What is the GLA:D® Australia program?
GLAD stands for “Good living with arthritis in Denmark”, where the program was first developed.
The GLA:D® Australia program is a 6 week exercise and education program specifically designed to help those with knee and hip osteoarthritis (OA) improve their joint function and confidence managing the condition. The program is backed by strong scientific evidence with research showing an average reduction in pain of 3 points on a 10-point scale by the conclusion of the 6 weeks.
The Royal Australian College of GP’s (RACGP) clinical guidelines state that all people seeking care for hip or knee osteoarthritis should be offered education, exercise and weight loss (if appropriate) in the first instance. These are our “first-line treatment” options.
Beyond this, we have a tendency to gravitate towards treatments that offer more superficial, symptom-relief like pain medications, taping, inner souls, walking aids, supplements, and injections (second-line treatments), or worse, progress straight to “third line treatment” options like surgery and joint replacements.
Unfortunately, in Australia today, a large percentage of people with hip or knee OA do not seem to be receiving care in line with these guidelines. Our second and third line treatments clearly do have their place, but ideally should only be considered if first line treatment is not successful.
Many GPs are providing first line treatment advice and referral for OA, however, it can be difficult to get an understanding of the condition, types of exercise and the amount you should be doing in a typical GP consultation. This is where the GLA:D® Australia program can really make a difference.
What to Expect
- An individual assessment prior to commencement
- Development of personal, program-specific goals
- 12 x 1 hour supervised and specifically tailored exercises in a small group setting
- 2 x 1 hour group education sessions.
- Reassessment questionnaire three months post-commencement of program
GLA:D® Australia Program Outcomes
Research from the GLA:D® program in Australia found an average reduction in pain of 27% (hip) and 33% (knee), improved quality of life by 20% (hip) and 29% (knee), and reduced usage of pain medication by 45% (hip) and 49% (knee) – GLA:D® Australia Annual Report, 2020.
It was also found that less people desired surgery after completing the program.
If you would like to address your hip and knee OA with the most up to date evidence based treatment, the GLA:D® Australia program offers a safe method that may reduce your need for medications, avoid the need for surgery, and improve your ability to participate more actively in work and recreational activities.
Anthony Biddle is our lead Physiotherapist for the GLA:D® Australia program here at Phyx You Physio and he will be pleased to provide you with a greater understanding of how to best manage the condition.
With that being said, if you (or someone you know) would like to reduce your hip or knee pain, improve your function, enhance your chances of avoiding future surgery, and reduce the risk of developing other chronic conditions, please give us a call on (02) 6584 5005 to express your interest in joining Anthony and the team in the GLA:D Australia program in January, 2023.
We are excited to help you take charge of your condition and provide you with the tools to make a positive impact on your quality of life!