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

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Clinical team

Mark Downey, MD | Alex Cotter, MD

Mark J. Downey, MD

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. Mark Downey is a native of Anniston, Alabama. He has been in practice in Homewood, Alabama 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. His practice serves as a referral center for general and complex non-surgical spinal problems in the region. He maintains one of the busiest spine practices in Alabama.

Dr. Mark Downey is a graduate of Samford University in Birmingham. He received his medical degree from the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and completed his residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) at UAB. Following his residency training, he completed additional training in interventional spine procedures making him proficient in cervical, thoracic and lumbar injections. Over the past 2 years, he has become a primary referral source for thoracic and lumbar compression fractures, performing over 100 kyphoplasty procedures in his in-office surgical suite.

Dr. Downey and his wife Kim, live in Vestavia Hills with their three young boys. He enjoys golf, exercise, wake-boarding, and outdoor activities with his family. He spends much of his free time practicing baseball and basketball with his boys. He also serves as a drummer on the praise team at his local church.

Spine surgery capabilities

If spine surgery is necessary for the treatment of a herniated disc, Spine Group Alabama accesses the expertise of an orthopedic spine surgeon who has performed more than 2,000 successful spine surgeries. This spine surgeon emphasizes minimally invasive approach to reduce the length of the incision to lessen time in the hospital and speed return to activity. For those patients with herniated discs, spine surgery options may include artificial disc replacement for motion preservation as an alternative to spinal fusion for back pain or neck pain.

Spine therapy capabilities

Spine Group Alabama emphasizes nonsurgical treatment for back pain and neck pain where possible. This can include spinal injections that can enable patients to then visit with our affiliated spine therapists. These spine therapists use the Spine Group Alabama Home Remedy Book for back pain and neck pain. The spine specialized therapist also emphasize manual therapy and custom stretches that can relieve pain and make the back or neck more flexible and resistant to future back strain. These therapists can provide a customized home exercise program from this Home Remedy Book.

On-Time Doctor Award (2020)
Vitals On-Time + Promptness Award recognizes doctors with consistent high ratings for timeliness of appointments. The honor is granted based on a physician's overall and promptness scores.

Compassionate Doctor Award (2020)
Compassionate Doctor certification is granted to physicians who treat their patients with the utmost kindness. The honor is granted based on a physician's overall and bedside manner scores.

Patient’s Choice Award (2020)
Patients' Choice recognition reflects the difference a particular physician has made in the lives of his/her patients. The honor is bestowed to physicians who have received near perfect scores, as voted by patients.


Alex Cotter, MD

Board-eligible Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
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 is a native of Mobile, Alabama. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Alabama and his medical degree from University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine. After completing his transition year at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, he returned to UAB for his residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, where he served as chief resident. After residency he culminated his training with an ACGME accredited fellowship in Pain Medicine at UAB. Dr. Cotter is proficient in cervical, thoracic, lumbar, and major joint injections using fluoroscopy and ultrasound.

Dr. Cotter strives to improve patients' quality of life and return them to healthy, active living through the use of comprehensive, conservative spine care. As part of his fellowship training, Dr. Cotter is proficient in the use of neuro-modulation for pain relief for cervical and lumbar pain. In 2020, Dr. Cotter joined SpineGroup Alabama in the practice’s mission to become Alabama's first Spine Center of Excellence. 

Dr. Cotter and his wife Jacqueline live in Birmingham. He spends his leisure time traveling, hiking, camping and grilling out. He and Jacqueline especially enjoy exploring the country’s beautiful national parks. Dr. Cotter has even been known to pick up his trumpet for a Mardi Gras parade in Mobile. 


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, Hunstville and Montgomery.

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

Make an Appointment


Over the past 10 years, Dr. Mark Downey at Spine Group Alabama has been the preferred back pain specialist for patients from across Birmingham, Homewood, Tuscaloosa, Auburn, Hunstville and Montgomery. Those with back pain or neck pain often struggle to find a back doctor or spine center that can provide a second opinion for spine surgery and offer nonsurgical treatment for back pain, neck pain, scoliosis (curvature of the spine) and pain symptoms related to a herniated disc. Spine Group Alabama is a Birmingham-based spine center that provides spinal injections, with access to specialists in spine therapy, minimally invasive spine surgery and artificial disc replacement. 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. 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 and Dr. Alex Cotter, physical medicine specialists who have performed thousands of spinal procedures to help patients recover from back and neck pain and get back to activity. Spine Group Alabama maintains one of the busiest spine practices and is proficient in cervical, thoracic and lumbar injections and kyphoplasty.