Over the past 35 years, I have helped hundreds of patients overcome the agonizing pain of sacroiliac dysfunction. For most of these patients, the problem is solved. No more back pain, no more hip pain, no more leg pain. They are able to enjoy walking and running again. Our methods are so successful they are now being recommended by two prestigious medical organizations, the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society.
Inflammation of the sacroiliac joints is one of the most common causes of low back pain and leg pain. The SI joints are located at the end of the spine between the sacrum and the two ilium bones which make up the back portion of the pelvis. Although the SI joints are not freely moveable (like the shoulders), their limited motion is necessary for normal standing, walking and running.
The pain associated with SI joint dysfunction results from inflammation of the ligaments which hold the ilium and the sacrum together.
1. Pain is typically localized in the back of the pelvis at the beltline. Usually on one side.
2. Pain is primarily increased by walking, standing or running.
3. Misalignment of the SI joint, muscle spasm and inflammation can irritate or compress the sciatic nerve causing sciatic pain which radiates down the back of the leg.
4. Pain can range from mild to severe.
5. Symptoms can become chronic lasting for years.
1. Sacroiliac pain is usually caused by trauma to the low back, pelvis or legs. Lifting, bending, falls, auto accidents or sports injuries can cause SI Joint dysfunction. These result in damage to the ligaments of the SI Joint causing inflammation and pain.
2. Pregnancy results in the release of estrogen and progesterone which in turn increase the flexibility of the pelvic ligaments. The pelvis is permitted to expand to accommodate the growing fetus. The net result can be misalignment of pelvic bones and inflammation of the SI Joints.
Our Conservative Treatment for Sacroiliac Pain
We have developed programs specifically for the treatment of SI Joint Dysfunction. We will design your program to meet your unique needs. Our methods are research proven to be very safe and powerfully effective. Therapy at our clinic includes the following:
Spinal Manipulative Therapy
Soft Tissue Therapy: Acupressure, Stretch & Trigger Point Therapy
Spinal Decompression (Non-Surgical)
For your information I have included some of the medical treatments for sacroiliac dysfunction. If you are interested in any of them you should discuss them with a qualified medical physician.
Drugs: Anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, are commonly used to treat pain and inflammation. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) can be used to treat pain.
CAUTION: Prolonged use of these drugs can cause damage to the digestive tract, liver and kidneys. If you have questions concerning their use, contact a qualified physician.
Injections: A series of cortisone injection may be recommended to try to reduce inflammation. Research has shown these injections to be ineffective in the treatment of SI Dysfunction, giving only temporary relief.
Radiofrequency ablation: The nerves in the area of the SI Joint are “burned out” or destroyed with a special needle called a radiofrequency probe. This procedure is not always successful and usually provides only temporary relief.
Surgery: A very destructive, last resort. Surgery involves fusing the ilium and sacrum together using screws and plates. This stops motion between the two bones and theoretically stops the pain.
Weekly, I am thankful that I trusted my body and gave it time to HEAL and avoid unnecessary surgeries. It takes time to heal the spine, but it's a whole unit that requires our care and respect - my lifestyle was forever altered and I still do exercises and stretches that I learned through Dr. Zapf, which ensures that my spine is cared, years after being symptom free.
I feel that I am now close to my pre-injury strength and mobility and I am glad that I didn’t give up on the non medication treatment. Thru this process I learned 4 things from Dr. Zapf: 1) Follow the therapy; 2) Be patient; 3) listen to your body, and 4) trust. I highly recommend Dr. Zapf. On a scale of 1-10 I would give Dr. Zapf a 10. By following his recommendations my condition has improved such that I have been able to resume my activities.
With Dr. Zapf’s therapy and his guidance on stretching and strength training my condition has improved such that I have been able to resume my running and bike riding. If you are experiencing issues with your back I recommend you give Dr. Zapf a call because you have nothing to lose but the pain.
My husband has been going to Dr. Robert Zapf for thirty years, and that tells a lot. He's a very good chiropractor.
He has got a great patient to doctor relationship. He doesn't push medication or surgeries and wants you to use exercise to get you better. He has special medical machinery to manipulate the back. I slipped a disk a couple of weeks ago and so I had to walk with a cane to walk and after 2 weeks of going to him I didn't have to use the cane any longer. His wife is a Nurse assistant and handles all the daily work, appointments, etc. and he also has a college student that assists that is studying physical therapy.
It's been 5 years with Dr Zapf! He's great and very friendly!