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We offer GLAD Newcastle related individual sessions for knee & hip osteoarthritis to help reduce symptom progression and pain. 



Fitness Physio is very excited to join La Trobe University and a network of physio clinics bringing GLA:D to Australia. Fitness Physio is the first clinic to bring the GLA:D program to Newcastle.

We offer GLA:D classes for hip and knee osteoarthritis to help reduce symptom progression and pain while improving function and restoring your confidence in your joint.


What is GLA:D?

GLA:D stands for Good Living with osteoArthritis Denmark. 

GLA:D is an evidence based neuromuscular exercise and education program for the management of hip and/or knee osteoarthritis. It targets quality of movement, muscle strength, joint stability and confidence with movement.

Research has found that following the GLA:D program participants have:

  • Decreased pain
  • Improved physical function
  • Improved quality of life
  • Decreased use of pain killers
  • Decreased need for sick leave
  • Increased physical activity
  • 2/3 of participants who desired knee or hip replacement when starting the program did not want to go ahead with surgery 12 months later

Importantly, research has found that GLA:D participants maintained these improvements at the 12 month follow up.

Denmark alone has had 45,000+ participants and researchers have been able to follow up on their outcomes making GLA:D a very well researched, evidence backed program.


How can I get involved?

Book an assessment today to kickstart your rehab.

  • What is osteoarthritis? How is it diagnosed?
  • What is the treatment for osteoarthritis?
  • Exercise. Why? How? How much? What if it hurts?
  • Will exercise cause more damage to my joints?
  • What is GLA:D?
  • How can I become more independent in managing my condition?


GLA:D outcomes

GLA:D is unique in that it is backed by a very strong evidence base as GLA:D has followed up the outcomes of the programs tens of thousands of participants.

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After the GLA:D program

  • Average pain intensity decreased (33% for knee and 27% for hip participants)
  • Reduced use of pain killers (49% of knee and 45% of hip participants reports they are using ‘less’ or ‘much less’ medication such as paracetamol, NSAIDS, opioids)
  • Improved physical function (27% increase in timed STS test and 12-14% increase in walking speed)
  • Higher quality of life (29% increase for knee and 20% increase for hip participants)


12 months after the GLA:D program

  • 65% of participants who desired a TKR had not had surgery and no longer desired surgery
  • 67% of participants who desired a TKR had not had surgery and no longer desired surgery
  • Pain reduction maintained (31% reduction for knee and 30% reduction for hip participants)
  • Quality of life improved further (36% improvement for knee and 30% improvement for hip participants)
  • Reduced use of painkillers (50% of knee and 53% of hip participants reports they are using ‘less’ or ‘much less’ medication such as paracetamol, NSAIDS, opioids)
  • Increase in regular, moderately intense physical activity (8% in knee and 6% in hip participants)

Data and infographics sourced from GLA:D Australia’s 2020 Annual report. Find the full report here


What does the GLA:D program involve?

GLA:D consists of:

  • 2x exercise sessions per week for 6 weeks
  • Osteoarthritis education sessions discussing OA, treatment and self management

We keep our classes small, usually 4 clients, to allow close supervision, regular feedback and individualisation of your program.

Before starting the program you will have a one-on-one appointment. This is to assess your goals, baseline function and provide basic exercises to ease your transition into the program.

We are currently offering one on one sessions for a more personalised exercise program



Why should I exercise?

Exercise is hugely important for maintaining strength, improving fitness, reducing risk of chronic health conditions, and elevating mood along with many other benefits. Everyone should aim to be physically active and do at least 30 minutes of exercise per day.

Exercise is especially important in the management of osteoarthritis as it improves cartilage nutrition, increases strength, and can improve movement patterns and help optimise loading of the joint. Exercise promotes cartilage regeneration as your cartilage receives nutrition from the surrounding synovial fluid. Picture a sponge (cartilage) sitting in a bucket (joint capsule) of water (synovial fluid). When you squeeze the sponge (apply load to your cartilage) waste products are pushed out. When you release the sponge (remove load from cartilage) the water (nutrients) are sucked back in. This turnover provides nutrition and promotes regeneration of the cartilage.

Current best practice guidelines both nationally and internationally recommend exercise, patient education and weight loss as first line treatment. Inactivity and avoiding exercise is actually a risk factor for OA.


What if I have severe osteoarthritis?

GLA:D researchers have studied this. GLA:D is both safe and feasible in people with severe osteoarthritis. GLA:D is also equally effective in both inactive and already active participants.


Is it okay to exercise even if it is sore?

Yes. Pain does not equal damage!

It is not unusual to experience a slight increase in either muscle or joint pain when starting any new exercise or activity. Pain is okay if it is at a mild to acceptable level and settles back down to your usual level within 24 hours (sometimes a little longer at first). This pain will reduce as your body gets used to exercising.


When does your next six week block begin?

We run our classes as a rolling program rather than in 6 week blocks. This ensures that we have no more than two new clients per session so that on your first day you will get much more guidance from your physiotherapist.

You will likely find that your first set of exercises is much lighter than some of your classmates who have been in the group for longer – this is normal! Load management is very important in osteoarthritis management and we will personalise your program and increase your exercises at a speed your body can manage. If you are finding something difficult don’t forget that this is also normal and it is most likely that someone else in the room found it difficult in the past as well.


What happens after 6 weeks? Can I continue the class?

Of course! As with any type of training maintenance is very important. Discuss in clinic or self-management options with your physiotherapist.


Do I need a referral?

No, you do not need a referral to start GLA:D classes or visit our practice.


How can I find out more?