Osteoarthritis is the most common lifestyle disease in those aged 65 years and older, but it can also affect those as young as 30. Around 2.2 million Australians suffer from Osteoarthritis –a condition that affects the whole joint including bone, cartilage, ligaments, and muscles.
Osteoarthritis can cause pain and stiffness of the joints and can affect your ability to do normal daily activities such as walking and climbing stairs.
In Australia, treatment has often focused on surgery however, 20 per cent of people do not get the desired pain relief from their knee joint replacement.
GLA:D stands for Good Life with OsteoArthritis Denmark. As the name suggests, it originated in Denmark and is an evidence-based exercise program designed by physiotherapists. The program focusses on strengthening your hip and knee muscles as well as optimising your movement to help manage pain and improve mobility and quality of life.
Twelve months after completing the GLA:D program in Denmark, Canada and Australia, participants reported:
• reduced pain and use of pain medication
• improved quality of life
• increased levels of physical activity (Skou, & Roos, 2017)
GLA:D is now available at CSSM with our GLA:D accredited physiotherapists. Each GLA:D participant will have their own personalised program designed to suit their body and functional goals.
Osteoarthritis can develop slowly across decades, making it amenable to early intervention to reduce symptoms and improve physical functional compared to other chronic diseases.
Education and exercises provided in the GLA:D program can be applied to your everyday activities, to optimise your ability to self-manage your osteoarthritis. By improving your strength, neuromuscular control and overall confidence in participating in exercise, you can become and stay active throughout life, which in turn can help to prevent or delay symptom progression.
While the program began in Denmark, it is now available in Canada, China and Australia. So far, 30,000 people have undertaken the program.
In Australia, The GLA:D program has been found to reduce osteoarthritis pain by an average of 36% as well as reduce the need for analgesic consumption, the use of sick leave and the perceived need for surgery. Participants also reported increased levels of physical activity 12 months after starting the program, and a clinically meaningful improvement in joint confidence.
The GLA:D Australia program is run by our certified GLA:D Australia Physiotherapists. All GLA:D Physiotherapists have undertaken further studies with GLA:D Australia, leaving them equipped with the latest evidence-based skills and training to effectively deliver this program. This includes the knowledge, skills and ability to assess patients, prescribe and modify a tailored exercise program suitable for each individual ability, contraindications and coexisting comorbidities or injuries.
GLA:D is a six week program that provides patients with the exercises and skills to self-manage their osteoarthritis after the supervised period is completed.
After a 1 on 1 initial assessment with a GLA:D accredited Physiotherapist, participants will undertake:
• 12 x tailored exercise sessions, conducted twice per week for six weeks. These are 50 minutes in duration.
• 3 x education sessions, conducted after class within the first three weeks. These are 15-20 minutes in duration.
You will then be reviewed upon the completion of your 12 exercise sessions to measure your progress. You will also be asked to complete an online questionnaire which continues the study and collection of data around the world to help improve the diagnosis, treatment and management of knee and hip osteoarthritis. This is completely voluntary and is not a formal requirement if not desired.
The GLA:D™ Australia program is suitable for all individuals who experience any hip and/or knee osteoarthritis symptoms, regardless of severity. This means that GLA:D is suitable for OA suffers wanting to take a proactive approach to their joint function but also people who have suffered a large loss of function due to degenerative change in the hip or knee joints.
Visit https://gladaustralia.com.au or your local GP.
REFERENCES: 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 disor-ders, 18(1), 72.
At CSSM, the GLA:D program is delivered by Physiotherapist Peter Stath. Peter is a strength and conditioning enthusiast with a passion for treating all aspects of musculoskeletal or sporting pain with a particular interest in shoulders, hips, knees and ankles.
Peter is focused on staying at the forefront of the industry in terms of the latest techniques, advancements, patient care and rehabilitation so that he can continue to play a key role in his patients’ recovery.
Please call the clinic on (03) 9889 1078 and our reception staff can book you in for your initial assessment with one of our GLA:D accredited Physiotherapists. You can also find out which of our PIER (Practitioner Instructed Exercise Rehabilitation) classes are GLA:D inclusive.
CSSM requires a minimum of 24 hours notice of an appointment cancellation or rescheduling in order for you to avoid a late cancellation fee of $55.00.
While GPs and specialists seeking the best care often refer their patients to programs such as GLA:D, a referral is not necessary. Physiotherapy and Exercise Therapy is a complementary form of treatment and works well when used in conjunction with medical treatment. For a GLA:D consultation simply make an appointment with Camberwell Sports & Spinal Medicine directly by calling 9889 1078.
Your initial consultation will take around 40-50 minutes, during which your Osteopath will:
• Take a thorough history to gain an understanding of your injury and circumstances that
could have led to your condition.
• Examine your body and identify the type, source and cause of symptoms.
• Diagnose your condition and discuss this with you.
• Provide treatment using techniques appropriate for your condition.
• Devise a treatment plan and involve you in these treatment and rehabilitation
• Educate you about your condition.
• Discuss the proposed treatment plan which may involve further treatment.
Subsequent sessions generally last 20-30 minutes.
The cost of the program is $660, which in part may be claimable with your private health insurance.
As there are a mixture of private and group sessions, we recommend that you check with your private health provider to know exactly what you are entitled to for the program and the gap you may be expected to pay.
You may also be eligible for a rebate from Medicare for another portion of the program if you have an Enhanced Primary Care Plan (EPC) or Chronic Disease Management Plan (CDM) from your GP.
Please ask our friendly reception staff for assistance identifying what financial rebates you may be entitled too.
Physiotherapy is covered under the ancillary or extras cover of most major health
insurers. As there are a mixture of private and group sessions, we recommend that you check with your private health provider to know exactly what you are entitled to for the program and the gap you may be expected to pay.
If your condition meets certain requirements and you have a vaild referral from your Doctor, Medicare may offer limited rebates for the GLA:D program. In the instance that you suffer from a chronic condition, your GP can refer you to an Allied Health Professional, for programs such as GLA:D, covering up to five sessions each calendar year. Not all conditions qualify for this program and there may still be an out of pocket expenses for these services. For more information talk to your Doctor and ask them about your eligibility for a Chronic Disease Management (CDM) plan prior to making an appointment with CSSM.
After treatment you should have less pain and feel more mobile, flexible and comfortable in your movements. Relief can be dramatic and long lasting. Generally, your Osteopath will expect to see positive results within 2-4 treatments for common symptoms. However, it must be emphasised that each individual is unique and it may take several visits before your symptoms settle and to establish an appropriate management plan.