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GLAD program for knee arthritis (OA) at PhysioLife Alphington


By Matt Ho


Conservative Treatment for Osteoarthritis:  The GLA:D Program

As previously outlined, surgery is not the only treatment option when it comes to dealing with knee and hip OA. Conservative treatment has become a more popular mode of treatment, given weight of research and lack of significant complications. The GLA:D program aims to bring together popular research into an easy to follow course that is run by physiotherapists. Below, our senior physiotherapist Matt answers some common questions about the GLA:D program.


What is the GLA:D program?

GLA:D stands for ‘Good Life with Arthritis; Denmark’ and is a program developed by Scandanavian researchers and physiotherapists to actualize best practice in conservative management of knee and hip osteoarthritis. 


What does the GLA:D program involve?

The program is well rounded, and involves both educational and physical elements. Researchers have found that patient’s have a poor general understanding of OA, with regards to both pathophysiology and treatment.  The educational component aims to break these beliefs and reinforce the strength of the body and the need for exercise therapy. The training component consists of 12 hour-long exercise sessions undertaken over 6 weeks. This involves strengthening and balance exercises, with a short warm up.  Finally, assessments are undertaken at the start of the program, and 3 months post program completion. This gives the physiotherapist some baseline values which are constantly reassessed. 


How many people are in each class?

PhysioLife Alphington has 4 people in a class at a time. This ensures the physiotherapist is able to monitor each individual closely, correct technique and also progress the difficulty of the exercise where necessary. 


Who runs the class?

Each class is run by a GLA:D certified physiotherapist who has undertaken the 2 day GLA;D course. Each physiotherapist is up to date with the latest research, and is able to monitor both patient’s pain and progress.


What is done with the data collected?

Firstly, the values from the assessment are used to assess improvement across the program. This also gives the physiotherapist cues to progress the strengthening and proprioceptive exercises. The values are also pooled and sent to La Trobe University, who will monitor the larger trends throughout the program.  This is anonymous, however each patient is able to opt out of the research component if they would like.


How can I get involved in the GLA:D Program?

PhysioLife’s Alphington clinic currently runs two exercise sessions per week, and regularly runs education presentations also. If you are keen to start the GLA;D program, or just want more information, please visit  contact the clinic on 94595849, or talk to Matt Ho via email ( or mobile (0452062242) or Carolyn Merritt via email (

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