International Best Practice for Management of Hip & Knee Osteoarthritis - GLA:D™ introduced in Ontario

Bone and Joint Canada (BJC) is an organization that implements clinical best practices in orthopaedic care.  BJC has identified an international best practice in the management of hip and knee OA. It is a program called  GLA:D™ that has been researched in Denmark with excellent results at a national level.   The program is now being introduced in Ontario.

GLA:D™ Canada is an evidence-based conservative management program for individuals with hip and knee osteoarthritis (OA) based on Good Life with osteoArthritis in Denmark (GLA:D®)a program developed for individuals with symptomatic knee and/or hip OA. The program helps individuals reduce symptoms and increases their HRQOL and physical activity levels and is effective for individuals with early to late stage OA.

GLA:D® is an 8-week program that consists of 3 parts:

  • 2-3 education sessions. These sessions teach participants about OA, their treatment options, self-management techniques, and how to exercise safely with OA.

  • 12 neuromuscular exercise sessions. The exercises focus on stability and control of the joint movement required in everyday activities and addresses the muscular changes associated with OA. The exercises are progressed based on ongoing performance. The group format facilitates group dynamics and learning, and reduces the costs making it affordable for participants.

  • Quality Monitoring. The program includes a national database that collects participant outcome measures prior to the start of the program, at 3 and 12 months.

The Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation (COF) has licenced the program under the title GLA:D™ Canada. Therapists across the country who have the clinical experience in providing exercises to this patient population and who have access to the space and equipment to run the program are being trained through a 1.5 day training program.  Information about the GLA:D™Canada treatment program including the locations of the certified sites and how to be trained can be found at:  

Questions about the GLA:D™ Canada program can be directed to Mariel Ang at

Implications for Occupational Therapists

OTs working with clients who are experiencing symptoms of osteoarthritis with hip or knee pain are encouraged to inform their clients about this new program and to look for program sites in their community.  Visit the website to find a site providing the GLA:D™ Canada program.  OTs are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the program and it's theory and evidence base of this approach which promotes exercise and physical activity to relieve pain.  View a short video introducing GLA:D.