GLA:D Program – How The Joint can help you look after your Joints & takeaways from the 2022 Report

Written by Tamar Simai, Senior Physiotherapist at The Joint Physio

Each week for the last 4 years, I have run a GLA:D class for patients suffering from the effects of hip and/or knee osteoarthritis (OA). The GLA:D program was introduced to Australia in 2017 and has quickly become widely recognised and highly supported amongst Doctors, Orthopaedic Specialists and Physiotherapists as a vital first point of call to prepare patients for, and often even delay or cancel the need for surgery. 

From my own clinical experience, I have witnessed that patients who have participated in GLA:D end up taking ownership of their OA. They become more knowledgeable and overall graduate from the program walking out the door confident in their new toolbox to manage their OA without letting it rule their day to day life.

The most common outcomes from participating that I have come across:

  • There’s a chance it will indicate to you that you don’t need surgery or can delay it
  • It can reaffirm going down the surgical pathway and is great prehabilitation to prepare you for the operation and improve your post-op outcomes
  • If you’ve already had surgery it is the ideal rehab program to get you back to increased function, quality of life and avoid the need for surgery on your other joints

The 2022 Annual report has been released. A summary of all the data collected from every GLA:D participant in Australia including all of our Joint Physiotherapy graduate patients whom we refer to as GLA:Diators. 

Some key extractions you may be interested to know:


  • 65 was the average age of participants (ranging from 23 to 92)
  • 82% reported their knee as the primary problem
  • 71% were women
  • 80% of knee and 71% of hip participants were overweight or obese

12-Month results:

  • Reduced pain: an average reduction in pain  of 29% for knee and 23% for hip participants
  • Reduced painkillers (panadol, nurofen etc): 49% of knee & 46% of hip participants reported using less medication 
  • Higher quality of life: 35% improvement for knee and 21% improvement for hips
  • Participation in physical activity: increased by 10% for knees and 9% for hips for undertaking physical activity of at least moderate level of intensity 

Overall outcomes:

The Logistics of the program

  • 6-week onsite small group exercise program
  • Twice a week classes with the aim to continue on independently after the 6-weeks
  • Each session is approximately 1-hour
  • 1 x education session on OA, GLA:D program and current treatment options
  • Claimable with extras cover private health insurance

So as you can see, the evidence clearly shows that there appears to be only an upside from partaking in this program. 

Katsu, Nicholas and I are all qualified GLA:D practitioners. Simply call the clinic on 9528 2233 and book your assessment with one of us or email if you have any questions.

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