Osteoarthritis (OA); often described as "wear and tear" or “bone rust” is an inevitable part of the aging process. OA occurs when there is more cartilage breakdown than cartilage regeneration. There are a number of factors that influence these processes including genetics, choice of sport at a young/middle age and body weight. OA can occur in any joint, but is most commonly seen in the knee, hip, fingers and spine.
According to the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), 1 in 11 or over 2.1 million Australians have osteoarthritis. Knee and hip arthritis can make day-to-day activities such as walking up stairs, getting in and out of the car or getting up from a low sofa very challenging.
Currently there is no known cure for osteoarthritis, but this does not mean a diagnosis of osteoarthritis is a life sentence. There are treatments available to manage the symptoms of OA with a strong focus on reducing pain and improving function.
Historically there was the common belief that the only option for managing OA was to “rest up” and wait for an inevitable joint replacement. However, with more and more research it has been proven this is simply not the case. Through numerous studies, it has actually been found that joint replacement is the final treatment option and should only be considered when all conservative management options have been exhausted.
Regardless of the stage of the OA in question; whether in the stage with minimal change on xray or low grade symptoms or in the dreaded “bone on bone” stage when most protective cartilage is gone, exercise has been shown to be the ‘best medicine’. The recently updated RACGP guidelines recommend all those with osteoarthritis should be offered exercise, education and guidance with weight management if necessary.
This is where we come in!!! The Studio is now offering the GLA:D® program that is specifically designed for hip and knee osteoarthritis. The program consists of exercise and education sessions designed to reduce pain, improve knee or hip function providing strategies as to how osteoarthritis can be managed with a reduced impact on one's quality of life. The program involves 12 supervised exercise sessions over a 6 week period, along with 2 hour-long education sessions. The program is appropriate for patients of any age and at any stage of osteoarthritis development. The program design is unique in that the education and exercises provided can be applied to everyday activities.
“But it hurts when I exercise?” I hear you say. Symptoms may fluctuate, but rest assured these changing symptoms do not equate to increased damage to your joint or OA progression. Exercise may be a little uncomfortable, but this potential discomfort should be at an acceptable level and should settle when the exercise is stopped. Like medications, exercise needs to be prescribed at the right dose and duration to be effective. Your physiotherapist will help guide you through this process and ensure appropriate modifications are available to you. For more information regarding the GLAD program get in touch!
How do I find out more about GLA:D®?
We are running our first information session on Wednesday 25th March at 1pm. This session will go into more depth about osteoarthritis in general as well as providing more insight as to how the GLA:D® program is run.
All are welcome to come along to this free session. To RSVP or if you have any specific questions, email The Studio team on firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be GLA:D to help!