GLAD Program For Osteoarthritis


If you suffer from hip and knee osteoarthritis-related aches, you’ve got company. Worldwide, 30% of people aged 50 and above report hip and/or knee pain, with osteoarthritis being the most common lifestyle disease – and leading cause of physical inactivity – in the mature-age population.

While the trend in Australia is for medication and surgery, mounting evidence shows that OA symptoms can be reduced with exercise. We’re therefore proud to offer the GLA:D program for osteoarthritis in our Melbourne physiotherapy clinic.

Together we can help you live a fuller, more active life with less pain.

What is the GLA:D Program?

GLA:D, which stands for ‘Good Life with osteoArthritis in Denmark’, is an education and exercise program developed by researchers in Denmark for individuals with hip or knee osteoarthritis symptoms. Running in Canada, China, Europe and Australia, it is the most evidence-based, high-value intervention for patients suffering from osteoarthritis.

The GLA:D® program has proven effective at reducing pain and analgesic use, improving physical function, activity and quality of life, and delaying the need for surgery. Research from the Australian program shows an average pain reduction of 36%.

Are you a good candidate for GLA:D

If you have osteoarthritis-related hip and/or knee pain or symptoms, regardless of severity, the GLA:D® Australia program is suitable for you. No doctor referral is required.

A degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis is very common, affecting 22% of Australians over the age of 45. For this reason, it’s often described as a ‘wear and tear disease’. However, this should be avoided as it often leads to a detrimental decline in activity.

International clinical guidelines recommend exercise, education and weight loss as the first-line treatment for osteoarthritis patients. Yet in Australia, medications and surgical interventions such as joint replacement surgery have been the go-to.

Thankfully, the success of GLA:D® underlines the value of a more conservative, movement-based approach that delays (or prevents) the need for surgery. It’s known that cartilage needs moderate load through movement to regenerate itself. And we now have evidence that treatments combining patient education and exercise are equally effective in managing arthritis and improving quality of life.

The education and exercises provided by GLA:D® can be applied to everyday activities, ensuring participants develop skills to self-manage their osteoarthritis. By building strength and joint confidence, participants develop a greater capacity to become or stay active, prevent symptom progression, reduce pain and enjoy an improved quality of life.

What does the program involve?

Run by a GLA:D certified physiotherapist, the program combines functional assessments, education sessions and an exercise-based strengthening program. It includes:

  • An initial appointment to explain the program and assess your current functional ability.
  • A follow-up appointment to outline your exercise routine and educate you on OA, its risk factors, treatment options, and self-management strategies for reducing pain.
  • 45-minute group exercise sessions twice weekly for six weeks for improved joint stability and control, to build strength and confidence in the joint, and to improve muscle control.
  • A 6-week review to discuss your progress and goals and re-measure your functional ability.

You’ll complete a questionnaire on registration and then again at 3 and 12 months after registration to measure changes in areas including pain, function, quality of life and medication use.

For ongoing maintenance, remedial massage treatments and clinical Pilates may be beneficial.



Developed in Denmark, GLA:D is a physio-led education and exercise program designed to reduce pain and improve the quality of life for those with knee and hip osteoarthritis.

Please call our friendly reception team on 03 9650 2220 for pricing information. Some patients may be able to use Medicare funding to cover some of the costs of assessments, and most private health insurers will part-cover assessments and classes. Private health claims should be discussed with your insurer.

With a maximum of 3 people per class, our 45-minute GLA:D exercise sessions include plenty of personal attention and time to ask questions. You’ll warm up, then work through around 10 exercises, customised to your condition, before cooling down.

Get started with our GLA:D Program

If you have hip or knee arthritis pain and want to get moving with our glad program, call our reception on 03 9650 2220. You can also book an appointment with one of our physios to tailor a