Upper limb post pic

Muscle Power Assessment (MRC Scale)

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The assessment of muscle power is a key part of a neurological examination of the upper or lower limbs. As a result, it is important to familiarise yourself with the Medical Research Council’s scale (MRC scale) of muscle power. The MRC scale of muscle strength uses a score of 0 to 5 to grade the power of a particular muscle group in relation to the movement of a single joint.

We have included the MRC scale below in several formats, to make it as accessible as possible:

You might also be interested in our OSCE Flashcard Collection which contains over 2000 flashcards that cover clinical examination, procedures, communication skills and data interpretation.

MRC Muscle Power Scale

Score Description
0 No contraction
1 Flicker or trace of contraction
2 Active movement, with gravity eliminated
3 Active movement against gravity
4 Active movement against gravity and resistance
5 Normal power


MRC Muscle Power Scale
MRC Muscle Power Scale 1


  1. Used with the permission of the Medical Research Council. Open Government Licence.


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