What is GLA:D and what does it involve?

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The GLA:D Osteoarthritis Program is a 6-week evidence-based specific exercise program that was developed in Denmark in 2013. The GLA:D Australia Program has been shown to give an average reduction in pain of 36% as well as a decreased reliance on painkillers, a reduced risk of knee or hip joint replacement surgery, and a marked improvement in confidence from participants about the health and strength of their joints during everyday activities.

The GLA:D Program Adelaide consists of two educational sessions that are 60 minutes in length and two guided exercise sessions per week for 6 weeks. In the educational sessions, you will learn about the latest osteoarthritis evidence to help you to understand how the program works and how it can assist in decreasing your pain and symptom progression whilst getting you back to what you love doing, without needing to rely on pain medications for everyday activities.

The physiotherapy for osteoarthritis exercise sessions are 60 minutes in length and consist of 10 different evidence-based exercises for hip and knee strength which can be adjusted in intensity for all levels of fitness and osteoarthritis.

History of the program

The GLA:D Osteoarthritis Program was developed by a group of researchers in Denmark in 2013 in order to bring real-life osteoarthritis clinical treatment protocols in line with the best available evidence, in order to reduce the excessive burden on the healthcare system of unnecessary or premature joint replacement surgeries being performed as the first line of treatment. Since its inception, the GLA:D program has trained over 1000 clinicians worldwide to be experts in physiotherapy for osteoarthritis and has changed the lives of tens of thousands of people with osteoarthritis.

How GLA:D can help you

If you are suffering from hip or knee pain due to osteoarthritis, GLA:D is the first line of recommended treatment you should be prescribed. The GLA:D program is a series of evidence-based exercises that have been specially designed to increase strength and control around the hip and knee joints for daily movement patterns through evidence-based knee and hip osteoarthritis physiotherapy.

The GLA:D Australia Program will also provide you with educational sessions that aim to help you to understand the changes that are occurring in your hip and knee joints; challenging conventional norms whilst explaining how you can treat this both now and in the future.

The end result of the GLA:D Osteoarthritis Program is a reduction in both knee and hip pain and symptom progression combined with a decreased incidence of knee and hip replacements.

What does treatment involve?

The treatment consists of:

  • An initial appointment to explain the program and to perform initial functional movement testing to understand exactly where you are physically.
  • 2 x 60 minute education sessions where you will learn about osteoarthritis, what is actually occurring in your joints and how the neuromuscular training sessions improve pain and function in everyday life.
  • 12 x 60 minute GLA:D neuromuscular training sessions including a warm up, a circuit and a cool down.

Are there GLA:D group classes?

The GLA:D Osteoarthritis Program neuromuscular training sessions are typically run in classes of 4 to 6 people, with multiple sessions available per week. The class sizes are kept small to ensure that you get the dedicated time and expertise each and every session from your Physiotherapist.

At the start of your GLA:D Australia Program, you will be booked in for all of your group exercise classes and if you miss a session, we will help to find a time for you to make up the session because the research shows us just how important this is for your success!

How can Physiotherapy help your knee and hip osteoarthritis?

Physiotherapy treatment has been shown to have positive long term benefits for knee and hip osteoarthritis, in particular supervised exercise therapy has been well documented as a cost effective, safe and clinically effective way to manage osteoarthritis – reducing the burden of this disease on society.

Supervised exercise therapy with a Physiotherapist has been shown to have long term positive effects on pain, quality of life, daily movement patterns, and confidence in the affected joints whilst decreasing disability – in particular when performed in line with the GLA:D Osteoarthritis Program guidelines.

Physiotherapy intervention (neuromuscular training sessions) with the GLA:D program was measured across 28,370 patients in Australia, Denmark and Canada who had symptomatic knee or hip osteoarthritis, with the study showing that there was an average decrease in pain of 26 – 33% and a 12 – 26% improvement in joint related quality of life.

GLA:D Program exercises

The GLA:D Osteoarthritis neuromuscular training sessions are made up of a warm, followed by a circuit of 10 evidence-based exercises and finished off with a cool down.

Firstly, the warm up part of the session is essential as it has been shown to aid in decreasing pain prior to starting the circuit training part of the session.

The 10 exercises in the neuromuscular training sessions are:

  • 1A – Pelvic lift
  • 1B – Sit ups
  • 2A – Backwards sliding lunges
  • 2B – Sideways sliding lunges
  • 3A – Hip abductors
  • 3B – Hip adductors
  • 4A – Knee flexors
  • 4B – Knee extensors
  • 5A – Chair stands
  • 5B – Step ups

The final part of each GLA:D neuromuscular training session is the cool down, which involves gentle walking exercises and stretching.

GLA:D program cost

Your initial consultation is $99. This is a one hour one on one session where we go through a full assessment and take you through all of the exercises to ensure that they are individualised to your current ability and you are comfortable with performing them. You can claim this under your private health if you have extras cover with Physiotherapy.

The Neuromuscular Training Sessions and Education Sessions are $50 each for the hour. You can also claim this under your private health if you have extras cover with Physiotherapy.

If you would like to pay for your 14 sessions up front we do offer a discount of $10 per session, which means the total will be reduced to $560 from $700

You will also get a GLA:D Osteoarthritis welcome pack when you join which contains:

  • A Physio Fit drink bottle
  • A theraband that you will use for your home exercise program
  • A slider that you will use for your neuromuscular training sessions
  • A free upgrade voucher with our Massage Therapist so you can spoil yourself!

Who are your physiotherapists?

At Physio Fit the GLA:D Australia Program is run by Damon Siviour who is a passionate and experienced Physiotherapist with a keen interest in helping people with osteoarthritis to reduce their pain and improve their quality of life.

Damon runs the GLA:D Australia Program from our clinic located at 166-168 Grange Road in Findon and we have an intake for the program every two weeks. Spots are limited, so ensure that you contact us to secure yours today!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Pros and Cons of GLA:D?

The pros of the GLA:D physiotherapy program are that the research shows an average reduction in pain of 36%, decreased reliance on pain medications, a decreased need for knee or hip replacements and an improved sense of confidence in the previously painful joint with everyday activities (https://gladaustralia.com.au/key-evidence-surrounding-glad/)

Can I claim GLA:D sessions under my Private Health Insurance?

If you have the appropriate level of extras cover, in particular Physiotherapy cover, it is likely that you will be able to claim GLA:D Osteoarthritis sessions under your private health. As always, it is best to contact your private health insurer if you are unsure or would like to know exactly how much they cover.

Who can benefit from GLA:D knee and hip osteoarthritis physiotherapy?

Evidence has shown the GLA:D program is suitable for people of all ages who have mild, moderate or severe osteoarthritis in their hips or knees by decreasing their pain and increasing their quality of life through increased mobility and confidence (https://gladaustralia.com.au/key-evidence-surrounding-glad/)

What sort of exercises will I do?

The GLA:D physiotherapy for osteoarthritis program consists of 10 exercises for your hips and knees that will be tailored to your individual needs, as well as an effective warm up and cool down, in small groups of 4 to 6 people. All participants will follow the same exercises, however the intensity of the exercises will be at an individually appropriate level.

How do you know you have OA?

Typically you will be diagnosed with osteoarthritis by your GP or your Physiotherapist, which is often confirmed by either an X-Ray or an MRI. Osteoarthritis will often have a slow onset of pain in your knees or hips over a period of months or years.

What do you need to bring?

All you need to bring for your GLA:D physiotherapy program is active wear, including appropriate footwear and clothes that you feel comfortable in and allow you to exercise freely.

When and where does it take place?

Our GLA:D sessions are currently run out of our Findon clinic, with multiple sessions running each and every week at convenient times for you.

When should I see a Physiotherapist?

You should consider seeing a Physiotherapist when your hip or knee pain is either concerning you, or interfering with your ability to enjoy life and participate in the things you love doing – whether that be sport with friends or spending time with your family.


We are open! We have escalated our already stringent hygiene routines and are still here to support you. Whilst social distancing is important your pain and comfort is also our priority, which is why the Australia Government considers allied health an ‘essential’ service.


It is important that we help support the load of our amazing local GP’s during these testing times.


Should you be forced to self-isolate, or are in a high risk category, please call to discuss a video consultation - 

08 7226 9901 or visit Online Physiotherapy


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