Osteoarthritis – GLA:D Canada

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis.

It occurs when the cartilage (joint cushions) starts to break now as we age.  This happens to everyone.  The rate at which it happens and the joints it affects vary from person to person.  OA is more common in weight bearing joints such as the hips and knees.  It may occur more frequently in joints that receive repetitive stress such as the spinal joints and hands, thus your sports, work, habitual postures and old injuries will all play a role in which joints are affected.  There is also a familial tendency, so feel free to blame your parents.

The Main Symptoms of OA are:


Your physiotherapist will be able to determine the clinical presentation of OA, but for a definitive diagnosis, your doctor will X-ray the joint.  As the OA progresses, you will see a reduction in the space between the bones of a joint.

What can you do?

Exercise is one of the most important treatments for people with OA.  The tendency we all have when something hurts is to do less.  Unfortunately, this accelerates the progression of OA so we often hear the words ‘things suddenly went downhill’ associated with OA.

Regular and specific exercises for the joint/s involved has been shown to significantly reduce the progression of OA. The GLA:D Program has been specifically designed for the hip and knee joints for this purpose.

The GLA:D program

Is an 8-week education and exercise program for those with stiff and/or painful knees and/or hips, or those with knee and/or hip osteoarthritis. Research from GLA:D in Denmark shows participants report less pain, reduced use of painkillers, fewer individuals on sick leave, and being more physically active.

GLA:D is made up of 3 parts: Education / Exercise / Data Collection to monitor your progress.

GLA:D attendee Patient Results:

– over 83% of patient finding the program beneficial or very beneficial
– 90% of patients using the education at least once per week
– well over half of patients reporting a clinical meaningful change in their function and quality of life
– approximately 70% showing significant improvement in their function

At Burrard Physiotherapy we offer the GLA:D program, we have expertly trained practitioners to lead you through this well-studied protocol.

Click here for more information about the GLA:D program, or simply book your initial appointment with us online or by calling the clinic at 604-684-1640 and one of our staff would be happy to answer any questions.

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