OsteoArthritis treatment

Osteoarthritis is the most common non-communicable disease in older adults, but can also affect individuals as young as 30 years of age. Osteoarthritis affects an estimated 2.1 million Australian’s. It often results in pain, disability and reduced quality of life.

Current national and international clinical guidelines recommend patient education, exercise and weight loss as first line treatment for osteoarthritis. The current clinical practice guidelines from the Royal College of GPs strongly recommend exercise for all people with OA in order to improve pain and function. By strengthening and correcting daily movement patterns, people with OA can train their bodies to move properly, prevent symptom progression and reduce pain.

Despite a robust body of evidence from more than 50 randomised, controlled trials (study design used to test how effective a treatment is), supporting the benefits of exercise, the number of people accessing programs that follow this evidence is still very low.

To improve the access to the best first treatment for osteoarthritis in Australia, the La Trobe University brought the GLA:D program to Australia and started training physiotherapists across Australia.

What is GLA:D?

The acronym GLA:DTM stands for Good Life with Arthritis: Denmark. GLA:DTM is an exercise and education program developed by researchers in Denmark for people with hip or knee osteoarthritis symptoms.

The GLA:DTM program was initiated in January 2013 in Denmark with the goal of implementing guideline-recommended treatment for people with hip and knee osteoarthritis in order to improve their quality of care.

This program is underpinned by the latest evidence in osteoarthritis research and can only be delivered by GLA:D trained Physiotherapists. Our physiotherapists have gone through an intense two-day training course to become accredited.

What does GLA:D involve?

The GLA:D program consists of the following components:

  • Initial appointment to determine suitability for the GLA:D program and some baseline measures to determine your functional capacity at the start of the program.
  • 12 physiotherapy supervised exercise classes over a 6-week period. During these classes you will complete the specific GLA:D exercises that will be tailored to your personal needs.
  • 2 FREE education sessions which will teach you about osteoarthritis and how to best manage it. Our physiotherapists will teach you about osteoarthritis and treatment options with a particular focus on exercise, its beneficial effects on symptoms and general health, and self-help advice.
  • Physiotherapy review 3-months after the initial appointment to determine treatment outcome and ongoing treatment requirements.

Based on your starting physical capacity, the physiotherapists will design an exercise program for you which will be performed under supervision in a group setting. These group exercise sessions will occur twice a week for six weeks to improve muscle control of the joint which leads to reduction in symptoms and improved quality of life.

After the 6-week programme, the patient will be encouraged to continue being physically active and to exercise, either with their physiotherapist or in their local community, to sustain the effects from the treatment in the long term.

What are the benefits of the GLA:D program?

Since starting in Australia in 2017 the GLA:D program has been successful in reducing the burden of Osteoarthritis on patients and the community. Upon successful completion of the program clients report a reduction in pain, reduced reliance on pain medication and improved quality of life.

In 2020 the GLA:D Australia program reported the following results:

Pain – 33% – 27%
Medication – 49% – 45%
Walking  speed + 14% + 12%
Quality  of life + 29%

+ 20%


Can I participate in GLA:D Australia?

You may participate in the GLA:D Australia program if you have a hip or knee joint problem, or if you have diagnosed with Osteoarthritis. GLA:D Australia is a program for all individuals who experience any hip and/or knee osteoarthritis symptoms, regardless of severity.

If you suffer from other conditions that are impacting your functional capacity, you may not be able to join the GLA:D program. However you can still join our other exercise classes to improve your functional capacity and quality of life.

How do I book in for the GLA:D program?

If you are interested in our GLA:D program you can contact our friendly staff on 08 9770 1107 for more information or to book in. Alternatively you can book your initial appointment online here.




Call us on (08) 9770 1107 or book in today.

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