Osteoarthritis and the GLA:D program – What is it and how does it work?


What is GLA:D?

GLAD Program

Osteoarthritis is the most common lifestyle disease in people over the age of 65. It has even been found that persistent hip and knee pain, which is common even in younger people, can be an early sign of osteoarthritis. Because of osteoarthritis’ high prevalence and impact on lifestyle, the GLA:D program was developed.

Good Life with osteoArthritis: Denmark, or GLA:D, is an education and exercise program developed by researchers for people with knee or hip osteoarthritis.

Research by GLA:D in Australia has found an average pain reduction of 36%, reduced analgesic consumption, reduction in perceived need for surgery, and clinically meaningful improvement in joint confidence upon completion of the program.

How is the program structured?

The GLA:D program involves 2 education sessions discussing what osteoarthritis is and the best evidence on how to treat it.

This is followed by 12 exercise sessions, supervised by a GLA:D qualified physiotherapist. These exercise sessions are targeted towards improving symptoms associated with osteoarthritis, like pain and stiffness, and increasing function, so you can continue to enjoy the things you love and feel more comfortable when doing every day tasks!

How does it work?

GLAD Program

Educating people on what osteoarthritis is and the best treatment for it, helps individuals understand what is going on in their joints and empower them with the knowledge and skills to self-manage their osteoarthritis to make sure that it does not control their lives.

Without going into too much detail, the supervised and individualised exercise sessions work by:

  • Building confidence to participate in exercise and execute everyday tasks, for example, going up and down stairs and getting up from the floor.
  • Increasing joint control and balance
  • Building muscle strength
  • Improving joint range of motion
  • Making the cartilage in our joints healthier
  • Prevent symptom progression and reduce pain

More information on how exercise achieves this is covered in depth during the education sessions.

Leading Edge Physiotherapy and GLA:D

We have been running the GLA:D program for a while at Leading Edge and helped several people with varying degrees of hip and/or knee osteoarthritis. Not only is the GLA:D program a great way of taking control of osteoarthritis without involving surgery, it can also be used before or after a joint procedure to promote a successful recovery.

We run it at our Rose Park and Western Hospital locations and if you would like to be involved or learn more about it, get started by booking online or contacting either of our clinics.

For more information on the GLA:D program, you can also head to the GLA:D Australia website by clicking on the following link: https://gladaustralia.com.au/