Grading of muscle power: comparison of MRC and analogue scales by physiotherapists. Medical Research Council

Int J Rehabil Res. 1984;7(2):173-81.


The M.R.C. scale for grading muscle power in stages from 0 to 5 has been compared with an analogue scale in which power is expressed as a percentage of the maximum expected for that muscle. Twenty therapists examined many patients in a series of comparative tests. The M.R.C. grade is more reliable and accurate for this type of clinical assessment in weak muscles, that is grades 0-3 on the M.R.C. scale or 0-62% on the analogue scale. The analogue scale is more reliable and accurate for the assessment of stronger muscles, that is grades 4 and 5 of the M.R.C. scale or 62-100% on the analogue scale. Therefore, analogue scales could be usefully adopted when testing bulky muscles operating at 50% or more of their normal power.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Humans
  • Muscle Contraction
  • Muscles / physiology*
  • Muscular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Muscular Diseases / therapy
  • Myography / methods
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*