The best first treatment for hip and knee osteoarthritis
Following huge successes in its Danish home, GLAD (Good Living with Osteoarthritis in Denmark) arrived in Canada in 2017. Nadine was part of the first group of BC physiotherapists trained to offer GLAD and has been running it successfully at Form Physiotherapy, her Vancouver-based private practice since 2018.
Wherever it is offered, the GLAD program consists of 12 exercise sessions (twice/week) over a 6-week period and 2 education sessions, done either ahead of or included in the 6-week period. All sessions are 1 hour in duration. A pre-program assessment is also done with each attendee to ensure that the program is correct for them. This allows the therapist to understand what unique characteristics and goals each client brings to their participation in the program.
In the 6-week period, participants master a series of exercises that they are advised to include in their routines twice/week going forward. The exercises have been designed specifically so that participants can easily do them from home. The GLAD exercises are neuromuscular in nature, which puts the focus on how the exercise is being done. We know that changing how one moves can lead to remarkable changes in pain and function.
Being exposed to current and to accurate information has also been demonstrated to be key in living one's best life with hip or knee OA.
By the time we were exposed to GLAD training here in Canada, over 30,000 Danes had participated in their programs. It is wonderful to have a tool to offer here that has had such high uptake and success elsewhere
GLAD Canada's 2019 annual report has found over 84% of hip and 87% of knee participants found the program beneficial and 96% of participants used the knowledge going forward at least weekly. Clinically significant improvements in pain, function and quality of life are reflected from participants nationwide via the 3 month and 12 month program surveys. As well, a reduction in medication use and in joint injections for individuals with knee OA esults from GLAD participation.
GLAD is traditionally offered live in group settings. COVID-19 realities have broadened our options to now include telehealth delivery of the program.
Excellent GLAD resources can be found on the following websites: