Motor Strength Examination

The evaluation of a patient's motor strength is graded on a scale of 0 to 5, with 3 being movement against gravity. Examination should test the patient's strength in the flexors and extensors of the shoulders, elbows, wrists, and fingers, as well as the flexors and extensors of the hips, knees, and ankles. Table 5.1 highlights the grading scale for motor strength.

Table 5.1 Motor strength scales.




Absent voluntary contraction


Feeble contractions that are unable to move a joint


Movement with gravity eliminated


Movement against gravity


Movement against partial resistance


Full strength

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