Sciatica Specialists

At Pain Care Providers in Irvine, 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
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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