About Active X Backs

Our mission is the relief and prevention of pain

The best Osteopath in Edinburgh for pain relief AND prevention

Back pain and sciatica specialist.  And often referred to as “the best Osteopath in Edinburgh”.  Gavin has over 30 years of experience, specialising in the treatment of lower back pain and sciatica at his West End clinic.

From New Zealand to Edinburgh

Prior to setting up as an osteopath in Edinburgh in July 1992, Gavin worked in New Zealand.  Aside from treating one future All Black captain, Gavin counts himself lucky to have been invited to an All Black training camp.  This was the early stages of Sean Fitzpatrick’s career.

On setting up practice in Edinburgh, Gavin was the 6th osteopath in Edinburgh!  He set his sights high, aiming to become the best osteopath in Edinburgh.

More rugby connections in Edinburgh

Having volunteered at Edinburgh Academicals RFC, Gavin worked with the Scotland U18 squad and some of the then Scotland senior squad.  He first met Gavin Hastings in 1994 and helped him to rehabilitate from a persistent lumbar disc problem.

The first book from this Edinburgh osteopath

This relationship led to the publication of “The Back Book” in 1997.  Gavin H is in all the pictures, and Gavin R did the writing.  As Gavin R said “It was always a great honour to work with Gavin Hastings.  As the Captain of the Scottish Rugby team and Captain of the British and Irish Lions, his influence on the game was immense.  I was just happy to help keep him on the field.  I certainly wasn’t the only one, with the Physios at the Princess Margaret Rose being part of his rehab team too.”

The first book on back pain was re-released as “Self Help for Backs” in 2000.

The second book from this Edinburgh osteopath

The second of Gavin’s books was published in 2017.  With Ian Rankin OBE interviewing Gavin at the Sheraton hotel at the book launchActive X Backs, An Effective Long-term Solution to Lower Back Pain is available to buy on this website.  Or you will receive a complimentary copy when you come for your first consultation.

Active X Backs - an effective long-term solution to lower back pain

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Further Education

Still aiming to consolidate his place as the best Osteopath in Edinburgh, Gavin completed a Masters Degree in the Clinical Management of  Pain at The University of Edinburgh, in 2015.

Continuing to specialise in low back pain and sciatica

Since then, Gavin has developed an app for low back pain.  And written courses on the management of lower back pain for physical therapists and fitness professionals.

The impact of lifestyle on low back pain

Being convinced of the impact of lifestlye on pain, he passed the International Diploma in Lifestyle Medicine in December 2021.  And is proud now to be a Certified Lifestyle Medicine Professional.

British Society of Lifestyle Medicine Certified Lifestyle Medicine Professional

And Gavin will keep striving to be the best Osteopath in Edinburgh.

Building a great team in Edinburgh

Part of the journey is to support others in the team to be their best.  So, whether you’re looking for the best back massage in Edinburgh, or to see a great Personal Trainer turned osteopath (Jordan), we have what you need.

Leveraging his knowledge

Gavin is ambitious to create physical and digital tools that support people in becoming more active at work.  Watch this space…

Susie Lowe


Gavin and his team are extremely professional and friendly and most importantly, get great results. Highly recommended.

Susie Lowe

Professional Photographer

Lisa Marriage

Nice waking up without pain

I’d had low back pain and sciatica for a few months and been to the doctor and my local therapist. You confidently said I just had to stick to the plan we put together and that it would all be OK. You were spot on! Thanks. It’s so nice waking up without pain!

Lisa Marriage

Active X Backs Customer

Cameron Doyle

Huge thanks

Just wanted to say a huge thanks again. When, over twenty years ago, a surgeon told me to come back in a few years time when I was in a wheelchair because of my back, I can’t tell you what a downer that was. I am certain that following your plan has been a big part of making sure that never happened!

Cameron Doyle

Active X Backs Customer

Caterina Toniolo

I can't believe it

My pain was typically 5 out of 10 but could be as bad as 9 for the last four weeks. It was really terrible after sitting. Two weeks after starting your plan I’m down to 0 out of 10. I can’t believe it! Thank you so much!

Caterina Toniolo

Active X Backs Customer

Best Osteopath in Edinburgh's core values

You want results, and we want to deliver. You define the SMART goals you’re aiming for and we do everything we can to support you in achieving those results. If we don’t measure it, it won’t get done.

In nature, nothing stays the same – everything is growing or withering. We choose growth and innovation, because we don’t want to wither and fail. We want the same for our clients. Our practices evolve as our education expands.

We are in the healthcare industry. We care passionately about you and our colleagues, and live to serve both.

We want to make a big difference, so we have to think big and encourage others to do the same. Small goals won’t motivate you for long. We need to talk about the difficult stuff and avoid sugar-coating. Playing around the fringes of problems won’t make a big impact, nor get the lasting results you – and we – are looking for.

Take a virtual tour of our Edinburgh clinic

Click the arrows and walk through our Coates Crescent Edinburgh clinic.

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Back pain and sciatica podcast

Get loads of information and help with your lower back pain and sciatica from the regular Active X Backs Podcast, hosted by “Edinburgh’s best Osteopath”, Gavin Routledge.

Listen now

We adhere to lower back pain guidelines published by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, are registered with the General Osteopathic Council and are members of The International Association for the Study of Pain.