We can help with your lower back pain and sciatica

Treatment for your pain

Looking for treatment to relieve your pain and prevent recurrence?

Do you want to

  • sleep through the night again?
  • spring out of bed in the mornings?
  • get active again?
  • sit for more than thirty minutes without pain?

We can help you to

  • get rapid relief
  • return to a greater level of activity
  • know exactly which exercises are right for you to relieve and prevent recurrence
  • know what changes to make to your posture and other habits

CALL 0131 221 1415

Don’t suffer in silence. We are here to help and we always have emergency appointment slots available.

Call before 12.00 pm (UK time) or book online and start your recovery today.

Full money back guarantee

We bring over thirty years of experience and a taste for innovation to help you to recover.

Treatment and more from Active X

We understand your priority is relief.  But relief still leaves you on the edge of The Cliff of Pain. If you want to reduce the risk of a recurrence of your pain, that’s what we specialise in.  Treatment and advice to help you to get right back from the edge of The Cliff.

You can rely on us to be professional, effective and fun. Our aim is to take you from whatever place of suffering you find yourself in and help you to have less pain and be more active.

Not just treatment, advice too

Holistic treatment

Our holistic approach to your treatment means that we don’t just pay close attention to your bones, muscles, ligaments etc. We are also very interested in the lifestyle factors that contributed to your problems. We aim to help you to reach your optimum level of well-being, both in the short and long-term. This is the best way to reduce the risk of another flare-up.

Treatment for Pain Relief

Relief of back pain and sciatica

In delivering treatment, our primary focus initially is to relieve your pain as quickly as possible.

Clinical Director, Gavin Routledge has over 30 years experience in specialising in spinal problems as an Edinburgh Osteopath. We can help you with mild strains, prolapsed/bulging/herniated discs, compressed nerves, muscle spasms and a myriad of other possible diagnoses. With a Masters Degree in Pain Management, Gavin 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“.

All our clinicians work to the Active X protocol 6 step process:

  1. Gather information – you fill in an online form before your appointment AND then tell us your story when you have your first appointment.
  2. We examine you (even if you’re consulting us online via video link, in which case there is an abbreviated physical assessment).
  3. Explain to you what type of problem you have (this is a more holistic process than a “diagnosis”).
  4. Provide you with advice on how to help yourself to recover – do’s and don’ts.
  5. Offer best-in-class treatment to speed your recovery.
  6. Offer preventive care (keeping you back from the Edge of the Cliff of Pain).

If you’d like to find out more about any of the following services in Edinburgh, just click the text link.

Back pain treatment in Edinburgh

Sciatica treatment in Edinburgh

Neck pain treatment in Edinburgh

Back massage in Edinburgh

Sports massage in Edinburgh

Office massage in Edinburgh

Prevention Plans

Our Prevention Plans are designed to take you beyond treatment for pain relief. We will help you to optimise the health of your back and the rest of you (your back doesn’t operate in isolation!). You will be provided with supportive, appropriate treatment, health coaching, and accountability. And rapid access to one of our Edinburgh Osteopaths should that ever be required. It’s a best-in-class service that maximises your chances of sticking to a preventative approach. Because after all, prevention is better than cure.

You Decide

You could of course opt only treatment for short-term relief, only helping you to reach the Cliff Top. But that would be forgetting that one of the biggest risk factors for pain is having had pain before.  And that the best place to be is as far back from the Edge of The Cliff of Pain as possible. Your pain does not exist in isolation. Much better to do more than just treat the symptom. Let us guide you as far back from the edge of another episode as possible!


£60.00 every 6 weeks
  • Treatment
  • Health-related coaching


£57.5 every week
  • Treatment
  • Health-related coaching

More on the treatments we offer

As Osteopaths in Edinburgh, we follow a system of diagnosis and treatment with a focus on lower back pain and sciatica. But we also help a wide range of medical conditions. Osteopathy 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 provide 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.

Massage is known to be helpful for:

  • 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 posture, lessening the rate of degenerative changes and increasing your day-to-day comfort. A forty minute appointment is all it takes to advise you of the changes you need to make to achieve the correct posture (£83). In addition, we can prescribe a set of postural exercises specific to your needs to help improve your posture.

The appointment includes:

  • Full photographic postural analysis
  • Posture advice
  • Online exercise resource
  • Re-analysis (can be arranged for a later date)
Our Edinburgh osteopaths are also qualified in acupuncture techniques. We provide this service as part of our back pain and sciatica treatment 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.

Professional advice and service. Very good follow up advice and help via email. Felt at ease and listened to during consultation. Definitely recommend for back pain issues. Worth the visit!

Denise Taylor, Google Reviews