MRC Scale⎟Muscle Strength Grading


This is going to be a video on the MRC Scale to rate muscle strength. MRC stands for Medical Research Council which is the institution that set up the standard for muscle strength testing. The strength can be categorized on a level from zero to five. In our example, we will use the extension of the knee joint. So, the muscle which we are going to test is the Quadriceps. The levels are as follows: Grade 0: The patient cannot activate the muscle, so no movement is observed. For grade 0, ask the patient to contract his quadriceps. He can do this by pushing the back of his knee into the bench. For grade 0, I will not see or feel a flicker or trace of contraction or movement. Grade 1: the patient can activate the muscle, without moving the limb. So only a trace or flicker of movement is seen or felt during palpation of the muscle. For grade 1, ask the patient to do the exact same thing, and this time, you will see or feel a muscle flicker or trace of movement. Grade 2: movement over full range of motion
can only occur if gravity is eliminated. In order to distinguish between grade 1 and 2, we have to bring our patient in side-laying position to eliminate gravity. Then, I will support the leg of my patient, bring it into full flexion and ask my patient to move into extension. If my patient is able to move through the full range of motion, this is a grade 2. If no movement is possible at all, we are talking about grade 1. Grade 3: the patient can overcome gravity and move through the full range of motion without resistance coming from the examiner. For grade 3, I’ll ask my patient to extend his knee against gravity. Grade 4: weakness with resistance. So your patient can move through the full range of motion with moderate resistance coming from the examiner. For grade 4, I will give moderate resistance against the extension of my patient’s knee. And at last, grade 5: full strength. So your patient can move through the whole range of motion against full resistance coming from the examiner. And for grade 5, I’ll give full resistance against the extension of my patient’s knee. In order to distinguish between a grade 4 and 5, make sure to compare both legs. Now that you’ve seen the basics of how to test according to the MRC scale, make sure to practice this with different joints and muscles and figure out a way of how to position your patient. Okay, this was our video on the MRC Scale, I hope this video was helpful to you. If it was, give it a thumbs up and subscribe to our channel if you haven’t and if you want a quick information about your patient’s strength of his hip and knee muscles, check out our resisted isometric videos right here and see you next time, bye.

40 Replies to “MRC Scale⎟Muscle Strength Grading”

  1. movement up to a partial range of motion in a elimnated gravity is any case grade 2?
    and and likewise, a partial range of motion against gravity and no resistance is grade 3?

  2. Is the MRC scale also known as the Oxford Scale?
    I'm an undergrad and have only come across the term 'Oxford Scale' before.
    Many thanks.

  3. Is this different from the Kendall version where if you can’t move the patients leg from the extended position it’s a 5. If you can break the extension hold it’s a 4?

  4. Hy, how would you do a resistance test for the abdominal muscles to test strength using the MRC scale?
    Thank you so much!!

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