Sciatica Specialists

Pain Care Providers

Pain Management Physicians located in Irvine, San Clemente, & Fountain Valley, CA

At Pain Care Providers in Irvine and Fountain Valley, CA, Dr. Amir Rafizad and Dr. Reza Mahrou offer noninvasive solutions for long-term relief of sciatica pain in men and women.

Sciatica Q & A

What is sciatica?

Sciatica is a painful condition that develops when the sciatic nerve becomes irritated and compressed where it exits the spine in the lower back. The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body with two branches that extend down each leg. When the nerve exits the spine and becomes pinched (usually from a “slipped” or herniated disc), sharp pain, dull aching, numbness and burning sensations can occur in the lower back and in the buttocks and legs. Sometimes, pain can feel like an electrical shock while other times, it can be dull and persistent. Sciatica can affect one or both branches of the nerve, and symptoms can range from relatively mild to severe and debilitating, even interfering with work and sleep.

What are the risk factors for sciatica?

Sciatica is more prevalent in people who stand or sit for long periods of time at work or school, and it can also occur as a result of heavy lifting that puts uneven or extreme stress on the lower back. Being pregnant or being obese can also increase the risk of developing sciatica as the body shifts its center of gravity to adjust to the strain of supporting excess weight. Accident injuries, poor posture and not having enough support during sleep can also cause sciatica.

What treatments are available for sciatica?

Most sciatica is caused when one of the spongy discs that separate the spine bones (vertebrae) slips out of place, pressing on the nerve and surrounding tissues and causing irritation and inflammation. Many treatments focus on reducing pain and inflammation and on helping the disc resume its normal position. In very mild cases, oral medications to relieve pain and inflammation can help, especially if combined with physical therapy and gentle stretching. But for other underlying causes or for persistent or recurring pain, minimally-invasive options like injections of pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications can help by directing medication directly to the source of pain. Nerve block injections in the sacroiliac joint can also be used to block the pain signals to help restore pain-free range of motion.


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
Greater Newport Physician
United Healthcare