Osteoarthritis is the most common lifestyle disease in people over 65 years of age, more common than heart disease and diabetes. It is also very common in younger people, especially in the years following acute traumatic injury. As such it causes significant burden to many Australian’s and their families in the form of pain, daily disability and restrictions in meaningful activity participation such as sports or social outings.
A common question physiotherapists receive from their patients is, “how did I get osteoarthritis?”. There are a number of risk factors, including previous injury, decreased muscle strength, joint loading behaviours, genetic influences and many more. Unfortunately, it is a chronic disease and requires attention for long term management and maintenance of function and participation.
Many are aware of the overwhelmingly valuable benefit that physical activity and exercise can provide for holistic wellbeing, however there is strong evidence advocating exercise therapy and education as the best first line treatment for joint osteoarthritis.
It is a common misconception that by continuing to exercise when arthritis pain presents is harmful and will accelerate joint degeneration. This is untrue, and appropriately performed exercise will in fact have a protective effect from worsening symptoms. The challenge of prescribing the most appropriate exercise behaviours is dictated by many factors specific to each individual and their experiences. Exercise also needs to reflect the ambitions of each individual, so a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach is not the most appropriate method for achieving a specific set of goals.
Clifton Hill Physiotherapy/Pilates and Rehab is proud to be able to offer a GLA:D program (Good life with osteoarthritis, Denmark) for thorough osteoarthritis management and understanding. GLA:D is a new program which specifically targets hip and knee osteoarthritis by offering supervised group exercise coupled with an educational component, which helps participants to understand their pain and how to self-manage this chronic condition. Developed from the programs implemented in Denmark and Canada, it is the best first line treatment of hip and knee arthritis. It provides the opportunity to start your arthritis management journey under the safe supervision of our professionally trained GLA:D physiotherapists.
If hip or knee osteoarthritis is troubling you, contact our reception for more information, alternatively visit the GLA:D Australia website; https://gladaustralia.com.au.