Herniated Disk Specialists

Dr. Amir Rafizad and Dr. Reza Mahrou of Pain Care Providers in Irvine, CA offer effective solutions for herniated discs in patients from throughout Southern California.

Herniated Q & A

What is a herniated disc?

The spine is composed of a series of interconnected bones or vertebrae. In between each pair of vertebrae is a spongy disc that helps the spine stay flexible and mobile while also providing shock absorption when walking, running and performing other impact activities. Discs have a tough outer layer called the annulus fibrosus and a gel-like interior called the nucleus pulposus. Sometimes, a disc will slip out of its normal position and extend over the edge of the vertebrae. As the spine flexes and moves, this portion of the disc becomes pinched or herniated. When pressure on the disc is extreme, the bulge can grow and press on surrounding tissues including the nerves as they exit that area of the spine. Over time, the disc can rupture and the gel-like interior material can leak out, increasing irritation and inflammation of the nerves and surrounding tissues.

What causes discs to become herniated?

Several issues can cause herniated and ruptured discs, including:

  • poor posture
  • being overweight or obese
  • being pregnant
  • standing or sitting for long periods of time
  • repetitive movements and overuse injuries
  • improper lifting techniques
  • car accidents, slip-and-fall accidents and sports injuries
  • smoking
  • some spinal diseases

What symptoms are associated with herniated discs?

Herniated discs can cause pain and numbness in the lower back as well as pain, burning or tingling sensations, and numbness extending into the buttocks and legs. Sometimes, muscles can feel tired or fatigued. Symptoms are usually worse when sitting or lying down, and many people with sciatica find it difficult to sleep when symptoms are flaring up.

What treatments are available for herniated discs?

Very mild symptoms may resolve over time with rest, ice and gentle stretching exercises aimed at easing the disc back into its normal position so nerve irritation and compression are relieved. Patients with moderate to severe symptoms and those who have persistent or recurring symptoms often find relief with injections aimed at reducing pain or blocking nerve signals associated with pain, combined with medications aimed at reducing inflammation.


We are contracted with various PPO plans as well as Medicare and MediCal. Please call our office if you do not see your insurance listed here.

Aetna HMO
Anthem Blue Cross
Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield HMO
United Healthcare

Words from our patients

  • Healthgrades

    "Dr. Rafizad is a very smart, caring doctor who has extraordinary knowledge about choosing the right medicines."

    Michael T.
  • facebook

    "Dr. Mahrou, Dr. Rafizad, nurses & administrative staff are a complete team for pain management, very professional & caring for their patients. Thank you PCP!!!"

    Oliver L.
  • Yelp

    "I would highly recommend [Dr. Mahrou] to anyone suffering from acute or chronic pain. He truly is THE BEST physician I have ever had."

    Diann H.
  • Yelp

    "I LOVE these two doctors; they are one of a kind. When you're in the office with the doctors they always make you feel as if you're the only person that matters."

    Melanie J.
  • Yelp

    "Dr. Rafizad has saved my life making the pain tolerable and in some cases go away all together."

    Marylou B.
  • RateMDs

    "Dr. Rafizad is super intelligent & he actually listens when one speaks. I would recommend Dr. Rafizad highly to anyone with a pain issue. This is a first rate doctor."

    Verified Patient
  • Vitals

    "Dr. Reza Mahrou was a very PLEASANT and professional individual. We talked and he actually "listened" to what I had to say. I would definitely recommend this doctor."

    Verified Patient
  • facebook

    "Dr Mahrou is the kindest most compassionate Dr. He has definitely improved my quality of life. He and Dr. Rafizad are my Dynamic Duo!"

    Shannon B.
  • Yelp

    "I recently had a procedure performed on my back. I'm very pleased with this group and will continue to go there. I would definitely recommend them."

    Stefani W.
  • Yelp

    "Dr. Mahrou is the most kind, genuine, compassionate Pain Management doctor I have ever seen. Thank god for Doctors that love their job and genuinely try to help people."

    Amy B.
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