Ashburton Physiotherapists
Al and Leah Outside

Leah Mears and Alastair Backus are global in their approach and look at consider all aspects of your life.
Work and recreation patterns help us to reach a diagnosis.
Once we have sourced the pain or problem, we devise a treatment plan and timescale to achieve your goals.
The simpler problems sometimes need only one session to find out what is wrong and put you on the road to recovery.


At Ashburton Physio, Leah Mears and Alastair Backus give time to listen to you and your story.
An accurate diagnosis is essential for effective treatment through questioning and examination.
The examination may involve looking at parts of the body distant from your pain.
For example, a knee problem may relate to abnormal foot positioning. Or, foot pain may be a back problem.


Leah and Alastair are Chartered Physiotherapists and regulated by The Health and Care Professions Council.
We are members of the Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists. We are therapists with a wealth of experience.

We update our CPD (Continuous Professional Development) on a regular basis.
We have a proven success record and in the last few years, more than half our patients are returners.



Leah at work

Leah Mears BSc(Hons) MCSP

Leah Mears (nee Skedgell) is a local girl, attending KEVICC, Totnes before graduating from St.Mary's Hospital School of Physiotherapy, London in 1993.
She holds one of the first BSc(Hons)Physiotherapy degrees.

She has 30 years of experience specialising in musculoskeletal conditions and sports injuries both in South Devon and overseas, as a Senior Physiotherapist in the NHS prior to her work in private practice.
Leah enjoys the assessment process to look at movement and to see how she can help people to move better. 

Her clinical time is spent treating runners, ultra runners, cricketers, climbers, and dancers.
She has a special interest in treating patients before and after joint replacements and those with age-related aches and pains.  

She also is Lead Physiotherapist in an Occupational Health setting working with skilled tradesmen and labourers in a boat-building factory.
This has given her a wealth of experience with overuse injuries, trauma and multi-factorial musculoskeletal problems. 

In 2013 Leah attended the ‘Discover Physio’ series and learned the ‘Thoracic RIng Approach’.
Whilst not a purist in this approach, it has certainly changed how she assesses patients and improved her hands-on skills.

She has completed the MSc module in Injection Therapy although she is not currently able to provide this service at Ashburton Physio. 

Leah has 20 years of experience in providing Acupuncture and is a member of the Acupuncture Association of Physiotherapists.

Leah continues to attend regular courses to improve her knowledge and skills.
She is a very 'Hands-on' therapist.


Leah's desire to become a Physio came from her aunt who suffered from Polio during the 1980s. She watched her treatment and rehabilitation and decided that it was the career for her.

Her passion outside of work is her two Border Collies, Tess and Meg, she is often spotted wandering the streets and fields at Ashburton and is currently challenging the body and brain with Agility training.  She loves driving around with her lovely husband Simon in their classic cars.

Leah Profile Picture


Al Bio

Alastair Backus BSc(Hons) MCSP

Having grown up on Dartmoor, Alastair is a local boy.  Taking inspiration from his mother who worked as a physiotherapist at Moretonhampstead cottage hospital, Alastair followed in her footsteps and qualified from Manchester School of Physiotherapy in 2000.  Since then he has enjoyed working in many different settings in both private and public sectors and has over 20 years experience treating individuals with a wide variety of problems.

One of Alastair’s first jobs was working at Manchester United Football Club where he gained invaluable experience in the treatment and rehabilitation of elite athletes.

In Shanghai, Alastair was employed as the Clinical Lead physiotherapist at a pain and rehabilitation clinic prior to enhancing his skills at the Manchester Royal Infirmary where he held the position of Senior Specialist in Orthopaedics.

After returning home to Devon some ten years ago he initially worked within the NHS before moving on to work within a private physiotherapy clinic in Plymouth and more recently here at Ashburton Physio. 

Alastair also has experience of working in the Occupational Health setting.  He currently works with Leah at Princess Yachts in Plymouth and is soon to take on a Lead Physiotherapist role at a wholesale food company in Devon. 

Alastair has a specialist interest in the management of pain. He is an accredited member of the Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists and finds acupuncture can be a useful treatment tool. He enjoys helping individuals understand the cause of their pain and incorporates a holistic approach to his assessments. This enables him to create an appropriate treatment and rehabilitation plan catered to the individual. He is naturally a very compassionate and caring person who always wants to help. So whether you are recovering from an injury, have undergone orthopaedic surgery or are struggling with pain Alastair will help get you moving again. 

Alastair also works as a professional hedge layer and helps run his partner, Phoebe’s, cut flower business “The Good Grubb Garden”.
In his spare time, Alastair loves to be outdoors; he especially enjoys walking with his lurchers, Islay and Luna, and immersing himself in the natural world.

Contact Ashburton Physio or phone 01364 652883.      Contact Us