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Strength of Individual Muscle Groups

Posted Jun 25 2009 1:59pm
Neuroexam.com - Strength of Individual Muscle Groups


Patterns of weakness can help localize a lesion to a particular cortical or white matter region, spinal cord level, nerve root, peripheral nerve, or muscle. Test the strength of each muscle group and record it in a systematic fashion. It is wise to pair the testing of each muscle group immediately with testing of its contralateral counterpart to enhance detection of any asymmetries. Muscle strength is often rated on a scale of 0/5 to 5/5 as follows:

* 0/5: no contraction
* 1/5: muscle flicker, but no movement
* 2/5: movement possible, but not against gravity (test the joint in its horizontal plane)
* 3/5: movement possible against gravity, but not against resistance by the examiner
* 4/5: movement possible against some resistance by the examiner (sometimes this category is subdivided further into 4–/5, 4/5, and 4+/5)
* 5/5: normal strength
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