The ligaments of the SI joint

The SI joint is mainly held together by bands of connective tissue known as ligaments.  

These ligaments hold the sacrum (base of the spine) and the ilia (hip bones) together to make up the two sacroiliac joints.

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The bones of the SI joint

Here are some diagrams which give you a general view of what the ligaments look like:

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View of the SI joint and ligaments from the front
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View of the SI joint ligaments from the back

An injury to the SI joint will generally involve an injury to one or more of these ligaments.

Like all ligaments in the body, when one of the SI joint ligaments is injured, it can stretch out and become looser than normal.   It can also be inflamed, which can cause additional pain.

Unfortunately, our bodies are not great at repairing ligaments.  Once a ligament becomes stretched out, it does not always regain its shape.

This is why SI joint injuries are so persistent and difficult to heal.  Our bodies were counting on those ligaments to hold our SI joints in place, and now they are no longer doing their job.

Even if your ligaments are stretched out, however, there are still a few things you can do to heal:

I learned to stop doing things that aggravated my ligaments, which allowed them to heal faster.

Finally, I ended up realizing that chiropractic adjustments were putting too much force on my SI joint ligaments.  Even though the adjustments were technically putting my joints “into place,” at a microscopic level, they were also re-spraining the ligaments each time, making it harder for the adjustment to actually stay in place.

There are other things that work for some people, as well.

I’ll be talking about all of these options in more detail in the future.  Stay tuned!

Published by Christy Collins

Hi, I'm Christy! I'm a health coach who helps people overcome SI joint dysfunction and chronic pain.

2 thoughts on “The ligaments of the SI joint

  1. Been a yr with SI joint pain (left side) Did 3 months of Chiropraric with 3 adjustments a week. Did physical therapy prior. Haven’t tried aquatic training. Flare ups have been sidelining me here and there. Makes me feel like this will never end. Thank you for giving us hope.

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    1. You’re welcome, Benjamin! I wish you all the luck in finding a way forward. Sometimes you just don’t know when things are going to fall into place– but they can, and do. Personally I had to go through 8 different physical therapists before finding someone who could really help me– but that’s what got me where I am today! Keep searching!

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