Alex Spray and David Webster
State Registered Osteopaths in Derby
Sports Massage Teaching (ProActive Training Ltd)
Corporate Osteopathy Lloyd's Register Rail
Equine & Canine Osteopathy
Visceral and Cranial Osteopathy
Before discovering the benefits of Osteopathy, he was a keen martial artist and was fascinated by the role that exercise and stretching played in injury prevention and rehabilitation. He trained as a Sports Injuries and Spinal Manipulation Therapist prior to the completion of the five-year degree in Osteopathy. Alex has practiced yoga for nine years, and now practises Hatha Yoga five times a week. Alex is starting yoga teacher training in October with Bahia Yoga of Nottingham.
In June Alex is booked again for teaching the ITEC Diploma in Sports Massage to final year Loughborough University Sports Science and Physiotherapy students. This course provides these final year therapists with the additional hands-on experience using manual therapy for sports injuries and pre/post event preparation.
During his studies at the College of Osteopaths, Alex built up his own Derby Physical Therapy Practice that continues to grow, with a full-time dedicated city centre clinic. Alex uses active resisted muscle testing, bio-mechanical postural assessment, Orthopaedic provocation tests and gentle tissue palpation as his diagnostic screen. Alex works with patients from all backgrounds and addresses many different pain presentations although he has a particular interest in helping people with chronic pain.
All osteopaths must maintain their yearly registration which means recording all training and continuing professional development (CPD).
Alex is registered with the General Osteopathic Council and is a member of the British Osteopathic Association.
How can Osteopathy help you?
Osteopathy uses hands-on treatments including: massage, mobilisation, stretching, soft tissue release and joint manipulations.
Massage is the manipulation of your body's surface and deep layers of soft tissues. Effective massage treats firstly areas that are causing you discomfort and secondly supports your whole body. In this way massage can have different goals, for example enhancing circulation, reducing pain, relaxation or sports preparation.
Massage has powerful affects upon on all of your body's tissues, but most important is the way massage enhances circulation and the movement of fluid in and around your bodily tissues.
Mobilisation is a movement ideally in a harmonic rocking motion where your body's tissues and joints receive a very gentle rhythmic passive movement that can help elongate shortened tissues, encourage the imbibition of synovial fluid into joint and create a passive fluid pump. Mobilisations also have a moderating affect upon your body's sympathetic nervous system. Sympathetic nerves gear your body up for fight or flight and prepare certain glands, organs and smooth muscles for this action. Mobilisations can reduce the firing of these nerves allowing the parasympathetic nerves to predominate. Parasympathetic nerves moderate the body's rest and digest functions.
Soft Tissue Release (STR) The technique involves applying precise force during a specific stretch performed in multiple planes of movement. The aim is to appeal to the autonomic nervous system in a way that leads to spontaneous release of the injured muscle, thus regaining the original resting length of that muscle. The result: fast and permanent reorganization of scar tissue, the targeted muscle(s) return to the proper resting length, muscle imbalances are corrected, associated pain is decreased or eliminated altogether, and muscle performance is improved.
Contract Relax stretching activates the target muscle fibres when we ask you to contract the muscle, and then we ask you to relax and exhale. As you change from contracting to relaxing neurologically an opportunity occurs where passively the contracted muscle fibres can be drawn apart.
Joint Manipulations are particularly useful at neurologically relaxing joints that feel achy or in-bind. Your joint is placed in a position where it is nearly locked up, and a short thrust of energy placed through it. Often a popping or cracking can be heard. This technique activates a receptor in the muscle's tendon which then creates a reflex arc to the spinal cord, and back down the motor nerve to re-set the muscle's tone.
Discover how you can recover from injuries faster, relieve your pain and aid your body's recovery from injuries.
We specialise in applying sports massage, facilitated stretching, harmonic articulation, soft tissue release (STR), inhibition, Cranial Osteopathy and long and short lever joint-release techniques to ease your aches, pains and sprains, so that you can quickly return to your normal life.
What is Osteopathy?
Osteopathy is a drug-free, non-invasive, manual therapy that focuses on total body health by treating and strengthening the musculo-skeletal framework, which includes the joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments and the spine. Its aim is to positively affect the body's nervous, circulatory and lymphatic systems. Osteopathy considers the wider impact context of the patient including their medical history, medication interactions, diet, occupational and hobby stressors.
How is Osteopathy different from Chiropractic therapy?
Osteopathy and Chiropractic Therapy have shared techniques like joint manipulation, trigger point therapy and exercise prescription. Principally the two methods are similar in that both place great emphasis upon the correct functioning of the whole body as a unit, but also remarkably different in the approaches used to manipulate the body. A chiropractor will encourage health by focusing primarily on the health and correct alignment of your spine, where after adjustment the spinal nerves can correctly function allowing your body to work properly. (Chiropractors are now divided into two political camps, the Mixers and the Straights, where the purest "Straights" believe and treat non musculoskeletal conditions like Asthma and Colic. Mixer chiropractors mix and use many different therapies as well as vertebral adjustments.) It is interesting to read Dr Simon Singh and Dr Edzard Ernst's book "Trick or Treatment" regarding the evidence to back-up the straight chiropractors attempting to treat non musculo-skeletal diseases! Osteopaths just find areas of your body that are restricted and encourage correct movement in those tissues. Chiropractors tend not to use soft tissue techniques like massage, typically they treat more often but allow less time per session, giving between ten and twenty five minutes per session, whereas osteopaths typically treat from between twenty and thirty five minutes.
What Happens on the Initial Visit?
A full medical case history will be taken followed by an examination during which you may be asked to perform a few simple movements. Some clothing may need to be removed so that the area can be examined and treated. Based upon the findings of your case history you will asked to perform active movements, for instance you might be asked to bend your knee or hip. Then the osteopath will perform certain passive movements. Active movements tend to implicate muscle pain whereas passive movements tend to implicate connective and ligamentus. Where you might complain of a clicking or snapping hip the osteopath would perform special tests to identify the cause of the pain, perhaps arthritic, labral, musculotendinous and joint. To implicate a labral tear your hip would be placed into extreme flexion and internal rotation.
Additionally the osteopath will use their highly developed sense of touch to palpate and assess areas of tenderness, strain, restriction or weakness within your body.
After examination the osteopath will discuss their findings with you and advise whether osteopathic treatment is suitable.
Osteopaths usually start any treatment by releasing and relaxing muscles and stretching stiff joints, using gentle massage techniques, rhythmic joint movements and muscle release techniques. The osteopath may also carry out manipulation using short, quick movements to spinal joints. The treatment may be a bit uncomfortable at times as painful areas are being treated but the osteopath will work within your level of tolerance.
In The News
Shall I Stop Running?
The easy answer is of course yes, as without running you will rest your joints from the repetitive wearing impact.
The complex answer is a possibly not, but consider the following issues before committing long term to the punishing your your body:
1. Do you have Neutral Foot Alignment? – Do your feet naturally point forward? If not then every stride you take is done with the foot, knee and ankle absorbing the twist.
2. Are you wearing expensive running shoes which insulate you from having to running properly? – It is comforting to wear shoes that feel soft and supported, however these shoes allow you to run on your heels, (heel strike), rather than run on the forefoot as you would if you were wearing plimsoles! Insulated in comfy running shoes we tend to stride out and land on our heels! Flat shoes will make you avoid the jarring heel strike impact and thus make you run on the forefoot where the soft tissues of the body absorb the force rather than the joints.
3. Is your Thoracic spine supple? – This part of your spine runs from the nape of your neck down to your lower ribs and affords you a large degree of spinal rotation. As you stride forward with your right leg a lot of the ground reaction force transmits up and is absorbed by your Thoracic spine whereby it twists to the right, partly stabilising you to keep you moving forward in space.
4. Can you air squat all of the way down onto your heels? – To run you need to marshall
power from the muscles along the back of your body to straighten you dynamically as you propel forward. To allow this you need full hip backward bending or hip extension. Loss of hip extension can lead to pelvic twists and excessive bending in the lower back! A full range of motion air squat works and trains this vital hip extension.