Managing Osteoarthritis with Neuromuscular Exercise and GLA:D™ Canada

What is Osteoarthritis? 

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative condition that affects the bones and joints of the body. This results in pain, stiffness, and decreased range of motion of the impacted joint. It’s caused by the reduction of cartilage, which acts as a cushion between the bones of the joints. As OA progresses, pain often increases, leading to difficulty performing daily activities such as walking, standing, stairs, and sitting. Some risk factors that contribute to the onset of osteoarthritis include older age, gender, obesity, occupation, and previous knee/hip injuries or surgeries.


How do we treat Osteoarthritis?

One of the most effective methods for managing symptoms of osteoarthritis is through neuromuscular exercise. Exercise programs should be tailed to your individual needs, goals, and current condition, based on a physiotherapist assessment.


What is neuromuscular exercise? 

Neuromuscular exercises are exercises aimed at improving sensorimotor control and functional joint stability. These exercises are functional for day-to-day activities, and include strengthening against resistance, core strength, balance, dynamic stability and aerobic fitness. These exercises work to improve joint mobility, reduce stiffness, and improve strength. By increasing strength and stability around the joint, it can reduce the amount of stress that is placed on the joint itself, leading to less pain during your day-to-day activities.


How do I know what exercises to do?

It’s important to note that not all exercise programs are created equal when it comes to managing osteoarthritis. While any movement is better than none, targeted neuromuscular exercise has been shown to be particularly effective. A physiotherapist should complete a thorough assessment to help you achieve your goals. 


What is GLA:D™ Canada? 

GLA:D™ Canada is an education and targeted neuromuscular exercise program developed in Denmark and has been shown to produce positive long term outcomes (1 year post program) in over 10,000 participants. Results from Denmark at one year follow-up include:

  • a 27% reduction in pain intensity 
  • a 37% and 45% reduction in use of joint related pain medications for knee and hip OA  participants respectively
  • 20% of GLA:D® participants with knee OA were on sick leave, compared to 30% at baseline 

    Am I appropriate for the GLA:D™ Canada program?

    Most adults with hip or knee osteoarthritis are appropriate for the program. Please book with a GLA:D™ Canada trained physiotherapist for assessment first. 


    What will I learn?

    In addition to targeted exercise, education is also a key component of managing osteoarthritis. It’s important for individuals to understand the condition and how it affects their body, as well as the specific steps they can take to manage it. Education can include information on nutrition, joint stress reduction, biomechanics, and other lifestyle factors that may impact joint health.


    How do I register?

    If you’re interested in starting the GLA:D™ Canada program, please call Core Kinesis Physio to book an initial assessment with the physiotherapist leading the program, to determine if you are an appropriate fit for the program.