Reducing Arthritic Pain with GLAD

Osteoarthritis is one of the most common chronic health conditions in the world, affecting millions of people every year. It is accompanied by painful symptoms that patients struggle to treat and find relief from. While the disease is commonly associated with the elderly, osteoarthritis can actually affect people of all ages. It’s debilitating nature means sufferers often struggle to perform everyday tasks, particularly forms of exercise that they love.

Here at Freedom Sports Medicine, we strive to provide our patients with ongoing relief from pain. Rather than simply masking injuries with short term solutions, we educate our clients about the root cause of their issues and encourage them to play an active role in recovery.

Our broad range of services include the GLAD program, which is an evidence-based exercise plan designed to relieve arthritic pain. Our clients have seen fantastic results through GLAD, from reduced musculoskeletal pain to improved quality of life.

Osteoarthritis explained

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint condition and is actually one of hundreds of different types of arthritis. While certain lifestyle factors can increase your likelihood of developing the disease, people of all ages, genders, and backgrounds are typically affected.

While osteoarthritis can affect any joint, it typically appears in the hands, knees, hips, lower back, and neck. Painful symptoms, including stiffness, tenderness, loss of flexibility, and swelling, occur as protective cartilage at the end of joints wears down. 

There are certain risk factors that increase your likelihood of developing osteoarthritis. These include:

  • Age
  • Gender — women tend to be affected in greater numbers than men
  • Weight — carrying extra weight can put added pressure on joints
  • Pre-existing injuries
  • Genetics
  • Bone deformities and conditions

Damage to joints is unfortunately irreversible but that doesn’t mean that you have to suffer. There are still many strategies and treatment methods that can be successfully implemented to reduce pain, including GLAD.

What is GLAD?

GLAD is described as both an exercise and education program. It was developed by researchers in Denmark in 2013 and has been used to treat people suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee and hip all over the world with great success. 

GLAD stands for Good Life with Osteoarthritis: Denmark. The exercises and activities you will learn through the program can be applied to your daily life, making it remarkably accessible. 

At Freedom Sports Medicine, our GLAD program participants have reported:

  • Reduced pain
  • Reduced need for painkillers
  • Reduced sick leave
  • Increased levels of physical activity
  • Increased happiness and wellbeing. 

While you do not need a referral from your doctor to participate in GLAD, your GP may deem that you are eligible for a rebate from Medicare, depending on your individual situation. Previous GLAD program participants have also taken advantage of HICAPS private health refunds.

What to expect from your GLAD program

GLAD is suitable for all people suffering from hip and knee related osteoarthritis, regardless of the severity of their condition. The program is designed to both educate and provide practical exercises that empower people to manage the disease.

At Freedom Sports Medicine, your GLAD experience will start with an initial appointment, where we explain the program and collect data on your current functional ability. From there, you will engage in two education sessions. These are designed to provide you with a complete understanding of osteoarthritis, how the GLAD program improves joint stability, and how to continue to see benefits, even after you have exited the program.

The exercise program itself involves group sessions twice a week for six weeks. Class sizes are deliberately kept small (usually no more than three) so that you benefit from the full attention of the clinician. 

Finally, a follow up assessment will occur three months later to measure your progress and development.

Freedom Sports Medicine — holistic healthcare

Participants in the GLAD program have seen great results and we are proud to offer it as one of our very many sports medicine services. Here at Freedom Sports Medicine, we believe in establishing in-depth and professional relationships with our patients. By taking the time to listen and understand your story and goals, we can tailor a treatment program that will see you back on your feet and doing the things you love as quickly as possible. 

In addition to the GLAD program, we also offer everything from physiotherapy to dry needling and shockwave therapy. The breadth of services at our disposal means we can provide comprehensive, holistic healthcare, which is one of the many reasons our clients love us.

To find out more about our GLAD program or any of our other services, contact the team at Freedom Sports Medicine today. 

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