First GLA:D program at LGH with physios Carla Wiebe and Lauren Karst

VCH physiotherapists help osteoarthritis patients with new GLA:D™ Canada program

Vancouver Coastal Health physiotherapists have recently implemented an evidence based program called GLA:D (Good Life with OsteoArthritis).

About GLA:D

GLA:D (Good Life with Osteoarthritis) was developed in Denmark for individuals with hip or knee osteoarthritis symptoms.  The evidence-based program has shown a reduction in progression of symptoms, reduction in pain intensity and reduced use of joint related pain killers.  Program participants also report high levels of satisfaction with the program and increased levels of physical activity twelve months after starting the program.

The program is based on neuromuscular re-education to strengthen and correct impaired movement patterns to improve alignment, prevent symptom progression, and reduce pain as well as improve knee and hip movement quality and function during activities of daily living and sport.

The group-based program is taught by certified physiotherapists and consists of 2 education sessions followed by 12 exercise sessions.  Outcome measures are tracked pre/post program and the patients are followed for a year by a national database with multi-cohort data being collected to compare to the Denmark GLA:D program.

The GLA:D progrm at VCH

In Canada, osteoarthritis is the most common lifestyle disease in individuals 65 year of age and older.  Lions Gate Hospital and Richmond Hospital currently have GLA:D programs, with plans for Vancouver in 2018.

Initial results look promising. All patients improved on their initial outcome measures with positive feedback including “The program is simple and easy to continue at home,” “I was walking much better and felt stronger immediately,” and “It has made my life better with less residual knee pain.”

Interested in learning more?

For more information on the GLA:D program, visit the GLA:D website at  or contact Jane Burns, VCH GLA:D Coordinator.

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