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David Sower, M.D.

Non-Surgical Spine Care
Right In Your Backyard

As a non-surgical spine specialist, it is my objective to help you reach your goals through top quality care. Rather than just alleviating the symptoms, I want to help you cure the underlying problem to provide lasting health and mobility.

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Education

Depauw University, B.A Biology, 1989-1993

University of Kentucky College of Medicine, M.D. 1994-1998

Internship

Orthopaedic Surgery, 1997

Residency

University of Kentucky, Emergency Medicine, 1998-2001

Chief Resident, 2000-2001

Certification

American Board of Emergency Medicine, 2002-Present

Professional Organizations

American Board of Emergency Medicine

Dr. Sower Talks About Walk-In Orthopaedic Urgent Care

Common Conditions Treated by Dr. Sower

Spinal Stenosis

The symptoms of spinal stenosis can manifest in many forms, depending on the location and severity of the stenosis, or narrowing of the bone channel occupied by the spinal cord or nerves in the spine. Spinal stenosis typically develops slowly over time, with pain increasing and decreasing, rather than feeling constant.

Treatment options include physical therapy, targeted injections, and non-surgical decompression to help re-open the constricted channel. Your medical history, desired level of activity, and severity of the stenosis are all factors to consider when deciding which treatment option is best for you.

Facet Arthritis

Each spinal vertebrae has two sets of facet joints. Degeneration of these joints as we age can lead to a lot of problems, including pain, weakness, instability, and loss of motion.
Non-surgical treatment options for facet arthritis include physical therapy and specialized exercises, correcting posture, implementing proper support of the spine when seated, applications of heat or cold, and changes in daily activities to reduce stress on the spine. Anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen, may also provide some relief and help prevent additional damage.

Herniated Discs

Herniated discs can occur anywhere along the spinal column, from your neck (cervical spine) to your lower back (lumbar spine). Disc problems are more common in the lumbar spine, which causes extra pressure on the intricate network of nerves, muscles, and blood vessels in that area. This often results in some combination of pain, numbness, or weakness which may even extend into your hands, arms, and legs.

For most lumbar and cervical herniated discs, pain and discomfort can be reduced or eliminated without the need for surgery. Sometimes this may require trying several treatment plans to narrow down the most effective option. Depending on your medical history and activity level, Dr. Sower may recommend a combination of manipulation, physical therapy, or injections.

Radiculopathy

Radiculopathy refers to an array of symptoms associated with the pinching of a nerve root in the spine, which is then worsened by the resulting inflammation. This pinched nerve can occur anywhere throughout the spine, and often causes sharp pain, weakness, numbness, or tingling in the shoulders, arms, hands, or legs.

One of the most common causes of radiculopathy is the narrowing of the spaces where nerve roots exit the spinal canal. Fortunately, this is often treatable with non-surgical options, but in certain situations Dr. Sower may recommend minimally invasive surgery.

Scoliosis

Scoliosis refers to an abnormal curvature of the spine. Most cases of scoliosis are mild and many do not require treatment, but because most cases develop in children around their puberty growth spirts, cases should be monitored by a spine specialist. This will help prevent more serious spinal deformities and ensure that treatment is recommended when appropriate.

Common symptoms include uneven shoulders, one more prominent shoulder blade, an asymmetric waist or a higher and lower hip. In more severe cases, where the spine rotates, the ribs on one side of the body may protrude noticeably more than the other side.

Treatment options for scoliosis depend on your individual condition and medical history. Many patients have had success with non-surgical treatments such as physical therapy, manipulation, and posture correction.

Common Conditions (Cont.)

Concussion

Concussions are caused by impact to the head, and may occur with or without loss of consciousness. Symptoms of concussions include headache, memory loss, confusion, dizziness, lack of coordination, slurred speech, ringing in the ears, nausea, and a feeling of sleepiness or fatigue.

The best treatment for a concussion begins with an expert assessment. They will most likely prescribe rest and limiting specific activities to allow the brain to recuperate. For example, limiting or avoiding sports and certain exercises, screen time (video games, television, etc.), loud situations, and activities that cause mental stimulation such as reading or school work.

Spinal Strains

A spinal strain refers to an injured tendon or muscle, whereas a sprain refers to a damaged ligament. These types of injuries occur commonly, and can cause severe pain in the neck or back. Symptoms of spinal strain often include dizziness or headaches, pain or stiffness in the upper back and shoulders, as well as pain radiating in the jaw or arms.

Fortunately, treatment for spinal strains rarely requires surgery. Neck support, posture supports, and ergonomic adjustments to chairs or beds can help reduce symptoms and prevent the problem from recurring.

Degenerative Disc Disease

Nearly everyone will experience the breaking down of their spinal discs, although it usually occurs without pain. There are two major factors that cause pain from degenerative discs. The first is the drying out of discs, which causing them to lose density and prevents your discs from absorbing shock as well. The second is fracturing which can cause nerve pain by constricting nerve canals.

Depending on a patient’s medical history, age, and desired lifestyle, a variety of treatment options are available for degenerative disc disease. These include medical to reduce inflammation, physical therapy, regenerative medicine injections, and, in some cases, surgical intervention to repair or remove the damaged part of the disc.

Lumbar Epidurals (ESI)

An Epidural Steroid Injection, also called an “ESI,” refers to a minimally invasive procedure that helps relieve pain and stiffness caused by inflamed nerves in the spine. The injection includes a corticosteroid and a numbing agent, such as lidocaine, to help reduce and prevent inflammation and pain.

The injection typically begins working within 2-5 days and the effects typically last for several months. ESI treatments are often used in conjunction with physical therapy to create a lasting solution.

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)

Platelet rich plasma, also called “PRP,” refers to an injection of blood platelets into damaged tissue to promote healing. The blood is taken from the patient and then centrifuged on-site at Beacon Orthopaedics. The injection is then guided by ultrasound to ensure specific and accurate placement where the growth factors in the plasma can encourage healing and healthy tissue growth. PRP typically requires a series of injections for best results, and may be combined with physical therapy to ensure an ideal outcome.

Ready to Experience the Beacon Difference?

Dr. David Sower treats spine patients at two locations: Erlanger in Northern Kentucky and Beacon East (Beechmont Ave.) for patients in Ohio. To schedule your appointment at the location most convenient for you, please call (513) 354-3700.

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