SOAR: Spine, Orthopedics and Rehabilitation Focuses On Multidisciplinary Approach To Pain Management
By Space Coast Daily // May 23, 2016
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If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a team of seasoned medical professionals to successfully treat orthopedic and chronic pain disorders.
The staff of Spine, Orthopedics and Rehabilitation, or SOAR, are just such a team.
“Dealing with chronic pain is like trying to describe a symphony to someone who is deaf,” said SOAR patient Amy.
“I take great comfort knowing I am in capable hands.”
Started by Dr. Brian Dowdell, SOAR took off in 2003 with a philosophy of care based on a multidisciplinary approach to helping patients through a focus on advanced, minimally invasive interventional pain therapy, physical therapy, medication optimization and diagnostics.
The practice, which originated in Melbourne, has expanded to encompass a large section of Central Florida, including Orlando, Lake Mary, Rockledge, Viera and Cocoa.
SOAR helps patients with medical issues relating to auto accidents, work injuries, sports-related injuries, arm and leg pain, sciatica, shoulder and knee pain, nervous tension/fatigue, low back pain, neck pain, headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome, sprains and strains, joint pain, bursitis, tendonitis and TMJ or facial pain.
The SOAR Team
The physician leading this expert team is Dr. Dowdell, on staff at Health First Holmes Regional Medical Center, Wuesthoff Medical Center, Orlando South Seminole Hospital and the Surgical Care Affiliates Surgery Center.
A graduate of State University of New York at Buffalo School of Medicine, Dowdell also completed his internship at that institution and finished his residency at Stanford University Medical Center.
He is affiliated with the American Academy of Pain Medicine, the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Florida Society of Physical medicine and Rehabilitation, the North American Spine Society and the Physiatric Association of Spine, Sports and Occupational Rehabilitation, among others.
Dowdell’s team at SOAR includes Dr. Alberto Cabantog, aka Dr. Al, and family nurse practitioner Dawn Trundle.
A graduate of DeLaSalle University College of Medicine in the Philippines. Cabantog completed fellowships at Harvard University’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the Toronto Hospital, and residencies at University of Massachusetts Medical School, Tufts School of Medicine and the University of Vermont’s Fletcher Allen Health Care, among others.
With a doctorate of nursing practice from the University of Tennessee, Trundle brings to the SOAR team more than a decade’s experience in patient care, including service as family and orthopedic nurse practitioner at Cleveland Medical, Back Pain and Neuropathy Clinic.
Rounding out the SOAR team is physical therapist Matt Thompson, who in addition to physical therapy, offers functional tolerance assessments, gait analysis and bracing. Thompson and his physical therapy team help patients improve flexibility and gain strength and functional mobility to better tackle the tasks for everyday living.
Precise Diagnosis Critical For Effective Pain Management
State-of-the-art diagnostics equipment includes electromyography and nerve conduction testing, high complexity laboratory, x-ray, bone densitometry or DEXA and discography.
Discovering and treating the cause of the patient’s pain is paramount.
“Aches are symptomatic and the objective is to diagnose causative factors for the most beneficial treatment regimen,” said Dowdell.
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Living with pain is no longer a fact of life, thanks to the variety of specialized treatments available after a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation is completed.
“Advances such as high-frequency spinal cord stimulation, radiofrequency ablation implantable pumps for pain control, percutaneous discectomy and intradiscal electrothermal annuloplasty offer considerable relief from chronic pain,” said Dowdell.
Stem Cell Therapy Applicable In Many Clinical Settings
One of the most exciting and promising treatments available is stem cell therapy.
“We started the program last year,” said Dowdell. “It is appropriate for treating tendonitis, low back pain and for patients with arthritis in their shoulders, hips, knees, ankles and spine.
Stem cells, the body’s “super producers,” not only have the ability to make copies of themselves when they divide, but they can also replicate other, more specialized cells.
For areas of the body that undergo continuous cell replacement, such as the blood, the skin and digestive tract, stem cells are essential, as they are also for muscle that is often damaged through physical stress.
“Stem cells are undifferentiated cells that divide and differentiate into specialized cells that contribute to creating or repairing injured tissue and organs when exposed in specific environments in the body.
“There has been research in which stem cells have been used for neuromuscular disease, osteoporosis, hair loss, erectile dysfunction, and skin wrinkles.”
Stem cell therapy, performed under minimally invasive conditions, can significantly facilitate rapid healing and recovery.
SOAR Offers Broad Range Of Innovative, Proven Procedures
Stem cell therapy is, of course, just one of many treatment options that, based on the need of the specific patient, may include image-guided treatment such as the minimally-invasive nucleopasty, or percutaneous discectomy, for herniated discs.
The procedure offers fewer risks for complication and less recovery time than traditional surgery.
Migraines, muscle spasms and muscular disorders such as torticollis respond well to botulinum toxic injections.
For rapid-response relief of inflamed joints, tendons and bursa, joint injections are often the answer. Also, nerve blocks injected adjacent to the nerve to halt transmission of pain impulses are effective in rapid pain relief.
Neuroablation, selectively incapacitating non-critical, purely sensory nerves to relieve chronic pain, can offer relieve for patients suffering from whiplash injuries, neck and shoulder pain, neuralgia, sacroiliac syndrome and fact joint pain syndrome. The goal is to selectively destroy pain fibers without inducing excessive sensory loss and motor dysfunction.
Neuroablation can be performed by a percutaneous procedure in which nerve fibers are selectively destroyed by the heat produced by radio waves (radiofrequency ablation or RFA) delivered through an electrode. Chemical neuroablation is similar to RFA, but depends on the use of absolute alcohol or 6% phenol to target the pain-causing nerves.
Neuromodulation delivers electrical stimulation or chemical agents to targeted sites in the body to normalize nerve funding.
Additional treatment modalities include acupuncture, bracing, topical therapies, plasma-rich platelet therapy, vertebral augmentation and prescription medications.
‘Best In the World’
Chronic pain, debilitating and detrimental to quality of life, requires the expertise, insight and compassion of medical professionals well versed in the most advanced treatment. Anna found this winning recipe for pain relief at SOAR.
“I have been searching and searching for a real pain management doctor,” she wrote. “Now I have the best in the world.”
SOAR offices are located at 308 S. Harbor City Blvd., Suite A, Melbourne; 389 Commerce Pkwy., Suite 129, Rockledge; 12301 Lake Underhill Road, Suite 1221, Orlando; and 1315 S. International Pkwy., Suite 1111, Lake Mary.
For more information, call 321-733-0064 or see SoarFlorida.com