• Mark J. Downey, MD & Alex Cotter, MD
    10 Old Montgomery Hwy #200. Homewood, AL 35209
    Appointments & Referrals: (205) 271-6511

  • Schedule Now

Welcome to SpineGroup Alabama

"Our patients are very important to us. We aim to provide the best patient experience in a comfortable setting. With our new convenient location, ample parking, and updated expanded patient areas, we've accomplished just that. We are also enjoying our relationship with Fyzical Therapy, as we continue to encourage conservative nonsurgical treatments whenever possible for our patients!"

— Dr. Mark Downey and Dr. Alex Cotter—

Our Mission: To help our patients return to healthy active living through compassionate spine care
Our Goal: To be recognized as a regional spine center of excellence that provides the most advanced spinal care, emphasizing nonsurgical treatment options for our patients.

Board-Certified Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Interventional Spine Physiatrist

As a physiatrist, Dr. Downey specializes in diagnosis and non-surgical treatment of pain-related spinal disorders. He is board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) since 2007 and uses his comprehensive spine and musculoskeletal training to determine the appropriate line of treatment for a variety of spinal conditions. Specializing in interventional spine, he is able to offer fluoroscopic spinal injection procedures to eliminate spine-related pain and restore normal activities and function.

Dr. Downey has received the Patient’s Choice Award, the Compassionate Doctor Award and the On-Time Doctor Recognition Award for 2020 on Vitals.com.

Board-Certified Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Board-Certified Pain Medicine  
Interventional Spine Physiatrist

Dr. Alex Cotter uses his background in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation as well as Pain Medicine to provide comprehensive non-surgical treatment for a variety of spinal conditions. Specializing in interventional spine, he offers fluoroscopic spinal injection procedures to relieve spine-related pain and restore patients’ normal activities and function.

Dr. Cotter strives to improve patients' quality of life and return them to healthy, active living through the use of comprehensive, conservative spine care.

Patient Reviews


"Dr. Cotter was great! Very intelligent and actually gave me great information on nerves and bones in the pelvis. Thank you Dr. Cotter!"


"Dr. Cotter and his staff took their time, answered all my questions, and I never felt rushed. This is a top shelf group with a stellar staff. I can't recommend them highly enough!"


"Dr. Downey should be commended for his staff's knowledge. Dr. Downey heard my concerns... I want to let them know I am grateful for their help"


"I saw Dr. Downey yesterday for the first time, and I was very impressed with him and his entire office staff. The facility was top notch and everyone was very kind and helpful. Dr. Downey was very attentive to my problems, and I never felt rushed. He was very knowledgeable, kind, and compassionate. I would recommend him and this office!"


"In an era of medicine where patient care has evolved into a “volume” over quality experience, Dr. Mark Downey is definitely the exception to that rule. Dr. Downey definitely values quality over quantity and that is refreshing in this day and time. Additionally, Dr. Downey has found a way to mix classic values with cutting edge technology that truly distinguishes his practice from others."


"Dr. Downey is a Godsend. He’s caring and compassionate. If you have back problems this is the doctor for you."


"Dr. Downey is the best spine doctor around. I would choose him over anyone else by far. He has the best bedside manner, and truly cares about his patients. He never acts rushed but takes the time to answer questions and alleviate any fears. I would highly recommend"


"Dr. Downey and his team are top notch, an amazing physician with the best nurses. Dr. Downey helped me with my severe and crippling back pain. Through his care and oversight, I was able to get on to the path of recovery. I would recommend Dr. Downey to anyone. Because of Dr. Downey and his team... I’m back to the active lifestyle I love!!! Go see Downey today!!!"


"He is a doctor that I would highly recommended to anyone. I was in so much pain, but he took the time to listen."


"Dr. Downey is a very compassionate, kind, nice doctor. He has a great bedside manner and listens to you as long as it takes for what you have to say. He explains everything very well."


"As a former professional athlete I have stressed and often times abused my body, pushing it beyond the limits of normal. Today I am paying the price for those decisions. Before Dr. Downey’s help I was really struggling to the point my trainer made me get help. After my procedure I am back competing at the level I want to be. I can not thank Dr. Downey and the great staff enough and just wish I wouldn’t have waited so long."


"Amazing care. Thoughtful approach and amazing results. Highest referral."


"Absolutely the best doctor I’ve had the privilege of knowing. To bad he can’t be a doctor of all matters. This man cares! Absolutely the best bedside manner. He listens, he’s thorough, he’s kind. He has helped my family and I on numerous occasions; whether with his hands or referring us to someone else."


"I have been going to Dr. Mark Downey for many years for a neck injury I received at work in 2003. He and his staff have always been professional, supportive, understanding, and sympathetic towards my pain. God Bless you and your staff, Dr. Downey! I would recommend Dr. Downey to anyone!!"


"Dr. Downey is a patient, kind doctor, with wonderful bedside manners. It is evident how extremely knowledgeable he is. He is very thorough, and explains things well, while also giving a listening ear to the patients health issues or concerns. He works very hard helping his patients prevent possible surgery. His staff is always kind and helpful. The office staff and Dr. Downey always make you feel welcomed and comfortable. I'm definitely impressed and thankful I chose Dr. Downey."


"Dr. Cotter came in, greeted me, and reiterated everything his team had already shared. His kind bedside manner and confident professionalism topped off what was simply a stellar experience. "

Understanding Symptoms

Pain is not a good indicator of when to see a doctor for a spine problem. While a back spasm can be excruciating, the good news is that ligament strain doesn’t require surgery. Numbness and weakness in a hand or foot is actually the most serious symptom, and if not seen within a week, could become permanent.

Treatment Options

Experts estimate that 50% of back surgeries are unnecessary. Fact: Many people can recover from painful disc-related symptoms with nonsurgical treatment options like a spinal injection that reduces inflammation around a nerve root or customized spine therapy.


Exercise Library

What do exercises have to do with relieving pain? Research in sports medicine and spine care exercises have shown to help relieve and re-strengthen joint, ligament, muscle problems in the legs, arms, neck and back and increase range of motion. Exercise can help you be more injury resistant.

SpineGroup Alabama

Should you see a spine specialist?

Have you experienced any...

Loss of bowel/bladder control is an EMERGENCY symptom. You need to see a spine surgeon or go to an Emergency Room within 24 hours, or the symptom could become permanent.

Call our office IMMEDIATELY

Numbness, pain or tingling into a leg or arm, especially when it extends below a knee or elbow, could imply a disc problem, and should be seen by a spine specialist within 2 days.

Call our office at 205-271-6511 or request an appointment

Difficulty moving an arm or leg could imply a disc problem, and should be seen by a spine specialist within 2 days.

Call our office at 205-271-6511 or request an appointment

Any traumatic fall or car accident could have fractured bones in your spine, or herniated a disc. You should see a spine specialist promptly who may perform X-rays to assess you.

Call our office at 205-271-6511 or request an appointment

Neck pain with headache/nausea is an EMERGENCY symptom. See a doctor in 24 hours.

Call our office IMMEDIATELY

Did the pain come on after lifting, or after aggressive exercise or sports activity?

Lifting or sports activities can strain muscles, ligaments & tendons, causing painful spasms. Extreme pain can require a spine specialist. Home remedies include anti-inflammatories like Advil/Nuprin, rest, ice and some simple stretching exercises. However, if symptoms don’t improve over 3 days, you need to be assessed by a spine specialist.

Call our office at 205-271-6511 or request an appointment

Is the pain mostly in your low back, AND accompanied by a FEVER, or making you sick?

Pain in the low back, along with a fever, could be a kidney infection. You should see a spine specialist immediately.

Call our office IMMEDIATELY

Back or neck pain that doesn’t radiate pain or numbness into a leg or arm can be caused by a variety of problems, including a strain of the muscles or ligaments in the back or neck.

Home remedies include anti-inflammatories like aspirin, Advil or Nuprin, rest, ice and some simple back/neck exercises. Don’t do any exercise that causes an increase in pain.

If pain persists you may need to see a spine specialist. Call our office at 205-271-6511 to request an appointment.

Remember: Those who self diagnose themselves and self treat themselves do so at their own risk. Back and neck pain can arise from a variety of causes and may require a spine specialist to perform diagnostic tests to identify your problem and the best treatment. A spine specialized therapist can also create a home exercise program customized for you.


    Have back or neck pain? Learn what causes symptoms and the home remedies that relieve pain. Dr. Downey mails out Home Remedy Books to residents throughout Alabama.



    Spine Group Alabama is the only spine center in the State of Alabama to be included in a national listing of spine centers of excellence by SpineCenterNetwork.com. To be included, a spine center must meet various credentialing criteria, including a non-surgical emphasis and philosophy of care; access to advanced capabilities in minimally invasive spine surgery and artificial disc replacement for motion preservation; and an investment in patient education. This includes providing symptom charts and a Home Remedy Book as a community service for back and neck pain sufferers in Alabama region. Spine Group Alabama teams with affiliated spine surgeons and affiliated spine therapists in Homewood, Alabama. The spine center has an internal C-arm and injection suite that enables back and neck pain patients to have a pain-relieving spinal injection and go home within an hour. The spine center includes the expertise of Dr. Mark Downey, a physical medicine MD who has practiced in Homewood, AL for more than 10 years and has performed thousands of spinal procedures to help patients recover from back and neck pain and get back to activity, and Dr. Alex Cotter, a physical medicine MD who specializes in interventional spine. Spine Group Alabama maintains one of the busiest spine practices and is proficient in cervical, thoracic and lumbar injections. Over the years, he has become a primary referral source for thoracic and lumbar compression fractures, performing over 100 kyphoplasty procedures.

    Learn More

Do you have back or neck pain?

Did you know that pain is actually a misleading indicator of the seriousness of a back or neck problem?
Pain that radiates into a leg or arm can imply a disc herniation which is more serious than a back spasm. Even more serious, however, is the symptom of weakness or numbness in a foot or hand which needs to be seen immediately to prevent paralysis of nerves which would make the symptoms permanent and lifelong.


Non-surgical Treatment Options

While you may be able to use watchful waiting for simple back or neck pain, other symptoms like numbness or weakness in a leg or arm need to be seen within 48 hours by a spine specialist.

Get a Second Opinion, FIRST!

Do you need spine surgery? It can depend on the doctor you see. If you’ve been told you need spine surgery, the smartest move for you is to get a 2nd opinion from Dr. Downey. It is possible you may not need spine surgery.

Surgical Treatment Options

The good news is that 80% of back and neck pain gets better on its own over time. Only a small percentage of patients will ever need spine surgery. Isn’t that a relief? Learn about non-surgical treatment options.

Need an Appointment?

Spine Group Alabama specializes in the treatment of back pain, neck pain, herniated discs, and all types of ligament strain related to the neck and low back. Spine Group Alabama is referred  back and neck pain patients from across Alabama, including Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Auburn, Huntsville and Montgomery.

Office Hours:
Monday - Thursday: 8am - 4:30pm
Friday: 8am - 2:30pm
Saturday/Sunday: Closed
(205) 271-6511

Make an Appointment