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Patients with knee and hip osteoarthritis offered alternative to surgery


Cabrini staff including physiotherapists, doctors, patients, students and managers shared an informative session with internationally renowned researcher and physiotherapist Professor Ewa Roos, co-creator of the Good Life with osteoArthritis: Denmark (GLA:D) program.

GLA:DTM is an education and exercise program developed by researchers in Denmark for people with hip or knee osteoarthritis symptoms and is practised by physiotherapists at Cabrini.

Prof Roos said after seeing success with athletes, they trialled the program with older people with osteoarthritis and had similar results.

“Historically, as physiotherapists, we were always taught to simply stop if there was any pain,” Prof Roos said.

“After working with athletes and retired athletes who had knee injuries, we realised that with the right exercises and movement control of the joint we could achieve pain relief for patients with osteoarthritis.”

Professor Ewa Roos said the GLA:DTM program challenged the traditional health model that the only remedies for osteoarthritis pain were rest, medication or surgery.

“The GLA:D model disrupts the health system. It is a grassroots program led by enthusiastic and like-minded people,” she said.

“We have been completely overwhelmed by the response we have had from this program, it has taken off in ways we could never have anticipated and is now practised in six countries around the world.”

Prof Roos said compared with hip and knee surgery, the GLAD program was less invasive, had far less risks and was significantly cheaper for patients.

“The GLA:D program has been shown to reduce pain and the consumption of pain killers as well as improve physical function and quality of life,” she said.

“I have been impressed with the clinical practises and research at Cabrini and the way it has been able to implement GLA:DTM for the benefit of osteoarthritis patients.”

The GLA:DTM program at Cabrini is open to any osteoarthritis sufferers with a referral from a general practitioner. To learn more about the GLA:DTM program at Cabrini visit our Allied Health page.