Osteoarthritis: GLAD

Osteoarthritis can be a painful and debilitating condition, which, if left untreated, will only get worse over time. You may find it difficult to walk, bend and do day-to-day activities.

Osteoarthritis is caused by gradual wear and tear of cartilage in the joints, and is common as people age. It leads to joints becoming stiff and painful, and is a major cause of disability.

Physiotherapy for Osteoarthritis

At St Leonards Physiotherapy, we don’t want osteoarthritis to hold you back from living life to the full. With tailored support from our specialist physiotherapists, we can help you manage your condition, relieve your pain and increase your mobility.

WHO guidelines suggest that exercise and weight loss may be more effective at treating osteoarthritis than opioids, arthroscopy and cortisone injections. That’s why our program focuses on exercise and lifestyle routines that will improve your quality of life. 

The Osteoarthritis Program at St Leonards

The GLAD program for hip and knee osteoarthritis begins with an initial consultation to better understand your condition and your needs. This will enable our physiotherapy team to tailor the program to your specific requirements. 

You will then take part in two sessions a week for nine weeks. The first week is education, followed by eight weeks of exercise classes, in groups of 4-6 people so that you can meet other people on a similar journey.  

We test and measure before you begin the program to establish your baseline, then assess your progress after 3 months and 12 months to see how you’re getting on and make any further recommendations. 

Exercise Treatment for Osteoarthritis

The World Health Organisation recommends that older adults should do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week. However, worldwide, only 13% of people with knee and hip OA are meeting these guidelines (Wallis et.al, 2014).

The Royal Australia College of GP Guidelines for managing hip and knee osteoarthritis (2018) strongly recommends exercise as the first line of treatment for all patients with hip and knee OA, regardless of age, disability, changes on X-ray, level of pain etc.

  • STRONG RECOMMENDATION FOR exercise, weight loss and education.
  • STRONG RECOMMENDATION AGAINST opiods, viscosupplementation, stem cell therapy, arthroscopy

Australian Knee Society / Australian Orthopaedic Association position statement is that arthroscopy has no beneficial effect on osteoarthritis, yet more than 40,000 are performed every year in Australia.

9% of hip patients and 20% of knee patients experience no pain relief following joint replacement (Beswick et.al, 2012).

GLAD Australian Outcomes 2020

Average age is 65 years old, 71% women and average BMI is 29.9.

  • Reduced pain (33% less for knees, 27% for hips)
  • Reduced medication (49% less for knees, 45% for hips)
  • Increased walking speed (14% more for knees, 12% for hips)
  • Improved quality of life (29% more for knees, 20% for hips)
  • 3 out 4 changed their intention to have surgery from yes to no


Costs and requirements

  • Initial Physiotherapy assessment: $180
  • Initial Dietitian assessment*: $160
  • Follow up Dietitian appointment: $80
  • Group therapy sessions (10 x $35/hr): $350

*Northside Nutrition and Dietetics: Suite 74, Chatswood Village, 47 Neridah St, Chatswood. Phone: 9415 4845. Not all participants will be required to see a dietitian.

Private health insurance rebates available for initial assessments, group exercise sessions. Please check with your private health insurer.

Medicare: TCA/EPC for physio assessment.

You will need a referral from your GP, specialist or surgeon in order to enrol on the program.

For more information, call (02) 9438 1782 or email enquiries@stleonardsphysio.com.au.



Call (02) 9438 1782 to book an appointment or