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A New Osteoarthritis Program Built On Exercise and Knowledge

Hip and knee Osteoarthritis (OA) is a significant cause of morbidity and disability in Australia. OA is characterised by pain, stiffness in the affected joint, reduced ability to conduct daily activities and reduced Quality of Life. The latest research evidence shows that exercise and education are highly effective in managing hip and knee OA and are the recommended first-line treatment for managing OA.

Good Life with Osteoarthritis from Denmark (GLA: D®) is an evidence-based exercise and education program to improve pain, function, and quality of life for people with hip and knee OA. GLA: D® consists of two educational sessions and 12 exercise sessions conducted over six weeks in a group setting. The education sessions focus on improving the client’s understanding of OA, its risk factors, treatment options, & self-management strategies. The group exercise sessions focus on improving the control of and confidence in the joint and its functional strength. The exercise program starts with easy exercises targeted at matching each participant’s functional level to ensure minimal pain and discomfort after doing them. The pace of these exercises is then gradually increased for each participant to help improve their functional capabilities.

An older man on an exercise bike being instructed by an optimum employee

The latest research into the effects of the GLA: D® program in Australia has revealed significant improvements for knee and hip osteoarthritis (OA) participants. Participants with knee OA experienced an average reduction in pain of 33% and a 29% increase in their quality of life. For participants with hip OA, the reduction in pain was reported to be 27%, with a corresponding 20% improvement in their quality of life.

Moreover, the study demonstrated substantial reductions in pain medication usage, with a remarkable 49% decrease for knee OA participants and a 45% decrease for hip OA participants. Another promising finding is that fewer people opted for surgery after completing the program, indicating its potential to alleviate the need for surgical interventions. These findings underscore the GLA: D® program’s effectiveness in pain management and overall well-being for individuals managing knee and hip osteoarthritis.

The GLA:D program is being rolled out in our Mornington clinic in Tasmania and will be launched at Optimum clinics nationwide shortly. In addition to the GLA:D program, Optimum Health Solutions provides the option to access a range of Allied Health services, including Physiotherapy, Exercise Physiology, Dietetics, and Speech Therapy.

If you’d like more information on the GLA: D program, please get in touch with us at (03) 6245 0799.


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