We have been running GLA:D for people with hip and knee osteoarthritis for three years at Complete Sports Care now. I have enjoyed watching how many people it has benefited, potential surgeries it has saved both at our clinic and across Australia in my role as program lead at La Trobe University. The program is now offered at more than 350 sites in all states and territories. A key to the success of GLA:D is the programs focus on providing quality education and a well targeted exercise program for people with osteoarthritis.

What has GLA:D got to do with back pain?

GLA:D originates in Denmark. Based on its success in people with osteoarthritis, the Danes have decided to develop a similar program for back pain. At the end of last year, David Thwaite’s and I travelled to Sydney to learn more about the program. We left very excited about the opportunity to be one of the few Australia clinic to pilot the program, and be able to provide a great new treatment option in our community

What do I like about the GLA:D Back program?

GLAD Back involves a combination of great education and exercise. The education, support and guidance we provide as physiotherapists to improve people’s understanding pain and how to reach their goals is often under-valued. GLA:D Back provides people with so much great education to address the many myths about back pain, such as:

  • My back hurts because I have a weak core
  • My back hurts because I have poor posture
  • I need a scan to find out what is really wrong

For some of you reading this, these example myths above may not seem like myths at all – but I promise you they often are, and not knowing the greater complexities of back pain makes many people to choose ineffective treatments and strategies. We will talk through much of this at our FREE back pain seminar (details below)

Similar to what we teach in the GLA:D osteoarthritis program, GLA:D Back teaches you about the many things that can increase or decrease symptoms that are not always obvious. Importantly, this allows you to develop strategies to make changes in your life that will help improve things now and in the future. People will leave the GLA:D back program with a much better understanding of why their back might hurt and what treatments and strategies might actually help.

What about the exercise program? Doesn’t everyone with back pain need to do Pilates?

I think this is the part I loved most about the GLA:D Back program. Pilates can be a great form of exercise for many people, and we use it at Complete Sports Care. But, it doesn’t always get people out of pain or back to the things they want to, or need to do. The GLA:D Back exercise program teaches people they do not have to move exactly the same textbook way as each other. This is another myth we will talk about. The GLA:D Back exercise program will make you stronger to do the things you need to do, rather than avoiding them or bracing every time you move. The exercises will reduce your fear of doing normal things like bending over in the garden or to tie your shoe lace. And you will get a great work out, leaving sessions feeling rejuvenated.

This Wednesday we will be holding a free information seminar related to back pain so get along, or send your friends or family, if you can – details here

Date: 19th February 2020 at 12pm – 1:30pm.
Location: Hawthorn Citizens’ Youth Club,
241 Auburn Road, Hawthorn VIC 3122

Book your place here:


We will be starting our first pilot GLA:D back program in a couple of weeks. This first program will be provided at a discount rate and places are limited so please enquire and book in for an initial assessment if you would like to try. Get in touch with the clinic if you would like to know more.