Osteoarthritis of the hips and knees can be a difficult diagnosis to receive. It is often referred to as “wear and tear” arthritis. What this means is that people diagnosed with this condition experience a degeneration of joint tissue which causes inflammation, and then leads to loss of cartilage. Cartilage is the barrier we have that keeps our joints moving smoothly, without it sufferers experience stiffness, pain, and less flexibility. In fact, Osteoarthritis (OA) is quite common; it affects roughly 17 percent of the Canadian population in individuals as young as 15 years of age!
Innovative Danish Osteoarthritis Program Is Available In Canada
Luckily a new program is now available in Canada to help those affected by OA. The G:LAD program was developed in Denmark and has seen a lot of success, due to its bilateral approach of physiotherapy and an 8-week education program. In Denmark, patients reported less pain, less need for painkillers, were able to remain at work, and overall experienced an improved quality of life.
This education and exercise program is designed to empower you to manage your symptoms, exercise effectively, and use your muscles correctly for long-term stability and pain relief. Life Force Physiotherapy is proud to be a certified provider of the G:LAD program!
G:LAD is a 3 step program:
Step 1: Three 90 minute Education sessions
Knowledge is power with any life-altering diagnosis. This part of the program is designed to give you a thorough understanding of Osteoarthritis, including the risk factors and symptoms, as well as the current treatment modalities available.
We will discuss the difficulties faced in day-to-day movement, why and how you should exercise, and how you can manage your own symptoms. This is the time to learn everything that you can about your diagnosis and transfer it into your daily routine.
Step 2: Twelve Exercise Sessions
The exercise portion of the Hip and Knee Program is a 6 week series of exercise classes individually designed to improve your posture, provide you with joint protection strategies and build strength and control so that you can establish safe movement patterns to confidently and safely carry out your daily activities.
These Neuromuscular exercise sessions will take place twice weekly for a total of 6 weeks. Sessions last 60 minutes each and have 3 different parts associated; warm-up, circuit training and cool down. Participants are encouraged to continue these exercises in their daily activities as well to ensure long-term success.
Research has shown that individuals generally experience more success by completing these exercise sessions in a group setting. However, arrangements can be made for individual sessions as well.
G:LAD Osteoarthritis Exercise Session Break-Down
This consists of a short warm up on an exercise bike. Do not fear, it usually lasts around 10 minutes and can be adjusted to your comfort level.
Circuit training: 4 stations
- Core stability – keeping the abdominal area engaged
- Posture – More specifically, keeping the weight evenly distributed on your legs
- Strengthening your leg muscles
- Functional training exercises – these will be exercises that will be transferred into your daily routine
Cool Down: This is very important!
After any form of physical activity, you should cool down. In the G:LAD program this consists of walking exercises to bring down your heart rate, as well as leg stretches.
Step 3: Ongoing Monitoring
We will measure how you are doing throughout the exercise portion of the program so that you can follow your progress and we can tailor the program to your needs. As you progress through the Hip and Knee Program, we at Life Force Physiotherapy believe that a supervised work-out environment is crucial to help you ease safely into your self-directed exercise plan.
Following the completion of the program in our Physio Supervised Exercise Program, our physiotherapists will keep an eye on your movements and exercises, so that you can feel confident that you’re staying on track.
What are some real Canadian results of the G:LAD Program?
The improvements that participants are experiencing is very encouraging. G:LAD program participants noted “A mean 26% improvement in pain, over 30% of individuals experiencing a marked improvement in activities of daily living and sport and recreation, and over 40% of individuals experiencing a marked improvement in the quality of life.” Those are results that we couldn’t be happier about.
Don’t live with the pain! Please call us at Life Force Physiotherapy in Etobicoke so we can help you to manage your Osteoarthritis symptoms. Get your life back, you deserve it.