We are excited to offer the GLA:D protocol with Clinical Exercise Physiologist Benjy Taylor.
What is GLA:D you ask?
GLA:D® – “Good Life with osteoArthritis: Denmark” – is a program of education and exercise designed to help reduce the symptoms of hip and/or knee osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is the most common lifestyle disease in people aged 65 years and older. It affects 1 in 11 Australians (~2.2 million and growing) and as early as 30 years old. It is commonly described as a “bone on bone or wear and tear” condition and that activity should be avoided, and surgery is the only option. Instead, it is a whole joint condition that requires appropriate loading to improve symptoms which opens the door to more accessible and cost-effective treatment. The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners recommends offering land-based exercise as the first line of treatment for all people with knee and hip OA to improve pain and function, regardless of their age, structural disease severity, functional status, or pain levels.
Evidence-based individualised exercise protocols like GLA:D are an exciting treatment option for osteoarthritis. The protocol aims to optimise movement, strengthen hip and knee muscles, reduce pain symptoms and restore your confidence in using your body.
What does the GLA:D program involve:
- An initial appointment to explain the program, measure your current functional ability, set safe and appropriate exercise parameters, design your individualised exercise program, and discuss and design realistic and achievable goals (New clients only)
- A subsequent 1:1 appointment to make sure you are comfortable with your exercises and equipment.
- Two education sessions which teach you about osteoarthritis, its risk factors, treatment options, and self- management strategies.
- Group exercise sessions (60 minutes) twice a week for six weeks to improve your control of the joint, your confidence in the joint and your strength (or can be completed 1:1 with your exercise physiologist if preferred).
- A review at 3-months with your exercise physiologist to discuss progress and goals, and re-measure your functional ability.
- Completion of a questionnaire on registration with the program, and then again at 3 and 12 months after registration to measure changes in areas such as pain, function, quality of life, and medication use and to assist GLA:D Australia’s continued study into osteoarthritis to help improve the diagnosis, treatment and management of hip and knee osteoarthritis (This is completely voluntary and is not a formal requirement to participate in GLA:D).
Evidence from the GLA:D protocol:
Twelve months after completing the GLA:D protocol, clients reported:
- A pain reduction of 27-33%
- Improved quality of life by 22-31%
- Reduced pain medication usage by 42-47%
- Improved walking speed by 10-14%
- Reduced the need or delayed joint replacement surgery
Can I participate in GLA:D?
GLA:D Australia is a protocol for all individuals who experience any hip and/or knee pain or symptoms of OA, regardless of severity.
You may participate in the GLA:D Australia protocol if you have any hip or knee joint problem that resulted in visiting a health care provider.
*There are some reasons why the GLA:D protocol may not be appropriate for you. However, there may be some elements of the protocol that will be helpful for you.
Please speak with your clinician about what protocol is most appropriate for you.
For more information about GLA:D please visit the links below:
Skou, S. T., & Roos, E. M. (2017). Good Life with osteoArthritis in Denmark (GLA: D): evidence-based education and supervised neuromuscular exercise delivered by certified physiotherapists nationwide. BMC musculoskeletal disorders, 18(1), 72.