Spinal Stenosis Specialists

At Pain Care Providers in Irvine, CA, Dr. Reza Mahrou and Dr. Amir Rafizad use state-of-the-art approaches to relieve spinal stenosis, a painful condition caused by narrowing of the spine.

Spinal Stenosis Q & A

What is spinal stenosis?

Spinal stenosis is a condition where the open spaces in the spine become narrow, limiting the space for nerves that travel through the spine. As the spine narrows, it can begin to crowd and compress nerves, resulting in a wide array of symptoms. While some people may be born with unusually narrow spinal spaces, most spinal stenosis occurs as a result of age-related degeneration of the spine or from injuries. Sometimes, patients with arthritis in the spine form bone spurs that can wind up invading the spinal space. In a few cases, stenosis can be caused by tumors. Spinal stenosis usually occurs in the neck (the cervical spine) and the lower back (the lumbar spine).

What are the symptoms of spinal stenosis?

Some people with mild stenosis may have no symptoms at all, while more severe cases of stenosis can cause pain, numbness, tingling and muscle weakness in the arms or legs. When the condition is very severe, the nerves that control the bladder and bowel can be affected, resulting in urinary or bowel incontinence (or both). Most symptoms begin gradually and become worse over time. Some patients find temporary relief when sitting down and leaning forward.

How is spinal stenosis diagnosed?

The symptoms of spinal stenosis can be very similar to other spinal diseases, which can make diagnosis especially difficult. In addition to an examination of the back and a careful review of symptoms, imaging tests including x-rays, MRIs, and CT scans are often used to confirm the diagnosis.

How is spinal stenosis treated?

Some mild forms of spinal stenosis may be treated with conservative approaches including physical therapy and medication to reduce pain and inflammation. As the condition progresses, injections of corticosteroids and other medications can be very helpful in controlling painful symptoms. Injections are made into the epidural space, outside the spinal cord. A contrast solution is used to ensure the medication is effectively delivered to the treatment area. During the treatment, real-time x-ray imaging is used to ensure proper placement of the needle and medication.


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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