GLA:D™ Canada

Good Life with OsteoArthritis from Denmark (GLA:D®) is a program to help ease the pain and the physical limitations faced by those living with hip and knee osteoarthritis (OA).  Developed and clinically tested in Denmark since 2012, GLA:D® is an education and tailored exercise program that has been demonstrated to reduce the symptoms of knee and hip OA by up to 27 per cent.

The program is effective for all stages of the disease and was launched in Ontario in September 2016 through funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, making Canada the first country in the world outside of Denmark to adopt and deliver the program.  To date, hundreds of Canadians have benefited from the GLA:D program; participants who consistently follow the program have reduced pain and improved physical activity, as well as reduced use of painkillers and the need for disability leave.

“We finally have a program that is clinically proven to reduce the progression of symptoms and improve quality of life for those with hip and knee OA. GLA:D® has the potential to bring relief to thousands of Canadians living with OA today,” said Dr. Aileen Davis, senior scientist at Krembil Research Institute, University Health Network, professor at the University of Toronto and lead researcher for the GLA:D™ Canada program.

Dr. James Waddell, an Orthopaedic surgeon who has spent over 30 years completing joint replacement surgery at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto says, “The GLA:D® program is an effective conservative management program that is suitable for individuals who are experiencing mild to severe disease. Early diagnosis and access to the program will improve the lives of many people across Ontario.”

The GLA:D® program is not just for the elderly. In fact, the first symptoms of OA may occur in early adulthood. “OA is not just a disease of the old,” says Dr. Laura Cruz, sports medicine physician. “For many people the cartilage and joint changes cause muscle imbalances in their 30s or 40s particularly with early hip and knee OA. The resultant symptoms reduce their participation in everyday physical activity, including sports. The GLA:D® program addresses these imbalances and focuses on keeping people physically active and involved in their sports longer.”

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