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
BUPA discuss Osteopathy is a physical therapy that is mainly used to treat bone, muscle, joint and back problems.
Osteopathy is used to examine, diagnose and treat a wide range of conditions. Osteopaths suggest that if the structure of your body is improved, your body can restore a state of balance. This means your health problems will improve and you will return to good health.
Osteopaths use a holistic approach to treatment which involves looking at the whole of your body. An osteopath doesn't just treat the symptoms of a condition. He or she will also take into account your medical history, lifestyle and personal circumstances.
Osteopaths use their hands to gently manipulate different parts of your body. They use a combination of massage, stretches, movement and manipulation. The idea is that this can improve your circulation, reduce pain and swelling and help to restore movement.
Osteopathy is a complementary treatment (one given alongside conventional treatments). It's used for many health conditions and problems including:
- back, neck and joint pain
- sports and other injuries
- restricted mobility, caused by conditions such as arthritis
- shoulder and arm problems
- hip, pelvis and leg problems
- problems with posture caused by pregnancy, work or driving
What Happens During Osteopathy?
When you go for your first visit, the osteopath will ask you questions about your health, lifestyle and circumstances. This may include asking about your medical history, your symptoms, lifestyle, medication and the foods you eat. He or she will also examine you. You may need to undress down to your underwear so that your osteopath can carry out a full examination.
Your osteopath may look at your posture and ask you to carry out movements, such as sitting, standing or walking. He or she may check your pulse and blood pressure or arrange for you to have other tests such as an X-ray.
Your treatment will involve a variety of mostly gentle, manual or hands on techniques. These include massage and stretching to relax stiff muscles and articulation, which involves stretching the joints to help them become more mobile.
Your osteopath may also use manipulation. This is a technique where he or she will make a short, rapid, forceful movement called a high-velocity thrust to your joints. You may hear a clicking or popping sound when this is being done. This is caused by the change of pressure in the joint and it shouldn’t be painful. Your osteopath might also show you exercises and stretches that you can do yourself at home.
There are other specialised techniques that your osteopath may use including cranial osteopathy, which is a gentle manipulative technique that focuses on your skull (cranium). Therapists claim to be able to feel a subtle, rhythmical shape change in your body tissues called the cranial rhythm. This shows them what stresses and strains your body is under and gives them an insight into the overall condition of your body.
Your first consultation with an osteopath usually lasts about 45 minutes. If you have any further consultations, they will be shorter – usually around 30 minutes. The number of treatments you need and how often you have them will depend on your condition. At your first treatment session, your osteopath should tell you how many times you will need treatment.
Your osteopath might refer you to your GP if they think that osteopathy isn’t the right treatment for you.
Is Osteopathy Effective?
Several research studies have looked at how well osteopathy works as a treatment for a number of diseases and conditions. Some of these involved using a placebo (dummy) treatment to see how it compares with osteopathy.
There is evidence that spinal manipulation and mobilisation techniques, such as osteopathy, provide relief for low back pain. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends manual therapy as a treatment option for this condition. These are therapies that involve manipulation, massage and mobilisation of soft tissues and joints. Manipulation may also be useful for reducing migraines and some other types of headaches.
Research shows that there is no evidence that osteopathy works for treating arthritis, osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia.
See Bupa for further information.