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Senior Physiotherapy

GLA:D Program:

First Line Treatment for Osteoarthritis


What is the GLAD Program?

GLA:D or Good Life with Arthritis: Denmark is an education and exercise program developed by researchers in Denmark to improve symptoms of Hip and Knee Osteoarthritis (OA). GLAD has a wealth of research evidence to support its effectiveness

Osteoarthritis in Australia

OA can have massive impact on quality of life and affects 1 in 11 people in Australia. See the below stats recently published by the Australian Institute of Health and Wellbeing:

OA stats.JPG

There is a worrying significant upward trend in people with OA having knee replacements, who don't necessarily need them.

Unfortunately, the majority of Australians are receiving suboptimal treatment for OA. Research has consistently shown that education, exercise and weight control improves the quality of life in people with Hip and Knee OA. It should be First line treatment regardless of how severe your OA is.

OA treatment pyramid.PNG

Wont exercising make my pain OA worse? 

Contrary to belief there is very little evidence to suggest that exercise or a previous history of an active lifestyle leads to worsening of OA. When provided with individualised exercises, of the appropriate level and with adequate supervision, strengthening and Neuromuscular control exercises are strongly recommended as first line treatment. 

While exercising may at times, temporarily, make your symptoms worse this DOES NOT indicate damage.  There is very little correlation to pain and actual damage to the knee. Exercise plus weight loss ( if needed) are the BEST things that you can do for OA 

My XRAY shows severe OA and bone on bone, should I be worried?

There is very poor correlation between the degree of "pathological" findings found on  imaging and the amount of pain and disability your are experiencing. As we get older the chance of pathological findings on X-ray increases in all individuals. For example 80% of the older population may have features of OA in their Xray but not all 90% of those individuals are impacted by pain. 

Ask yourself this question; Your pain in your hip or knee may change from day to day and at times you may not experience any pain at all. Do you think the amount of OA you have in the joint changes day to day also? ie OA severity does not = pain severity or prognosis 


What does the GLA:D program involve?

The GLAD program incorporates two components, Education and Exercise.

The education component involves 2 sessions to teach you about OA, how GLA:D helps and other strategies to improve pain and function, including enhancing your ability to self manage once the program is finished. The Exercise component involves twice weekly 1 hour sessions over 6 weeks, targeting muscle strength and nueromuscular control.  This has been consistently demonstrated to improve quality of life. The program is then finished by a 1:1 session with your treating GLAD accredited Physiotherapist to measure improvements. 

If you need further information, about how GLA:D can help you, please do not hesitate to contact us on 9744 5066 and one of our physiotherapists will be happy to answer any queries.

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