GLA:D Physio Program for Osteoarthritis

GLA:D Physio Program for Osteoarthritis

GLA:D Physio Program for Knee and Hip Osteoarthritis

At Movement Centre Randwick we are pleased to announce that we are now a GLA:D physio program accredited practice. This means we are qualified to provide the GLA:D program to patients with knee and hip osteoarthritis. For an update on knee and hip OA, please refer to our previous blog posts on the topic.

What is the GLA:D program?

GLA:D stands for Good Life with Osteoarthritis – from Denmark. It is an education and exercise program developed by researchers in Denmark for people with Knee and hip osteoarthritis symptoms. The aim of the program is to improve the standard of treatment for people with knee and hip OA. In much of the healthcare industry there is a large gap between the best clinical guidelines for osteoarthritis managements, and what is actually practiced. GLA:D aims to close this divide by teaching physios and patients about the best management.

Who is suitable for the GLA:D physio program?

GLA:D is suitable for people with knee and hip OA symptoms. It is suitable for people with mild, moderate or severe arthritis. You do not need to have had x-rays or a referral from your GP to come along. A chat with one of our team, and a short assessment is all that is required to assess your suitability for the course. There are some exclusion criteria that we assess on your initial session. These involve inflammatory conditions, presence of tumors, generalised pain conditions, and some other criteria that your physio will take you through. The goals of the program include:
  • The program aims to provide all people experiencing OA symptoms with evidence-based care, irrespective of their location or financial situation.
  • Fewer patient visits to the health care sector, and lower costs for the individual and the public. Increased quality of life and physical activity levels.

Outcomes of the GLA:D program

Results from the GLA:D program show that ¾ people report clinically meaningful improvement in pain or quality of life at 12 month follow-up. Further to this, ¾ people who had wanted surgery before the course, had not had surgery, and had no desire for surgery at the 12 month mark. Outcomes also show:
  • Reduced intake of painkillers by 45% (hip OA) and 49% (knee OA)
  • Reduced pain (-33% knee, -27% hip)
  • Increased walking speed
  • Improvements to overall quality of life
With their consent, participants in the GLA:D program have their outcomes entered into a database which measures the effectiveness of the program worldwide.

Best management for knee and hip OA?

The GLA:D program overlaps perfectly with what the RACGP guidelines specify as the best first line management for knee and hip OA. The RACGP guidelines indicate that any patient presenting with knee and hip OA symptoms should be provided with:
  • Advice about relevant exercise
  • Education about the nature of the condition
  • Advice for weight loss where relevant
Unfortunately in the modern healthcare system, these guidelines are not carried out in reality. Instead of the first line management outlined above, patients presenting to their doctors with OA symptoms are more likely to get sent for scans, a surgical consult, or be given pain medication.

What is in the GLA:D physio program?

The GLA:D program is a 6 week education and exercise program. It consists of:
  • An introduction session in which outcome measures are taken
  • 12 exercise sessions spaced over 6 weeks.
The exercise sessions involve:
  • Warm-up
  • Core stability (abdominal area)
  • Postural orientation
  • Muscle strength in the legs
  • Functional training exercises
  • After the program – outcome measures are reassessed.
  • Participants are encouraged to continue their GLA:D physio exercises after the course finishes, and are welcome to come for classes in further courses.
There is a review appointment 3 months after the completion of the program. At this appointment you can discuss your progress with your physio, and come up with a plan for ongoing management. This may involve creating a regimen to come back for further classes and home classes, a review with your GP, or identify a gym or community centre where you can progress your program. All of the exercises utilised by the GLA:D program are designed to be easy to implement at home with minimal equipment.

Contact Your Local Randwick Physio For Knee and Hip OA Management

At Movement Centre, our gym is available for our patients to use during their recovery. We encourage our patients to use the space – particularly if they do not have access to equipment, or if they benefit from a more formal exercise space than the living room at home allows for. If you are interested in the GLA:D physio program, or if you have been referred by a GP, surgeon, or other healthcare provider – then we would love to help. If you haven’t heard of the program until now, but have symptoms that may be associated with knee or hip OA – then we would love to help. Please contact us at info, or by phone 90677100 to discuss the program, and find a time to go through the initial assessment. Our goal is to help you settle your pain, increase your function, and get back to the activities that you love.
Disclaimer: The Movement Centre provides this information as an educational service. The information contained on this website and in this blog is not intended to serve as or replace actual medical advice. Anyone seeking specific advice or assistance should consult their local Randwick Physio, general practitioner, medical specialist, or otherwise appropriately skilled practitioner.