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FUNCTIONAL ANATOMY education The shoulder is a complex structure comprised of several separate but complementary joints that include both the shoulder girdle and glenohumeral joint. Normal movement in this region requires coordinated efforts of the ball-and- socket glenohumeral joint, gliding motions of the acromioclavicular and sternoclavicular joints, and relative movements of the scapulothoracic joint. Proper joint alignment and adequate spacing, optimal tension in key soft tissues, and coordinated contraction of dynamic stabilizers all contribute to optimal shoulder function. This article focuses on the specific contribution of the acromioclavicular joint to the function of the shoulder. ANATOMY Seated at the front of the shoulder between the sternum and head of the humerus is the clavicle, this slightly S-shaped bone serves as a brace, levering the anterior shoulder laterally and away from the sternum and providing a significant attachment point for several large muscles of the neck, chest, and upper extremity. The acromion process is the curved lateral prominence of the spine of the scapula that articulates with the lateral portion of the clavicle. At their junction, these two bony landmarks form the point of the shoulder known as the acromioclavicular joint. The acromioclavicular joint is a gliding synovial joint, but with very limited mobility. A network of strong ligaments maintains a strong union between the clavicle and the acromion. The coracoclavicular ligaments join Acromioclavicular Joint By Christy Cael 42 m a s s a g e & b o d y w o r k n o v e m b e r / d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 9 Clavicle Sternum Sternoclavicular ligament Coracoid process Acromion process Clavicle Coracoid process Scapula Glenoid fossa Coracoacromial ligament Acromioclavicular ligament Conoid ligament Trapezoid ligament Acromioclavicular ligament Coracoacromial ligament Humerus

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