Manage your osteoarthritis with Copeman’s new mobility program

This article was co-written by Brittany Gadzosa and Agnieszka Inglot, Kinesiologists

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common type of arthritis and affects nearly 5 million Canadians. OA has previously been viewed as a condition that develops in old age; however, 30 to 40 percent of people between the ages of 50 and 70 years are affected by OA.

This form of arthritis is a result of mechanical (injury) and biological (age) events that disrupt the breakdown and formation of new tissues at the end of a bone. The consequence of this imbalance affects the whole joint and surrounding tissues. Common signs and symptoms of OA include joint stiffness, especially in the morning, as well as pain, swelling and reduced range of motion in the affected joint.

Diagnosis of OA can be done through imaging, such as an x-ray, or through physical symptoms, including those listed above. Unfortunately, OA has no cure, but it can be managed. A combination of different strategies, including proper exercise and nutrition, medication and, in some cases, surgery to replace part or the whole joint all contribute to management.

New osteoarthritis management program for Copeman clients

At Copeman Healthcare, we’re excited to be offering an evidence-based exercise program called Good Life with OsteoArthritis: Denmark (GLA:D® Canada). The program is designed to help patients manage their OA through specifically tailored exercises for hip and knee joints.

GLA:D® was developed in Denmark and later brought to Canada after its success. It’s an education and neuromuscular exercise program designed specifically for individuals with hip or knee osteoarthritis. Individuals with early to late-stage osteoarthritis can participate.

Delivered by certified GLA:D® Canada trainers, the program is made up of two or three education sessions and 12 one-hour exercise sessions. The focus of the education sessions is to help individuals better understand osteoarthritis. Components include:

  • What is osteoarthritis, risk factors and symptoms
  • Current available treatment for osteoarthritis
  • How to self-manage your symptoms
  • Why and how exercise can help with your osteoarthritis
  • How to cope with the difficulties of daily activities associated with osteoarthritis

The exercise sessions are focused on developing muscular strength through functional exercises, movement and posture control and applying that to daily activities.

Goals and outcomes of the GLA:D® program

Like most rehabilitation regimes, the goals of the program are to help patients achieve reduced pain, improved function and greater quality of life.

Denmark’s GLA:D® program results have been very positive with a 27 percent reduction in pain intensity at one year post-program, over 30 percent increase in self-reported physical activity levels, reduced use of joint-related painkillers at one year and reduced number of individuals on sick leave at one year post-program.

Who can take part?

In order to participate in the GLA:D® Canada program at Copeman Healthcare Centre, you can be referred by a clinician (e.g., physician, physiotherapist or surgeon) or you can self-refer. An intake assessment will be completed by one of our GLA:D® Canada certified kinesiologists to ensure the program is right for you.

The next program dates in Calgary begin January 21, 2020 and will run Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Edmonton program start dates are to be determined.

For more details on the Calgary sessions, please contact Brittany Gadzosa at

Please contact Kelli Jardine at for more information on the Edmonton sessions.

For Copeman clients at our Vancouver and North Shore Centres, speak to your Copeman kinesiologist about how to prevent, manage or treat OA.