Osteoarthritis & Good Life with osteoArthritis: Denmark (GLA:D®)

By Tash Barry – Physiotherapist 


Did you know that 1 in 11 Aussies have osteoarthritis? That’s 2.1 million people! And studies show that 57% of Aussies are not receiving the appropriate care for management of osteoarthritis. We’re here to try and change that.


Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common lifestyle disease in individuals over the age of 65 years but can also affect individuals as young as 30 years. In Australia, treatment usually focuses on surgery, but the GLA:D® Australia Program offers a better and safe alternative.


GLA:D® is an education and exercise program developed by researchers in Denmark for people with hip or knee osteoarthritis symptoms. Research from the GLA:D® program shows an average pain reduction of 36%, reduced analgesic consumption, reduction in perceived need for surgery, and clinically meaningful improvement in joint confidence.


What does the GLA:D® Program involve? 💪📖👩‍⚕️🦴

The program involves a combination of exercise and education, based around the latest evidence on treatment for people with hip and knee osteoarthritis.

The exercise program is 12 supervised exercise therapy sessions, split into twice a week, 60-minute sessions for 6 weeks. Exercise sessions involve warm up, core stability, joint alignment, leg strength, functional exercise, and a cool down, and are tailored to you depending on your capacity.

We offer classes on a Tues and Fri afternoon, run by our GLA:D® trained physiotherapists. An additional 3rd session per week (completed at home or the gym) is also recommended for best results. The program is tailored to be completed at home and any necessary equipment will be provided to you on your first session.

The exercise is supported by patient education to guide you in the management of your own disease and ensure long-term motivation and adherence; a key parameter to sustain long-term benefits. Topics we cover in education include: explaining what OA is, the risk factors, exercise, coping and self-help, pain, medications, and surgery.

Join the program at any time!


Who is this program for?

All individuals (any gender or age) who experience any hip and/or knee osteoarthritis symptoms, regardless of severity. We recommend booking an initial assessment with our physiotherapists to determine the nature of your symptoms and diagnosis, allowing us to rule out other possible reasons for your pain such as tumor, inflammatory joint disease, fracture, soft tissue or connective problems. Once an osteoarthritis diagnosis is made, we will recommend you commence our GLA:D® Program.


What are the benefits of the program? ✔

This program will provide you with the skills to self-manage your osteoarthritis, strengthen and improve your confidence with exercise, improve your capacity to become or stay active, prevent symptom progression and reduce pain. You will also learn valuable information to help you better understand your diagnosis and be around like minded participants, in a safe and comfortable exercise environment.


Do I need a GP referral? 

A referral is NOT required to participate in the GLA:D program. If we do receive a referral from your GP or orthopaedic specialist, we will remain in contact with the health practitioner who referred you, updating them on your progress.


But I have been recommended knee or hip surgery, should I still do the program?

That’s not a problem, it is still possible to commence the program as you await your surgery. Public waitlists are often long, and your symptoms may be severe or even mild and deteriorate during this time. So, commencing the program will aim to prevent this, and potentially even improve your symptoms and function so that surgery is no longer required.

Commencing the program ahead of a planned surgery can also increase your outcomes post-surgery. You can check out our blog post on prehab vs rehab to find out more benefits of exercising ahead of surgery, such as improved cardiovascular fitness.


GLAD® Program details: 

Package $560.00. This includes:

  • Initial Assessment
  • 12 x 60 min classes (Tues & Fri 3:30pm – 4:30pm)
  • 3 month follow up Assessment
  • 2 free Education Sessions about osteoarthritis and how to manage it

Assessments and classes are claimable from most Private Health Insurers.


Join us for 2 free Education Sessions about osteoarthritis and how to manage it. Presented by GLA:D Trained Physiotherapist and Director of Higher Function Physio & Pilates, Janet Fabbri.

Session 1: Understanding osteoarthritis and it’s treatment options (12/02/2022) – Book here

Session 2 : Exercise and self management for osteoarthritis (19/02/2022) – Book here


Where can I find more info?

Get in touch with us today to book your Initial GLA:D Assessment with one of our GLA:D trained physiotherapists. You can also follow the link below to the GLA:D Website for more details.



Higher Function logo
Higher Function Team reception@higherfunction.com.au
Share this insight

Subscribe to our insights.

Stay up to date with what’s new at our practice and the latest scientific research delivered straight to your inbox.

Thanks! Keep an eye on your inbox for updates.

touch icon

Schedule your next visit

Our online booking system allows you to book from a range of services and classes provided through Higher Function. BOOK NOW →
calendar icon

Upcoming classes

All the classes you know and love. We have classes for all levels – taught by physiotherapists and exercise physiologists. VIEW TIMETABLE →
rebates referrals icon

Referrals & rebates

You do not need a GP referral to see us. We are Primary HealthCare Providers and we are registered with AHPRA/ Medicare. LEARN MORE →