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GLA:D (Good Life with Arthritis from Denmark) Program at Clifton Hill Physiotherapy

An exercise and education program for people with hip or knee osteoarthritis (OA) symptoms.

The GLA:D program is an exercise and education program developed by researchers in Denmark for people with hip or knee osteoarthritis symptoms.

Results from the GLA:D program in Denmark have shown:

  • Symptom progression reduction of 32%
  • Less pain
  • Reduced use of joint related pain killers
  • Less people on sick leave
  • High levels of satisfaction with the program
  • Increased levels of physical activity 12 months after starting the program

 On the success of the GLA:D program in Denmark, this program has been implemented in other countries, and most recently it has been launched in Australia.

The GLA:D Australia program consists of:

  • Two education session which teach you about OA, how the GLA:D Australia exercises improve joint stability, and how to retain this improved joint stability outside of the program
  • Collection data on your current functional ability
  • Group neuromuscular training sessions twice a week for six weeks to improve muscle control of the joint which leads to a reduction in symptoms and improved quality of life

OA is the most common lifestyle disease in individuals 65 years of age and older, but can also affect individuals as young as 30 years of age. Current national and international clinical guidelines recommend patient education, exercise and weight loss as the first line of treatment for OA. In Australia, treatment usually focuses on surgery. The GLA:D Australia program offers a better and safer alternative. The GLA:D program is unique in that the education and exercises provided can be applied to everyday activities. By strengthening and correcting daily movement patterns, participants will train their bodies to move more effectively, prevent symptom progression and reduce pain.

At Clifton Hill Physiotherapy and Pilates and Rehab we were one of the first practices in the country to implement this program which reflects the latest evidence in OA research. We have now been offering the program for more than two years and have had more than 30 participants complete the program. Our graduates have consistently achieved good gains in their physical functioning, high levels of satisfaction with the program. Preliminary analysis of the outcome measures collected from our cohort doing the program at Clifton Hill Physiotherapy have shown the following improvements 3 months after starting the program:

  • A reduction in pain levels
  • Mean improvement of 7% in walking speed
  • Mean improvement of 20% in sit to stand functional test performance
  • Significant improvements in quality of life measures

We have also been very pleased to see that our graduates have made active steps towards maintaining their gains and setting new goals either by continuing with the GLA:D sessions as an ongoing program, or by adherence to a progressive home exercise program of both specific neuromuscular control exercises as well as general exercise.

We have also had a few participants complete the GLA:D program at our center as a result of being referred via the trial currently being conducted by La Trobe University on the delivery of the GLA:D program. This trial is still actively recruiting participants, and if you are interested be sure to check out the following link:

http://semrc.blogs.latrobe.edu.au/knee-pain-clinical-trial/

At Clifton Hill Pilates we are currently running the exercise sessions for this program at the following times:

  • Mondays at 10.30am
  • Tuesdays at 3pm
  • Thursdays at 10.30am
  • Fridays at 11am

All GLA:D sessions at Clifton Hill Physiotherapy are currently run by Physiotherapists who have officially trained in the GLA:D program including Cathy Derham, Billy Williams, and Adriane Khablyuk.

Be sure to get in touch with our team at Clifton Hill Physiotherapy to find out more about the program if you experience any hip and/ or knee osteoarthritis symptoms, regardless of severity.

Cathy Derham