne and Alex who have each given me first class treatment. Whether it be helping with mending me after crashes – which as a track cyclist does happen, and usually at high speed – preparing for competitions through massage, or dealing with any niggles which arise due to the high volume of training.

active X – What are you aiming for now?

Emma – Currently I’m working towards qualifying for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

active X backs wishes Emma and her team at the City of Edinburgh Racing Club all the very best for the 2014 Commonwealth Games qualifiers and beyond.

active X backs interviews Bruce Croall, City of Edinburgh Racing Club Track Cyclist
January 2013

active X – How long have you been a competitive cyclist and what got you into it?

Bruce – I have been cycling since 1994. Me and a group of friends from school all took part in a mountain bike race in Penicuik. I currently race track / velodrome events and have done since 2006. I got into track cycling because I wanted to be in the Scottish Team and race at a Commonwealth Games event.

active X – What’s your greatest cycling achievement to date?

Bruce – Winning and breaking the Scottish 1K time trial record at Meadowbank, of which Chris Hoy had held.

active X – Injury is obviously a concern for any keen athlete, how do you cope with this and how does active X backs assist you?

Bruce – I’ve been quite lucky in that I have only had a few minor injuries over the years.  I use active X primarily for body maintenance / upkeep, in order to catch any problems before they get a chance to develop further. Gavin and his staff are very good at providing re-alignment and sports massage.

active X – What are you aiming for now?

Bruce – I am aiming to compete at Glasgow 2014 as part of the Team Sprint and in the 1K time trial. I am on the Scottish Elite Athlete Programme for 2013 – so with this and the Glasgow indoor velodrome, which has just recently opened, it’s looking promising!

active X backs wishes Bruce and his team at the City of Edinburgh Racing Club all the very best for the 2014 Commonwealth Games qualifiers and beyond.

active X backs interviews Jenny Davis, City of Edinburgh Racing Club Track Cyclist
February 2010

active X – How and when did you first stumble on track cycling?

Jenny – I had a slightly unusual introduction to track cycling. I was actually a judo player for about 18 years and fought for Scotland and GB as a junior and senior player. After all those years of hard graft I decided to take a break from the sport but kept training in the gym to stay fit and healthy.

About a year had passed and I was chatting to one of the strength coaches I used to work with. They suggested that I give track cycling a try out because the gym results I had achieved were on a similar level to track sprint athletes (female equivalent of Chris Hoy). I wasn’t really that interested so they lost the rag a little. From memory their argument went something along the lines of “this is a complete waste of talent you’ve got Jenny, a complete waste!” I wasn’t that happy with the accusation of “wasted talent” so I agreed to try out track cycling and found that I did have a bit of a flair for it.

active X – What is involved in your training regime and how do you fit this in with a busy lifestyle and full-time job?

Jenny – I have about three to four sessions of bike work a week (depending on the time of year and the weather). Sometimes these can be on the velodrome, sometimes on indoor rollers and sometimes on the road, and then about two gym sessions a week. I’m not a big believer in training for hours on end. All my sessions are between one and one and a half hours, so the intensity tends to be a little higher but it means I’m not having to spend hours training, which is important for me because I am still working full time at Standard Life Plc.

I have very specific goals I want to achieve and a training program in place to help me achieve those goals. The training program is broken down into very small goals so they don’t feel like such an effort (for example aiming to get a second off one of my times is a huge goal in my event but aiming for 0.1 seconds off is much more manageable). Now I am only 0.1 second off qualifying for the Commonwealth Games this year in Delhi and confident I can reach the time I need.

I’m pretty picky about what I do with my time. The one thing everyone has the same amount of is time – whether you are a 9-5 worker or a millionaire like Richard Branson. I’m sure Richard Branson would pay millions for more time. It’s the one thing that when it’s gone you can’t get it back. So the time I do have, I make sure it is working for me and what I want to achieve in my life – regardless of whether it is for sport or my own personal goals.

I came across a little exercise I tried out about a year ago that has really helped me fit everything in. It might seem a bit silly at first but every single person I know that has done this has been astounded by the results. For three days I spent a couple of minutes jotting down exactly what I was doing as the day progressed – including everything. So for example, when I woke up I spent 10mins talking to my partner, 5mins brushing my teeth and getting organised in the bathroom. I went on the internet and played a game for about 20mins, then rushed to get changed into my cycling gear to cycle to work because I was late (10mins). Cycled to work 20mins, shower and changed 15mins, and so my day continued.

After a couple of days I looked at where I was spending my time and was flabbergasted at the huge amount of time I was wasting watching the television, surfing the Internet, playing games etc. Hours of time that I was wasting in my life doing nothing! So I tried to weed some of those things out and can now fit a lot more into my day.

active X – How do you overcome both the physical and mental challenges inherent in such an extreme style of cycling?

Jenny – Lots of sleep! Every morning I check what my resting heart rate is (it only takes 1 min), if it is out of the normal range for me (increase more than 10-15 beats a min) then I know to lay off training as I might not be recovered or I might be ill. The last time I was ill, my resting heart rate was about 80 beats per minute two days before the symptoms came so I was able to lay off training so I could get over the illness quicker.

Mentally I just focus on the next baby step goal and don’t worry about the big problems or goals I am aiming for. If I take care of the small things every day, the big things take care of themselves.

active X – Injury is obviously a concern for any keen athlete, how do you cope with this and how does active X backs assist you?

Jenny – Just the thought of an injury for any athlete tends to fill us with dread. Unfortunately it is part of sport and life in general. I’m sure all your patients will relate to injury and wanting to get back to a “pain free” normality regardless of who they are, and like anyone else you don’t tend to think about it until it actually happens, then you are left trying to find a solution and FAST!

If you’re lucky enough to have a team of people to support you that are medically trained and true professionals it can make a huge difference in the level of recovery and the time it takes to get back to normality. active X are my support team (and also that of my club members) and I know if I was ever injured they would be there offering an exceptionally high level of service with the aim of not only getting me back to training, but in a position of performing at a very high level.

I’m fortunate enough to only have had the need to use active X backs for two sessions – both times Gavin and his staff worked their magic and I was back training within two days. I know my team mates have used active X for back issues and neck problems (amongst other things) and the advice and treatment given has really shaped the way their season went. If it wasn’t for active X backs,half of the team would be off the bikes injured or training through pain, which never promotes an environment for top performance.

active X – What are your future aspirations in terms of the City of Edinburgh Racing Club team and plans for the Commonwealth Games?

Jenny – The Commonwealth Games this year are in Delhi in October and there are three girls in our club all aiming to qualify within the next eight weeks. If we qualify we will be going to Delhi with the aim of fighting for a medal in the Women Team Sprint event (where two of us will race together as a team). So it is my aim to be pushing for a medal in October. Depending on how my times are going by the end of the year there may be an opportunity to join the GB team in Manchester with the aim of being selected for London 2012; that all depends on this year’s times and performances.

active X – What inspires and motivates you and what do you love most about the sport?

Jenny – The thought of being the best in the world and trying to achieve each goal to get there inspires and motivates me a lot. It seems far off at the moment as I have tons of smaller goals that are all aimed at getting there over the next two and a half years. I make sure I have plenty of people that know what I’m supposed to do, so when I don’t feel like I can be bothered to train I know I am accountable to them as well as myself.

active X – Do you feel that the success of Chris Hoy has greatly benefited the sport in Scotland?

Jenny – Chris Hoy and the rest of the GB team have definitely helped raise awareness of the sport with more television and newspaper coverage and support throughout the UK. I’m sure that their success will help inspire the next generation of cyclists coming through. I know it has inspired some of the other members of the GB team at the moment and the Olympic Academy athletes that are aiming for success in the future. Chris Hoy has raised the bar for sprinters and the GB team as a whole which means we are a lot more competitive than we were a few years ago.

And it was gold medalist Jason Quelly that inspired Chris Hoy and Vicky Pendleton (both Olympic gold medalists) – if the support is right then it is a bit like a golden cycle (pardon the pun) one generation inspiring the next to greatness.

active X – What advice would you give to people about how best to juggle an exercise regime with a busy schedule and how to cope with injury?

Jenny – Try and work it into you day – for example I cycle to and from work – it is only about 20 mins each way but by the end of the week that totals 3.5 hours of exercise (and I get home quicker than if I was getting the bus).

Find an exercise or physical activity you enjoy then it doesn’t feel like such an effort. You don’t need to be in the gym or spend a fortune to get fit – there are a number of people in my office that train in lots of different ways – there are a few cyclists, a couple of runners, a girl plays badminton doubles in a league, another does karate twice a week and others play football. All these activities are pretty cheap and you only need a do a couple of hours a week (and it will be more fun than sitting in front of the television).

If I find it hard to get motivated the reasons are usually either because I’m not clear what I want (so I need to get much more specific about what I want to achieve) or I don’t know how to achieve it (in which case I find someone that does and do the same).

Lastly, I always try and make sure the thing I want to achieve gives me a physical reaction when I think about achieving it – like a feeling of pride or excitement – when I think about winning a medal at the Olympics I can feel it physically inside, so when I’m struggling that is what I use to keep going. If you aren’t excited by your goals then you have nothing to lean on when times do get tough.

active X backs wishes Jenny and her team at the City of Edinburgh Racing Club the best of luck in their training for the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in October 2010.

active X backs interviews Leigh Williams
March 2014

active X – Describe how you were before coming to see us?

Leigh – I experienced an immense amount of pain in my lower back, which was very debilitating, to the extent that I could not lift my leg more than a few inches off the ground.

active X – How long had you been like that?

Leigh – I experienced chronic pain for two weeks.

active X – What types of health services had you sought before seeing us?

Leigh – My GP offered medication but I felt this would only mask the problem rather than dealing with the cause.  I wanted to find out what was wrong and how I could prevent it from happening again.

active X – What have been your impressions of the care we have provided you?

Leigh – I have been very impressed by the level of care and expertise I have received.  I have no hesitation in recommending active X backs to anyone with back pain. Top class!

active X – How is your life now?

Leigh – I am feeling 100% better, Gavin has also helped my neck which is a historic injury primarily caused by poor posture.  I cannot thank active X enough for getting me mobile!

active X backs interviews Gary Thomson
July 2014

active X – Describe how you were before coming to see us.

Gary – I could not stand for more than 10 seconds, or walk more than 20 metres without having to bend forwards to ease the pain and pressure in my lower back. I had to use a shopping trolley to go round a supermarket even if I was only going in to get a newspaper.  I did not have a life.

active X – How long had you been like that?

Gary – I have had problems with my back since my early twenties. Over the last 6 months, the pain has become unbearable.

active X – What types of health services had you sought before seeing us?

Gary – I went to see my G.P., he referred me for an X-ray which showed severe degenerative changes in my lower lumbar spine. I was told there was not really anything the NHS could offer me.

active X – What have been your impressions of the care we have provided you?

Gary – Excellent, I was given a full explanation as to what could be done and asked to return in one week.  I have had four treatments, all increasingly beneficial.

active X – How is your life now?

Gary – That is it! I now have a life.  I still have to be careful but I do not have near the level of pain that I had.

active X – What has being better meant in your daily activities?

Gary – Everything.  I now have the confidence to walk into a supermarket without looking for a trolley.  I also have a very large garden which I can now look after without looking for help.

“active X backs have provided a weekly on-site service at Aegon UK for the last three years. The benefit of having this service on-site has been immeasurable both to the company and to the Occupational Health & Safety Department.”
Angela Dunlop, Occupational Health & Safety Adviser

“active X backs have supplied an osteopathy service to this site for the last three years. We have been very pleased with the level of service and professionalism demonstrated during this time.”
Dr Brian Anderson, Occupational Health Physician, BP Grangemouth

“active X backs have been contracted to work with Standard Life since 2000. The service has proved extremely popular and beneficial to staff and of a high quality.”
Andrew Moore, Occupational Health Manager

“active X backs have provided an osteopathic and on-site massage service to the colleagues at ASDA ADC4 Grangemouth depot. They provide an excellent service and I have no hesitation in providing this recommendation to any company that is interested in engaging their services.”
Allan Thompson, People Manager

“active X backs were chosen on the recommendation of Scotland’s Health at Work team to deliver ergonomics and back care educational talks to staff and also to participate in our annual health fairs offering on-site massage to staff. The seminars and health fairs proved very popular with staff and we intend to make these a regular feature of our health at work initiatives.”
Alex Struthers, Health and Safety Registers of Scotland 

“Feedback from staff has been overwhelmingly positive. The question and answer session and the opportunity to have a quick chat with Gavin at the end of each presentation proved particularly popular.”
Neal Cameron, Occupational Health and Safety, Scottish Executive